Sidebar shows no unread items in a feed but main pane correctly show unread

On several of my feeds the sidebar shows no unread items, but if I select the feed then the reading pane shows an unread story. This seems to have cropped up in the last few days. My user name is Diana, and a few feeds that are having the problem are…,,,…, and http://loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot…

I’ve tried refreshing the page and that doesn’t resolve it. Do I need to log out and back in?



Well, logging out and back in also did not fix this problem. A companion problem I discovered is that even when a subsequent story is posted to a feed having this problem, the unread count doesn’t correct. (There may be 2 actual unread stories, showing unread in the story titles pane but the sidebar count will say 1 unread.)

I have found that using Insta-Fetch will correct the problem; while it is tedious to look at each feed to see if there are any unread, at least it seems to correct the problem.

It’s because of a slave lag on a secondary db machine from earlier this week. It screwed up counts all over the place. It should be back to normal now. If you reset a feed by forcing an Insta-fetch, it should stay fixed. Let me know if it doesn’t.

This did clear up, but now appears to be happening again (although with different feeds than I indicated in my OP). Is this a known issue? Thanks!

Had a similar issue. I use the iPhone app primarily and noticed this weekend that the counts had “frozen”: read items failed to decrement the counts and new items failed to increment them. It appears to have been fixed just now by visiting the actual webpage and waiting out a rather long “Counting is Difficult” operation (that “stuck” at 100%). Nice to have enhancement request: if this were to happen again it might be nice to have a way to “force a recount” from the iPhone app.

Hmm, I think I just realized what the bug is. This will be fixed in the social branch (

Hi Samuel - I’m sorry, I’m not technical enough to know what your response means to me. I have lots of feeds. When the counter is off by one it isn’t a big deal if there are really 4 new items and the counter says 3, but for feeds that update infrequently there might be a new unread item that doesn’t show up in the counter for some time. It almost negates the usefulness of a feed reader if I have to visit every feed not showing unread items to see if there really is one. When this is fixed “in the social branch,” how will I know, and do I need to take some further action to get the fix working in my feeds? Thanks!

So, while I’m waiting for this to be fixed in the social branch, or to find out what that means, is there a way to insta-fetch all feeds at once or do I have to do them all one at a time to get the counters to show the right number of unread items? Thanks in advance.

Doh, sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I just integrated the rewrite into the social branch (dev) yesterday. The real problem is that my secondary databases are lagging behind. I ordered two new servers a couple days ago and am just now getting them setup. In effect, this should no longer be an issue. Know that I’m keeping my eye on these disparities. If you still get mismatches, let me know. They should become far more infrequent to the point of never.

Thanks for that extra info. NewsBlur is altogether great to use, so I’m happy this bug will dissipate!

This problem just resurfaced in the past day or two. I’ve found two feeds where the unread item count in the sidebar is one short: there’s one more actual unread story than the sidebar indicates. Any thoughts?

I also experienced this. I’ll keep vigilant on reporting a feed that has this problem.

I continue to sporadically see this problem. The story count in the sidebar is too low by 1 or more. When I click to view the feed the story list shows a higher quantity of unread stories. This isn’t such a big deal when the sidebar shows any new posts and the count is just too low, but it’s problematic when the sidebar shows no new post and there actually is one. Any thoughts on why this is still happening, or what I can do to resolve it entirely? (It’s been a problem off and on for three months …)

Well, sometimes the secondary databases lag behind, although that hasn’t been the case for weeks. Besides that, tell me a bit more about how you read stories. Are you reading site by site? Do you keep your unread counts at 0 across the board? Is it the same sites that do this? And are the unread counts every wrong in the other direction, saying that there is an additional story to read when there really isn’t?

Oh, I pushed out a big fix for this late last week, which should make a lot of these unread count issues disappear, but it relies on a refresh call, which happens every 10 minutes if real-time is on, and otherwise every 60 seconds if it’s not. (You can see if you have real-time if you see a small animating box in the top right of your dashboard.)

Hi Samuel - I do read site by site, and I don’t keep all my unread counts at 0, I have a tendency to let a few posts accumulate in a site and then read all of them at once. But sometimes I “check in” on a site if it seems like it’s been longer than usual between posts and that’s when I find an unread story shown in the story list but not showing as unread in the sidebar.

Right now, my feed for “Sew, skate, read” is showing 1 unread story in the sidebar and has two unread stories in the story list. Earlier (when I posted my last message), the feed for Jeffrey Morganthaler had a count of 0 but one actual unread story but it has since corrected. That is also unusual. (About half the time, the count will stay wrong even in another new story posts, and about half the time the count will self-correct when the next story posts.) This is the first time I’ve noticed that a count corrected all by itself without an additional story posting. In this one case, it could well be that I just caught the site between refresh calls.

It doesn’t seem to be the same sites that do it, and I’ve never noticed a count being off in the other direction (count in the sidebar greater than the actual number of unread stories). I will check my dashboard to see if real-time is on or not. If not, I’ll give sites 10 or 15 minutes to refresh before deciding the count is off.

Thank you for your help with this!

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Diana, try this. Next time you open a site and it has more unread stories than the count indicates, refresh the page. I made a change that will instantly update the site’s unread count. If you see it flash, then it indicates where the problem is. If it does not update, don’t read the story and immediately let me know so I can figure out why it is counting incorrectly.

My hunch is that it *will* flash and update to the correct count. Which is unfortunate, because that means I’m counting correctly (which would be an easy fix if I wasn’t), and somehow the site is not getting updated correctly when you login.

Aaah, I stay logged in essentially all the time. Would that make a difference? In the meantime, next time I see the problem I will refresh the page and report back here. Continued thanks!!

OK - I just came across another one of these. Sidebar showed 1 unread, story list showed 2 unread (Oldest 13-Aug 6:00am; Newest 15-Aug 11:22am). Refreshing correctly reset the count in the sidebar.

My question now though, is why it hadn’t updated prior (it’s now 11:05pm PST - seems like sometime since 11:22am the count should have updaed?).

OK, the bug is still present, but this gives me good insight into where the bug is hiding out. It’s clearly not a counting bug, but at some point that feed is performing a count for you, only finds 1 of the 2 unread stories (replica lag perhaps?) and counts them accordingly.

Looks like perhaps it’s counting a split second before the story comes in. That’s very possible and looks like replica lag.

I just built a pretty big improvement in how replica lag is handled. Now, whenever it begins to spike, unreads are no longer counted on the backend, instead waiting until you login. This means that when the servers are under a lot of load, you’ll find that more sites flash yellow about 3-5 seconds after you load NewsBlur. That means that they were not counted in the background and now have to be counted for you. I try to avoid doing that excessively, which is why I count in the background. But I perform the count immediately after a story is fetched, so if there is replica lag, then the new story hasn’t propagated out to the replicas yet. So this change should address the fundamental counting issue.