smart display of all items in unread-only feed mode

most of my feeds are set to unread-only. this means when i have finished reading everything in that feed (or marked it all as read), i see an empty box. occasionally, however, i want to recover a story i already read. currently the only way to do this is to switch to all stories mode, find the story, and then toggle back to unread only. (side note, is there a hotkey for doing this within the feed itself? +/- only seem to work for the list of feeds, not the feed contents)

this is perfectly fine i suppose, but i wonder if newsblur can be “smarter” about this. as i said, in unread-only mode, the end result of reading everything is an empty pane, which seems like wasted space. considering newsblur still does all the behind-the-scenes work to know to display only empty space (more noticeable on feeds with training), it seems like we could be taking advantage of those resources. 

it might be nice if, once everything in a feed is marked read, rather than an empty pane, newsblur temporarily switched to all stories mode. the titles would still be marked unread (non-bold), but they would be visible. technically this countermands the user’s wishes (since they’ve set the feed to be unread only), but in this specific case, it’s not adding any noise to the signal (because there’s no signal to pollute), and has to potential to actually re-introduce signal. so while it might be violating the letter of the user’s wishes, it may not violate their spirit.

perhaps, to alleviate confusion, there can be a little message bar at the top of the pane saying something like “you’ve read everything! displaying all items.” or maybe it would be a preference. or hell, maybe even a new mode entirely, like “smart unread” or something. 

to be clear, intelligence training would still be respected even in this state. newsblur shouldn’t display hidden stories without explicit user action, this would only apply to read stories.

what do you think?


So you’ve opened a feed that has no unread stories. If you default to Unread Only, then you won’t see anything. This is all correct, yes? You weren’t in Unread View for feeds (on the left), just for stories (on the right). 

I don’t think I’d want the list of stories to switch out from underneath you when you finished reading unread stories. If you have 1 unread story, you open it to read it and then immediately after opening the story all of the feed’s previously read stories show up? Seems a bit jarring, since you wouldn’t have much context.

I would like to entertain a keyboard shortcut to switch between all stories and unread stories. Any takers on unused letters in the ‘?’ dialog?

yeah, that’s a better idea. i agree that going from 1 unread story to N read stories would be jarring. i think the “problem” i have is that switching between all/unread within a feed is clumsy at the moment, and was trying to sidestep that issue rather than address it directly. 

since -/= is used to switch between all/unread/focus/saved in the list of feeds, perhaps a chorded version of that would be good for similar actions in the individual feed?  say, shift -/=?   (aka _ and +) 

on the one hand, i think it makes sense to conceptually link those actions in different contexts. on the other hand, i don’t like chorded hotkeys if they can be avoided…