Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Feedly it ain’t

[This post follows from Feedly it is.]

I wrote about Feedly last night in the heady excitement of infatuation. But I soon began to see problems that will keep me looking for a better reader. The interface is (to my eyes) beautiful, but Feedly takes too many liberties with content, as I discovered when I looked at a few recent Orange Crate Art posts with images. There’s nothing complex about these posts, and they render without problems in Google Reader. Watch what happens to the post How to improve writing (no. 44). Here’s Blogger:

And Feedly:

Yes, Feedly has a strange habit of pushing images to the right, where they can look, well, dumb. Feedly also seems to dicker with text, dropping “(no. 44)” from this post’s title in list view.

Worse is what happens to the post The Thompson Twins. Here’s Blogger:

And Feedly:

The sequence of images has been flipped, which turns the accompanying explanation into gibberish.

And still worse is what happens to the post Orson Trail. Here’s Blogger:

And Feedly:

Here too the sequence has been flipped (though May 9 is back where it belongs). Small potatoes, sure, but what if these images illustrated, say, a before-and-after comparison or a how-to post? The potential for confusion seems vast, and it makes Feedly a service I cannot yet trust. Now I’m trying The Old Reader, which has its own frustrations, one of which is its limited access to older posts: “No posts below this line. Probably you have read them all.” Shopping around makes it clearer than ever to me just how well designed Google Reader is, and how great its loss will be to its users.

comments: 5

count reeshard said...

As usual, Prof. Leddy, you've done a good job of encapsulating my thoughts on a given topic. Have tried The Old Reader - meh - and settled reluctantly on Feedly. Which has no search function, it should be noted. I could search my RSS feeds on Google reader and find posts originating long before I subscribed to the blogs in question. And, as Feedly is currently pulling from Reader, I expect I'll have to save/export my subscriptions from Reader before the ship goes down. Crumbs.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, I figured out the lack of search. You can though click on Index and then browse all posts for a blog. But still, no search.

If I find a really happy alternative to Google Reader, I’ll let you know. For me it has to be something accessible from multiple devices (web-based or an app that syncs).

Matt Thomas said...

And here’s this post in NetNewsWire using Pat Dryburgh’s customized version of the Ballard theme. To my eyes, nothing looks better.

Michael Leddy said...

That does look great. I wish it were available as a web service.

(Matt, did you see the link to Desktop Diaries in my vacation post? Your cup of tea, I think.)

Matt Thomas said...

Yes! I saw your Desktop Diaries post. Love those. Wish there was a similar series for non-scientiests though. The next version of NetNewsWire will have sync.