Why RSS Reading In IE7 and Office 2007 Is Almost There But Not Quite
Outlook 2007 and IE7 have this nice ability to sync subscribed RSS feeds with each other. Subscribe in one and it appears in another. Lovely. Outlook also has the fastest OPML parser I’ve come across thus far. Feed it the OPML file for blogs.msdn.com (3000+ feeds and counting) and ten seconds later there’s a rather impressive list of feed to start pruning. IE7 also has a lovely nice, clean look for raw RSS feeds as well. But there are still some large kinks in the system and as I’m just a public tester with no way to log a bug other than unofficially through the smile program [http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/05/26/607768.aspx] and by adding trackbacks from this post to the IE team’s blog [http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/08/03/687029.aspx], here is my wishlist of things for both teams to work on before I completely get rid of RSSBandit [http://www.rssbandit.org/]which remains my feed reader of choice.
- Feed comments. Neither IE nor Outlook allow you to view the comment thread for a post in an RSS feed. Sometimes the comment thread is almost as important as the post. At least give us the option to see the comments rather than ignoring their existence. * Proper synchronization between IE and Outlook. If I’ve read a post from a feed in Outlook, I’d like it to be marked as read in IE as well and vice versa. You cant just keep the list of feeds sync’d and nothing else. * The ability to store the contents of the RSS Feeds folder in Outlook in a .pst file other than the one containing my mail and still keep the feeds in the RSS Feeds folder. * RSS integration with OneNote 2007. If I open a mail in Outlook, the ribbon automatically includes an icon to Send this to OneNote. If I open a RSS post, this option is not in the ribbon. Admittedly, you can close it, select the post and then hit send to onenote in the Outlook main window, but why isn’t it present in the post window? * In Outlook, if I read the posts in a feed and then delete them, Outlook notices and then downloads them again for me to read. Why can’t it realise I’ve deleted them and not download them again? * Further to that last post, Outlook repeatedly downloads posts from some feeds (e.g. http://www.alistapart.com/rss.xml) whether or not they have been read. Isn’t there some sort of check on this? * Images in feeds. Once an image is downloaded, couldn’t it stay downloaded? For example, say you subscribe to a Flickr feed and say not to download all content for each post. Each post is an image. If I select a post (post1) so the image it contains is downloaded (very slowly - why so slow?), click a different post (post2) and then go back to post1, the image must be redownloaded? But why? It’s already been downloaded once - can you not use IE’s temporary internet files or something? * Broadsheet view. Would it be possible to just click a feed folder and have the preview pane display all the (unread) posts (or even just the first ten) in that folder display in one page? * RSS Feeds Account settings. If I right-click the RSS Feeds folder in the Folder List and select properties, I get the properties of that folder. What I would like to get is to have some way to get to the RSS feeds Account Settings dialog that you actually get to via Tools Account Settings RSS Feeds. It seems very logical to me to have access to the details of the RSS feed a folder contains via the context menu for the folder. * Enclosures. In Outlook (not IE), if an RSS feed contains an enclosure, you get a hyperlink to the file in the enclosure, but you can’t right click the link and ask to download the file. You can only Select, Open or Copy the hyperlink. * In IE, when viewing a raw feed, a right hand column sometimes lists the number of posts per category within the feed - for example when looking at feedburner feeds. However, when looking at .Text feeds, the categories disappear. What XML does IE7 require to get the categories working for a feed? Shouldn’t it be able to parse different ways of categorizing posts? * The RSS Feeds folder only gets updated if you open Outlook and not if you access your mail through Outlook Web Access. Exchange does not check RSS feeds as far as I can see (I’m happy to be proven wrong of course)
That’s enough for now. Seriously, I’m very happy that IE7 doesn’t treat feeds like Firefox does. The live bookmarks thing really doesn’t work for me and stinks of how channels worked in IE which was a blessing. But, and its a big but, they really need to iron this and a load more little things before it’s the nice user experience it could be. And don’t even get me started on blogging from Word….Posted on August 5, 2006 #Geek Stuff