It’s been another busy week in ReadFeeder‘s development, both on the front end and the back end. These changes have improved both ReadFeeder’s performance and responsiveness, as well as it’s usability. I currently have 274 feeds being pulled (207 of them for Michelle alone), and have over 5,000 active articles.
Move to Postgres
ReadFeeder made the jump from MySQL to PostgreSQL, which brought a huge improvement in performance when updating feeds. Thanks to it’s using Django, this required absolutely no code changes whatsoever, just a dump of the data from MySQL and a load into Postgres. This move, combined with code optimization in the update, have reduced or eliminated the noticeable slow down during the twice-hourly feed refreshes, and will allow more accounts to be hosted on the same hardware (it’s currently running on an Amazon EC2 Micro instance).
Import from OPML
Users who have built up a large subscription list in a previous feed reader can now import all of their subscriptions in a single shot, if their previous software can export them as an OPML file (Google Reader has this ability). Feeds imported this way will initially be added without articles, but will have their articles loaded in the background. You can find the Import from OPML link on the Add Feed page.
The side panels have been given a visual update this week. I removed the “all” and “edit” text that took up space and distracted from the panel title, and replaced them with minimalist icons. The blue circle icon that replaces the “all” link sports an extra usability feature: when showing “all”, it will be filled with a smaller blue circle, when showing only specific tags, queues or feeds, it will show a hollow circle. Clicking on it will reset the article filter to show all again.
The feed, queue and tag icons also make an appearance in the page header in the form of a toolbar, which will also take you to their add/edit pages. Also added to this toolbar is a “Home” link, which takes you to your article list without any filtering, and an “Account” link where you can edit your user settings (more on that below). The search box is also available on any page within ReadFeeder, not just while listing articles.
This has been a long overdue feature, and I’m happy to finally have it in place. You no longer have to stick with the randomly generated password I’ve been sending out to users, because this page has a password change form. You can also edit your First and Last name, email address and even your username! This screen will also be the home for user preferences when I start adding them.
That’s all for this update. As always you can get the code, file bugs, or generally keep up with development at ReadFeeder’s project page. If you want to join in on the testing at this early stage, send me an email. For those who are already testing, be sure to file bugs for any error you encounter, or any features you’d like to see added.