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Feed Aggregations - What do you think?

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View Poll Results: What do you think about these feeds?
Gives a great overview of news, blogs, jobs and journals throughout the internet. 7 87.50%
Do not add anything new. It is better to visit the sources directly. 0 0%
Not usefull at all, remove everything. 0 0%
I like the interface. 6 75.00%
The interface needs improvements (please post details). 1 12.50%
The interface is terrible. 0 0%
My screen is not wide enough for this interface. 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old   February 20, 2012, 10:40
Question Feed Aggregations - What do you think?
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I have been playing around with various types of feed aggregations. Here are the feeds currently available:
What do you think about this? Could this type of feed aggregations be a useful addition to CFD Online?

Note that we could add more than these examples. If you have any suggestions please let us know of things we could create this kind of feed aggregations for.

Last edited by pete; February 25, 2012 at 17:55. Reason: Updated with journal feeds
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Old   February 20, 2012, 15:23
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I added a few more feeds and two new sections, one for jobs and one for vendors.

The feeds are now also available from the main drop-down menu.

Please let me know what you think about this and if you have any suggestions on how it could be improved.
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Old   February 23, 2012, 10:26
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well done, i like it.

just a small bug: when i opened the blog feed link i recived an error message saying "Error fetching feeds: qps rate exceeeded" but after cliking ok everything apperead normal.

this happened on FF 10.0.2 on winXP pro 64, i'll try later other browsers/OSs and report back if there are any issues.

edit: happened also with the news link. it doesn't happen if i re-enter the page. just the first time.
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Old   February 23, 2012, 11:08
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I am not sure when or why this error appears. It happens sometimes for me also, but not very often. It is an error produced by the Google Feed API, I do not think that it is caused by CFD Online. I will surf aroud a bit more to try to see if we could do anyhing differently to avoid this error.
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Old   February 25, 2012, 12:41
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I included a possibility to automatically select the number of entries to display per feed. By default this is set to 6 for News, Blogs, Vendors and 10 for Journals and Jobs.

At the bottom of each feed page you can now select the number of entries to display. Possible selections are from 1 to 20 entries.

If you select a high number some feeds will not be able to display as many entries as you want because they have their own internal limits on how many entries they distribute.

Your selection will be stored in a cookie that your browser will remember for 30 days.
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Old   February 25, 2012, 17:58
Default Journal Feeds Added
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I have added a new feed page with links to several CFD and fluid dynamics journals. You can not get the full-text articles from these feeds, but it can be a good service to quickly browse through the table-of-contents and read the abstracts of the most recent CFD journals. Did I miss any important journal that you would want me to add?

Here are the Journal Feeds
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Old   March 3, 2012, 11:09
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Hi Peter,

It's looking very nice!

I've got a few feature proposals/requests:
  • Flexible distribution from single to multiple columns. I say this because on wide screens, it's a bit bothersome to scroll down to keep reading the headlines.
    The direct preview could then possibly be shown on a floating "div".
  • This might be a bit redundant: a feed for each aggregation. Because that way it's easier to keep track of what's new, by using an RSS reader. You could always then place an ad or an "brought to you by" footer on each feed, if you must
  • It feels that the aggregations are a bit... non-referenced. In the "age of wikipedia", unreferenced stuff is, well, unreferenced. In other words, it would be useful to confirm what feed each group refers to, not just by name, but by URL as well. Although I understand why this might not have been done yet...
Keep up the good work!
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Old   March 3, 2012, 16:08
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Bruno,

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions.

I made the headings for each feed clickable to make it more referenced, as you suggested. It should have been there from the beginning. It was just me being lazy, I apologize. We are using material from other sites here and we should of course reference them properly.

About the multi-column layout. I will look at a way to change the layout to better make use of the browser width. It could either be user-selectable or it could be a cookie set by a javascript that measures the browser width and automatically sets the number of columns.

About the floating div that you mentioned. I'm not sure of what you want. Do you want a div on the right side, containing the content of each link, that automatically floats upwards and downward to always sit at the top of the browser window or what do you mean?

About the rss feed suggestion. If you want to use rss you should use the original rss feeds. I'm not sure if it is okay to create an rss feed from a bunch of other rss feeds. It sounds a bit like stealing and I'm a bit hestitant if it is legal.
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Old   March 3, 2012, 17:26
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Thumbs up for the links to the full page from which the RSS was retrieved from. I was thinking more about the RSS link itself, but this is much better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
About the floating div that you mentioned. I'm not sure of what you want. Do you want a div on the right side, containing the content of each link, that automatically floats upwards and downward to always sit at the top of the browser window or what do you mean?
The idea was that when using the multi-column structure, the live preview can be done the same way it is for attached pictures here in the forum, where a "floating pseudo-window" shows the content until it's closed, although it blocks access from everything else on the page. At least it keeps the reader focused on what he/she is reading Although I don't know how this might look on smartphones and small tablets, but I'm not sure if this is on the specs for these pages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
About the rss feed suggestion. If you want to use rss you should use the original rss feeds. I'm not sure if it is okay to create an rss feed from a bunch of other rss feeds. It sounds a bit like stealing and I'm a bit hestitant if it is legal.
Indeed, I can pick the ones I want and put them on my RSS reader. But if I want all of them, it'll take a while to add them all
Basically the idea would be to do something similar to what Google News does on its own RSS - for each item on the feed, it: provides the source, a summary of each news, as well as related news (not essential here). It would be basically a re-tweet And basically not much bigger than a tweet.
As for adding ads to the feeds: if not shown on the re-packaged or re-RSS item - which could border legal issues - it could be placed as part of the aggregation feed itself, where every X RSS items, one independent item would give an ad or a news link to one of the supporters... Of course this probably would also need approval from the sponsors, since I'm not familiar with the ad protocols used here.

Last edited by wyldckat; March 3, 2012 at 17:26. Reason: typo
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Old   March 4, 2012, 18:06
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I've been testing different layouts on the News Feeds. It is now possible to select how many entries to display per feed, what font-size to use for the titles and what width the title and content fields should have. All settings are stored in cookies and will be remembered by your browser. That way you can adjust the layout to suit the browser width you prefer.

What do you think about the new layout features? Any other suggestions of layout improvements?

Btw, the font size setting is buggy in IE, I do not know why yet. Chrome and Firefox works though.
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Old   March 5, 2012, 13:43
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It's looking good!

I was expecting the multi-column option, so it didn't feel complete at first

But if the objective is to keep the page as simple/clean as possible, I suppose this might be the way to go.
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Old   March 5, 2012, 15:16
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Personally I like the ability to just be able to hover over the titles and get a quick glimpse of the content to the right. If you want to read the content carefully you just click the link to visit the original source directly. With multi-column titles you would have to use some sort of div for the content that opens and floats over and covers some of the columns once you click on a link. That takes away the easy "hover to display content" possibility and it also makes it more difficult to visit the original source.
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Old   March 5, 2012, 16:49
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I know... and it's always best to keep things simple. Over-complicating it will only lead to maintenance issues down the line.

But still, I'll see if I can hack something with Greasemonkey and post it here if I have any success with a multi-column system
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Old   March 7, 2012, 16:48
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I have done more layout improvements. Now the date is showed by default to the right of each title. At the bottom of each feed-page you now have the ability to modify the following layout settings:
  • Number of entries to display per source
  • If the date should be shown or not
  • The width in pixels of the title section
  • The width in pixels of the content section
The pages use a lot of css styling and javascript and it can be a bit difficult for old browsers to render this properly. I have tested it with the latest versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari on a Windos 7-64 bit computer. If you notice big problems with other browser/computer combinations please let me know.
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Old   March 7, 2012, 18:18
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Here's a bit of feedback:
  • Ubuntu 11.10 x86_64
  • Firefox 10.0.2
  • Cleaned out a few of the cookies that seemed related to the feeds.
  • There seems to be an issue with text not being trimmed in the right place. See attachment.
  • With date off, there is still a problem with the trimming not working as intended.
  • Unfortunately, "Save Page As" doesn't give a proper output for attaching

On Chromium on the same Ubuntu installation can show the page without any problems.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screenshot at 2012-03-07 22_08_40.jpg (74.1 KB, 2 views)
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Old   March 8, 2012, 04:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyldckat View Post
Here's a bit of feedback:
  • There seems to be an issue with text not being trimmed in the right place. See attachment.
I can confirm this issue on SuSE linux 11.3 with Opera 11.62. Another issue is that the "popup"-box that appears on hovering makes the page wider than my screen. Properly reading the box contents would require side-scrolling while hovering.

Edit: I just realized I can fix that myself by using the settings at the bottom of the page to adjust "Width of Content".
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Old   March 8, 2012, 05:19
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Thanks for the feedback. I will look a bit more at other ways of doing the trimming. It is currently done using a javascript routine that sets up a hidden element and measures the width to trim the strings correctly. I thought that I had found a fairly stable and compatible way to do it since it worked on all my test browsers (Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari on Windows 7), but that was apparently not the case :-(
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Old   March 8, 2012, 05:33
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I haven't check the javascript code you're using but I suggest jQuery, since it usually has everything working on all browsers
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Old   March 8, 2012, 06:00
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I have done a few css modifications to make the browsers that fail the javascript trimming to instead show something that will be trimmed directly by the browser css styling. Is it looking any better for you guys now?
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Old   March 8, 2012, 06:08
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Nope, still the same problem. This time Firefox 10.0.2 on Ubuntu 10.04 i686.

When I hover each link, the excess title text does go under the date, but the last 2 of 2012 disappears.
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