16 March 2008

Advanced Searching

Over time many users asked to be able to make more complex searches using the search box (e.g. matching multiple terms or doing exclusive matches...). The new unstable release 1.5.1 introduces an "Advanced..." button in the standard search dialog. When you click this button the dialog will change and a dialog very similar to the search folder properties dialog will appear. Here you can define one or matching search rules to realize much more complex queries. This advanced search functionality thereby should now cover a lot more use cases.

Note: Liferea still does not allow you to search only the current feed or all feeds of a given folder. The current DB schema doesn't allow building views with such filters. But given time this might be improved...

12 March 2008

Liferea + Firefox + Ubuntu

Recently quite a few Ubuntu users had troubles getting feed subscription with Firefox to work. In all cases it turned out that the Ubuntu package firefox-gnome-support was missing. So if you are using Ubuntu and Firefox please check if you this package installed!

01 March 2008

Favicons and Hosted Blogging

When looking at your subscription list you might notice that many feeds have the same icon. For example a white-on-orange "B" for Blogger, a blue pencil for LiveJournal, a flame icon for FeedBurner and propably others...

If you visit the website of the respective feeds your browser will usually present a different icon in the URL bar. Now one might ask why cannot Liferea use the same one.

The problem is that there are two ways of retrieving these icons.
  1. Relatively to the URL of the website (e.g. as "<webserver>/favicon.ico")
  2. A specific icon file linked in each HTML documented served.
Of course just placing a "favicon.ico" file in the root directory of the webpage is the easiest way to provide a favicon. But this doesn't work anymore with hosted blogging (as provided by Blogger, LiveJournal and many others) or feed caching (as used by FeedBurner and many others). The hosted blogging solutions just do not allow you to put an "favicon.ico" file anywhere (thereby breaking discovery variant #1) and the feed cachers usually work with URL redirection to serve the cached feed content (and thereby breaking discovery variant #2).

So what should I do to help the feed reader to find my favicon?

Solution for hosted blogging: You cannot rely on a "favicon.ico" file so to replace your providers icon you have to upload an favicon image (with arbitrary name) and add a link to it directly into you HTML template. The link needs to be placed under the <head> tag and could look like this:

<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/png" href="http://myhoster.com/content?blogId=4396446&fileId=4387343">

Note: that Liferea relies on the MIME type and will refuse all images without specified MIME type.

Solution for feed caching: You can either use the "shortcut icon" link mechanism described above or you use Atom feeds you can also specify the original "favicon.ico" file there. For RSS feeds you must fallback to specifying the icon link in the website HTML.

If you think there are better solutions please let me hear about it in the comments!