Newsflash 3.2

Another small feature update just in time for gnome 46.

Subscribe via CLI

Lets start with something that already went into version 3.1.4: you can subscribe to feeds via CLI now. The idea is that this is a building block for seamlessly subscribing to websites from within a browser or something similar. Lets see how this develops further.

Scrap all new Articles of a Feed

If Gitlab upvotes is a valid metric, this feature was the most requested one so far. Feed settings gained a new toggle to scrap the content of new articles. The sync will complete normally and in a second operation Newsflash tries to download the full content of all new articles in the background.

This is especially useful when there is no permanent internet connection. Now you can let Newsflash sync & download content while on WiFi and read the complete articles later even without an internet connection.

Update Feed URL

The local RSS backend gained the ability to update the URL where the feed is located (see the screenshot above). Sadly none of the other services support this via their APIs as far as I know.

Clean Database

The preferences dialog gained the ability to drop all old article and “vacuum” the database right away. Depending on the size of the database file this can take a few seconds, that’s why it is not done in the background during normal operations yet.

(btw: I’m not sure if I should keep the button as “destructive-action”)

Internal Refactoring

Just a heads up that a lot of code managing the loading of the article list and keeping track of the displayed article and its state was refactored. If there are any regressions, please let me know.


Christian Hergerts constant stream of profiling blog posts finally got to me. So I fired up sysprof. Fully expecting to not be knowledgeable enough to draw any meaningful conclusions from the data. After all, the app is pretty snappy on my machine ™, so any improvements must be hard to find and even harder to solve. But much to my surprise about 30 minutes later two absolutely noticeable low hanging fruit performance problems were discovered and fixed.

So I encourage everyone to just try profiling your code. You may be surprised what you find.

Adwaita Dialogs & Removing Configurable Shortcuts

Of course this release makes use of the new Adwaita Dialogs. For all the dialogs but one:

Configuring custom keybindings still spawns a new modal window. Multiple overlapping dialogs isn’t the greatest thing in the world. This and another annoying issue made me think about removing the feature from Newsflash completely.

The problem is that all shortcuts need to be disabled whenever the user is about to enter text. Otherwise the keybindings with a single letter cannot be entered as text.

All major feed readers (feedly, innoreader, etc) have a fixed set of cohesive keyboard shortcuts. I’ve been thinking about either having 2-3 shortcut configurations to choose from or just hard-coding keybindings all together.

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Do you use custom shortcuts? Would you be fine with a well thought out but hard-coded set of shortcuts? Would you prefer to choose from a few pre-defined shorcut configurations? Let me know, and help me find the best keybindings for all the actions that can be triggered via keyboard.