Monday, March 10, 2008

Google Reader Shortcut Bug

Procrastinators of the world! Troubling news...

I'm a big fan of Google Reader, and by big fan I mean total addict. I need my feeds and I need them now. However, it looks like there was an update to the program last Wednesday, and I've got bugs! Specifically, I'm a big fan of the keyboard shortcuts (j and k for life) and they are not working like they should. When I click a link to read a story, read said story, close the tab and come back to Google Reader, the keyboard shortcuts don't work until I click in the window. I've confirmed the bug on Firefox on both Mac OS X and Linux. This may sound trivial, but it has really cut into my procrastination productivity.

If you are a fan of Google Reader (bonus points if you are reading this in Google Reader right now) and have also noticed this bug, let Google know by posting a message to the bug's thread on the official Google Reader problems forum.


Tommy Vernieri said...

I too noticed this serious problem.

If you Shift-Tab after clicking a link in an item, focus will move back through the item's links, to its title and then to the entire item. When the entire item has focus you can use the keyboard shortcuts again. Whew!

I agree that I liked the old behavior more, but it would be nice if there was a way to easily move focus back and forth between the reader application and the current item, making the Tab key more useful. It would allow you to j/k through items and then i (for bringing focus to the current item) and Tab, Tab, Tab through an item's links. You'd then press Ctrl+Enter (or your browser's equivalent) to open the link in a new background tab and then l (for list view) to bring focus back to the list and enable the rest of the keyboard shortcuts again.

Right now, it seems that the Tab key is ignored after clicking in the list view (before clicking on a link in an article). Though Shift-Tab is not ignored, it brings focus to the bottom of the list without scrolling it into view or drawing a focus rectangle.

Looks like Google is working on fixing it though.

Voyagerfan5761 said...

I too noticed this. I've seen similar issues with apps like Remember The Milk. In that app, changing tabs and then coming back to the RTM tab makes the keyboard shortcuts fail until you click the page (that's been my solution).

Shortcut focus issues are on my own blog topic list. Now I have another place to link to. :) Cheers for the great post!

Mihai Parparita said...

We think we've restored the previous behavior (at least when closing a tab/window and coming back to Reader). A refresh should pick up the new code.

Mihai Parparita
Google Reader Engineer

Unknown said...

I'm just sad that Google Reader doesn't work with Google for domains. I'd use it all the time if they could get that to work.