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On Fly Filtering of Subscriptions
posted on Monday, October 16, 2006
SUMMARY [ One of the most unique features of Newzie is that it enables you to select a subset of your subscriptions to be shown in your 'My Subscriptions' panel and apply available commands on those listed subscriptions, such as synchronizing them. In this post, we will get into this feature and give you couple of tips. You will see that, it's such a handy feature that you can't live without it. ]

As a common practice, you always use folders to keep things organized. You put your files, emails and feeds under folders and reach them whenever you need by navigating thru the folder hierarchy. In short, foldering is a good practice to manage high numbers of items.

What if you couldn't remember where you put it? ... Then you have to go thru all folders. This is just one case of many, where you can make use of on-fly filtering, that is, to reach subscriptions fast. In fact, it is mostly used to see group of subscriptions together and separated from others so that you can apply available commands on them, such as synchronizing them.

How to use it? First, you have to define what you like to see by entering a filtering command into the shown field above. Then Newzie lists all matched subscriptions, or non if no one matches with it. After that, as a second step, you either open listed subscriptions or choose any provided command to be applied on that list.

Now, lets get into these two steps and give you couple of handy tips.

Step 1 : Entering a filtering command

By default, Newzie compares the titles of your subscriptions with what you enter into that field. For example, when you type 'nasa', you will get those subscriptions of which titles have 'nasa' substring inside, as shown in the sample screenshot. So, this looks much like a searching but wait, there is more than that, called filtering commands.

Do you know that instead of seeing all subscriptions, you can make Newzie list only those subscriptions that have unread posts inside? You just need to enter 'unreads>0'. Quite neat, huh? As you can see, it's an expression. If you like to be more *selective*, how about listing those subscriptions that have more than 40 unread posts? Entering 'unreads>40' command will do the job.

Like 'unreads' command, there are 4 other commands to be used at filtering from different perspectives. Those are 'updated', 'type', 'priority', and 'under', as shortly described in the table below.

Maybe the most handy of all is the 'updated' command. Basically, it allows you to see specific subscriptions updated within given time interval. Such as entering 'updated<1day' command will list only those subscriptions that updated within the last day. Entering 'updated>1day', however, shows the ones that updated not earilier than a day, such as 2 or 4 days ago.

Here is a very special tip which makes this command so handy. Can you guess what happens if you enter 'updated:', along with comma appended? It shows only updated subscriptions that have new post(s) inside. Note that this is actually what 'Today Panel' does. In other words, by entering this command, your 'My Subscriptions' panel acts like a 'Today Panel' in some way.

Another useful command is the 'type' command. If you are monitoring webpages, you may like to try entering 'type:webpage'. This command lists your monitored webpages and excludes others. Quite handy!

Step 2 : Making use of listed subscriptions

Imagine that you want to synchronize your monitored webpages, but not any other subscription. What you have to do is to enter 'type:webpage' as a filtering command, which lists all your webpages, as just mentioned above. Then open up shown 'More Menu' below and select "Commands on Shown Items > Synchronize them" option. Taa taa, your webpages are getting synchronized.

As a second example, assume that you want to search inside Yahoo-oriented subscriptions. How to do that? Enter 'yahoo' into the filtering field which lists all your Yahoo subscriptions. Then again open up 'More Menu' and select "Commands on Shown Items > Search inside Them" option, which opens up a search dialog to start your search. There you go!

You can easily see that on-fly filtering is a golden feature to select subset of your subscriptions and apply specific commands on them, which saves lots of time of yours.

Now here is your quiz question :-) ... How to change synchronization period of all your subscriptions to, say, 15 minutes cycles? Easy! Just do not enter anything as a filtering command and let all your subscriptions listed, then open 'More Menu' and select "Commands on Shown Items > Change their synch period" option, which opens up a dialog window. Enter '15' into the edit field and and click 'OK'. You are done!

Keeping the list up-to-date

Maybe the most powerful side of on-fly filtering is that shown items are always kept up-to-date. That is to say, when any of the listed items goes out of the filtering criteria, it is removed immediately. Or visa versa; if any not-listed item satisfies the criteria, it gets listed automatically.

Lets give an example on this. Suppose that you enter 'unreads>0' to see those unread subscriptions. After marking unread posts as read, if any subscription has no unread post left, it is automatically removed from the list. This certainly helps you manage listed items by keeping those unwanted things out of sight.

Seeing from different angles

Since the fact that 'My Subscriptions' panel can show your subscriptions in list and tree-view modes, combining these two features provides you a very special environment to manage high numbers of subscriptions.

You can see those filtered subscriptions either listed or in the tree hierarchy. Note that seeing them in tree-view blends the usage of foldering with on-fly filtering. For example, when you filter and 20 subscriptions are listed, you can see them under their folders, in some way grouped.

Our Advice?

We use 'updated:' command most of the time. By doing this, you only have to deal with those updated subscriptions that have new post inside, not all of them. This is what we want, right? Reaching the latest content quickly! And since Newzie keeps the list up-to-date, as you read all new posts of a subscription, it is removed from the list automatically, meaning that you're done with it.

Another suggestion is 'unreads>0' command, if you like to get rid of those unread subscriptions.

To learn more ...

If you want to learn more about filtering commands, just enter 'help:' command like entering a filtering command. Newzie automatically opens up associated help documentation. Or you can check online documentation by following these links.

On-Fly Subscriptions Filtering
How to filter subscriptions based on their title
How to filter subscriptions based on their assigned priority levels
How to filter subscriptions based on their last updated dates
How to filter subscriptions based on their types
How to filter subscriptions based on the folder they are placed under

If you want to filter based on some criteria that you have in mind but couldn't figure out how to do that, please let us help you. Send your question at or use 'Contact Us' panel to send your message quickly without having to use your email. Also we are looking forward to hear your suggestions to make on-fly filtering better.

Hope you like this little tutorial and see the benefit of on-fly filtering. Please join us at the next tutorial.

posted on Monday, October 16, 2006 | Permalink ( # )
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