Saturday, November 23, 2013

Version 2.0.6 is released!

Version 2.0.6 was released today.

The previous version, version 2.0.5 was done in a bit of a hurry in order to get LuckNews working for customers who had upgraded to Mavericks.  Since I wanted to get that release out quickly, I didn't add very much to the release.

Version 2.0.6 is a slightly larger release, although I suspect that most customers won't really notice any differences.  There was a lot of activity 'under the hood' of LuckNews.  The application is more solid in some important areas - even though you probably won't notice any difference, its just better.

One of the visible changes in this release is the addition of an Activity Window.  This window can be brought up by selecting the menu item in the Window menu.  The Activity Window gives you some insight into what LuckNews is doing when it goes to the network to do its work.  If you are finding a refresh very slow, this should give you insight into what the offending subscription is that is causing the slowness.  This is more or less an aid to help when things so wrong or for those who are technically minded - use this to help diagnose network problems.

A change you may or may not notice is that LuckNews has changed the way it saves its changes to its database.  In older versions, the database was updated infrequently.  If you forced LuckNews to quit (using the Force Quit menu item, not the normal Quit method) you might have lost changes such as the article 'has been read' status not being stored properly.  Now LuckNews saves its changes to its database continually.  You probably won't notice this...but its better now.

The refresh performance has been improved.  If you only have a few subscriptions, you may not notice anything.  If you have a lot of subscriptions, you may notice that refresh is faster now.  The refresh for my copy of LuckNews with the slow network I have where I am now went from taking over a minute to around 15 seconds.  You may or may not experience similar results.

I have also had complaints from some users that the in-app purchase process wasn't working correctly.  I've made a few changes and some improvements in this area.  One thing I've found is that if the in-app purchase process isn't working for you...sometimes it helps if you quit LuckNews, restart and try again.  I have no idea why this sometimes solves the problem.  It seems like this may be a problem in the Apple in-app purchase framework.

One last thing I'll mention is that there have been improvements made to the update process.  I found that there were a few subscriptions which would constantly create new articles even though I had already read the article.  This is different from an article being updated by the author - some feeds were behaving poorly and the same article would generate multiple copies in LuckNews.  After examining what was going on in more detail, the problem turned out to be bad RSS data for some subscriptions.  But knowing it is bad RSS data doesn't really help users who are annoyed by the same article appearing multiple times.  I think I have found a way to deal with these bad feeds now.  If the RSS (or Atom or RDF) subscriptions you subscribe to follow the standards properly, they will work properly in LuckNews, as always.  If the subscriptions violate the standards, they should work better now.  Perhaps not perfectly, but much better...

There are a few other improvements in many areas.  There are also some major changes internally in some areas which I won't go into.

This is now the 14th release of the application.  Its come a long way since version 1.0 was release early this year.  Of those 14 releases, 12 were done in Seattle and this is the second in a row from California.  This will be the last USA version for some time - the next update will come from Mexico!

Enjoy the new release!