I've been using the aggregator Lektora exclusively for the last week or so. I really wanted to see if the new style that Lektora presents would be valuable for me. I have to say that after moving from Bloglines to NewsGator for Outlook last year, I find myself drawn to the different way Lektora sets up the reading experience.
The biggest difference is that there is no sense of read / unread. Lektora merely keeps track of articles based on the day you've downloaded them, so that you can look at "the most recent news," all news from today, or go back into the archives from previous days. I don't know how long Lektora will keep articles around in archive mode.
The second large difference is that I have to tell Lektora when I want to read new material. To stay with the newspaper metaphor: I have to go buy a newspaper. At first I thought this would be a barrier, but it hasn't been too bad.
Things I like
- Works in Firefox (and Internet Explorer). No additional application to open.
- There is an option to open links "under" the Lektora tab. I like reading the current set of posts then going off to look at the additional details. Some of the other client-based readers I've tested have options to open tabs in the client themselves, which helps with this issue.
- Lektora makes the internal search very obvious and quick to use. With NewsGator, I preferred to use Google Desktop Search to find the items in my Outlook files. Setting up one-pass Outlook searches takes longer than the search itself. Will Google Desktop (or any other desktop search) index information in the Lektora database of articles in the future? A quick tests suggests it doesn't work today.
What could be even better
- The "email this article" button creates a plain text email that looks terrible in comparison to the html presented in Lektora or on the ordinal home page. It would be nice if the email was created in HTML mode and let me decide if I want to downgrade to text only. (Make it an option, for example.)
- Make the title of the web feed clickable to the home page of the blog. Make the title stand out better - maybe let me add it to the tagline that currently displays the author's name and posting time stamp.
- The free version of Lektora has ads interspersed through the feeds. They are fairly unobtrusive. They are marked as "Sponsored results by Chikita." I'd like this to better indicate that this is Lektora-specific advertising to clearly differentiate from people who are embedding ads in their web feeds.
- Lektora displays a maximum number of items per "page." This is configurable, but I would like it to be more evident that I have gone over the limit and that there are additional pages. (The "next" button is at the absolute bottom and is easy to miss if your limit is large - like 100 items.)
- For some reason, Lektora doesn't always understand Technorati search web feeds. I have a search feed for knowledge management, and Lektora usually doesn't show me the titles / url to the entries.
- More options to let me decide how things are displayed and done.
- It's not really clear what is the difference between "customize" and "options." I would merge them together and provide clear sections: appearance, organize feeds, manage feeds (or something to that effect).
- Feed editing options. There is currently no way to edit the name or location (URL) of a web feed. In fact, I can't even see the URL of my feeds unless I export the opml file.
- I'd like to know if there are problems with any of my feeds, particularly those that I imported via opml. I don't particularly care to see it in my face, but maybe in that feed management pane I could get information about feeds that Lektora has been unsuccessful in reading. (I haven't seen anything from a certain blogger recently.)
- When I click on an XML file, Lektora sees that it's a web feed and asks if I want to add the feed to my subscriptions. This is great. But I am a techie, sometimes I want to see the XML. How do I do that?