22 March 2005

Mystery solved: Deciphering Feedburner's options


Comment selections do not appear to be integrating

FeedBurner has two sets of selections related to content length. One set of commands has three options to either show full content; just titles; or some other option. Uses select form a dropdown menu.

There is a second selection related to the specific comment-length. Users can choose to limit the number of comments by total characters. Users type in a specific number.

In the first option, I chose “show full content”; and in the second option typed in only 5 characters to appear.

Guess what: Despite asking that the total each item of the feed to only be 5 comments, it showed the full comment.

Failure mode 1: Numbers first drop-down: Less likely

My guess: The two commands are not integrating. The first-option overrides the second. Specifically, my guess is that because one of the options is a number-entry, and the other selection is a choice-of-three-entry, the receiving commands are weighted more heavily to a specific number-option, as opposed to letting the two options logically integrate. I’m not putting much weight on this one.

Failure mode 2: Logic arrays developed separately, not fully integrated: More likely

The other option is that there is a logic-array associated with both sets of options that were not adequately fleshed out. The two option-arrays could have been separately developed.

However, after the PodCasting skin was added, the two arrays were never brought back together to make sure that all the options made sense. I’m more inclined to believe that this latter-approach might be at the root of the problem.

My request: That there is a way to have these two functions’ options be consistent, and integrate. Here are some examples:

  • A. If I choose one of the three options in the first selection; then those should be overridden by the second. If I choose to show the full content [not just titles], that options should be tailored by what I place in the second.

  • B. Another approach is to put both options in a single command; combined the questions about comment length [title, full content, or partial] when asking the questions about the length of the comments to show.