Release notes for RTM Release 3
New/changed in this build:
New permissions required
Please be advised that the first time you run this release (if you had the previous release installed already), you will be prompted to re-authorize Ferret with App.net. This is because we have added private messaging support, which requires a different permission from the user than the one for normal posts. App.net will prompt you to authorize Ferret to do public and private messaging on your behalf, as well as interact with the file api and update your profile. The latter two functions are needed for features that will appear in an upcoming release, and we are trying to minimize the number of times you have to re-authorize.
Navigation buttons added to the header
The application header now has three icons/buttons on the right side. The screenshot below shows the 3 different icons/buttons. The functions are as follows:
- Home - navigates to the Home screen
- All Streams - navigates to the All Streams screen
- Private Messages - navigates to the Private Messages screen
New home screen
Instead of seeing your list of streams when the application loads, you will now see a new home screen which will list your streams, and any private message channels you are a member of (if any).
Currently, clicking on the Streams header text, or any of the stream tiles takes you to the All Streams screen. In future releases, clicking on an individual stream will load a screen displaying only that stream. The stream tiles currently only display the name of the stream. In a future release, additional information will be displayed.
The Private Messages section displays your private message channels. They are sorted by activity, from most recent to least recent. A channel that has one or more messages that you haven't read will have a purple background. A channel that has no unread messages will have a blue background. Whether or not a message is read is determined by the native App.net stream marker, so it doesn't matter if you read it on the Omega or Patter websites or within Ferret or within another App.net application. They all use the same method to determine and set whether a message has been read or not.
Currently, only the top 12 channels with the most recent activity are shown on the Home screen. To view all your channels, go to the Private Message Channels screen by clicking the Private Messages header text, or the Private Messages icon in the app header, or using the Ctrl-M key binding. The limit of showing 12 channels on the home screen will probably be changed to a user preference in a future release, or it will be changed to show only channel with unread messages. If you have an opinion on this, please let us know.
The Private Message tiles show the users who are members of the channel and the date and time of the most recent message on the front of the tile, and then flip and show the most recent message on the back. The Private Message channels are currently refreshed every 15 seconds. This will probably be changed to a user preference in a future release. When the refresh occurs, if a new message has been posted to one of the channels, the sort order of the tiles will change, and the background color will change to indicate a new message has been posted.
Private Message Channels screen
There are currently three different screens dedicated to Private Messaging. The first is the Private Message Channels screen. You can get to it by clicking the Private Messages header text on the Home screen, or the Private Messages icon in the app header, or using the Ctrl-M key binding anywhere in the app.
Currently, this screen only displays your subscribed channels. The ability to view channels that you have unsubscribed from or muted will be added in the next release, as will the ability to unsubscribe from or mute individual channels.
Once you select a channel from this screen or the Home screen, you will be taken to a screen that displays the messages and users for that channel. Please see section 6 below for details.
Create a new Private Message
New Private Message Channels are created from the Private Message Channel screen (detailed in section 4 above). From the bottom app bar, select the Add Channel button. The screen below will load.
The instructions on the screen are hopefully self-explanatory, but please note that when the drop-down appears with possible matches for the user you are searching for, you must select a user from the list, either by clicking/tapping the user's name, or by navigating with the arrow keys and pressing the the Enter key.
Once you have added all the users, created a message and pressed the Send button, you will be directed to the screen detailed in section 6 below.
Note: the way App.net channels work is a bit different than how you might expect. They are less like emails or a Twitter DM and more like a permanent private chat room. If you try to create a new channel with the same group of users you have a channel with already, the old channel will be used, and all the previous messages will be displayed. There is currently no way to create a new empty channel with the same set of users you already have a channel with.
Note: Once a channel is created you cannot add new users to it, nor remove users that currently have access. To create a channel with additional users, or fewer users, you need to create a new channel.
View a Private Message Channel
Once you select a channel from the Home screen or the Private Message Channels screen, or have just created a new channel using the screen detailed in section 5, you will be taken to this screen. The messages will be sorted in ascending order (most recent messages at the bottom). The list of messages is refreshed every 2 seconds.
The most recent 25 messages are loaded when this screen loads. If there are more than 25 messages available, a button titled "Load Older Messages" will appear at the top of the message list. Each time you press it, 25 more messages will be loaded. Once all the messages for the channel have been loaded, the button will disappear.
The list of users that are members of the channel appears in the column on the right under the People header. Clicking a user's username will add their username to the message text box at the current cursor position.
All new post and message text boxes now have the native Windows 8 spell check enabled.
All posts and messages now display a relative time ("24 seconds ago", "an hour ago", "last Tuesday") instead of the date and time. If you want to know the exact date and time it was posted, mouse over the relative time. The relative time updates whenever the stream updates (every 2 seconds for private message channels, and the frequency you set in preferences for post streams). We will probably add a user preference in the next release to allow you to choose between the old style and the new style.
Enhanced key binding support
Ctrl-H will navigate to the Home screen.
Ctrl-S will navigate to the Streams screen.
Ctrl-M will navigate to the Private Message Channels screen.
As in the last release, Ctrl-N will open the New post window, if you are on a screen you can post from.
Bugs fixed in this build:
- App.net does not allow users to reply to reposts. Previously, this was not handled well in Ferret. Ferret would allow you to create the reply, and then display an error when you tried to post it. Now, the reply is actually made to the original post, per App.net guidelines.
- Previously, the New Post button on the bottom app bar was not displayed if you had selected a post or a stream. The app bar is showing context-sensitive functions at that point, but you also might want to create a new post, so that button is now visible. You can also use the Ctrl-N key binding at any time to display the New post window.
- If you removed the Mentions stream from your screen, and then re-added it, it stayed paused. This has been fixed.
- There was a sporadic crash that would occur when the application was changed to Snapped view, and then the user navigated to a new screen or tried to add a stream. This is due to a bug in the native Windows control. A workaround has been implemented to prevent the crash from occurring.
- Previously, if you made a change to your stream column order, and then switched accounts (if you have multiple accounts), the changes were not saved. This has been fixed.
- While in Snapped view on the Private Message Channel screen, the list of users (under the People header) is not displayed. It is only visible while the view is unsnapped.
- There is an issue with the Back button not appearing in the upper left corner of the screen if you navigate to the home screen or streams screen under certain circumstances. This will be fixed in the next release.
- If you pause a stream for a long time, and then unpause it, if more than 200 posts were posted in the interim, there will be a gap in the stream. This issue will be fixed soon. Until then, you can work around this issue by removing and then re-adding the stream, or closing and re-opening the app.