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Brief notes on IE7

I upgraded to Internet Explorer 7.0 on three machines this morning. I have to say the experience was very smooth, though not especially quick. You have to pass a validation dialog as well as a new licence agreement, so I guess there are hassles if Microsoft decides your not on “Genuine Windows”; but plenty has already been said on that subject.

IE7 is long overdue and probably won’t wean many off Firefox, but it’s a decent upgrade, with tabbed browsing perhaps the number one feature; of course FireFox has had this since its first release. Even if you use Firefox, I’d still be inclined to upgrade to IE7 simply because it’s pretty much a system component. You may not use it for browsing; but embedded IE will likely still turn up in a few apps you use. Web developers will need it for testing if nothing else.

I’m particularly interested in the centralized RSS platform which comes as part of IE7. I’m a satisfied user of Omea Reader, which is superb and deserves more attention than it gets; but I really like the idea of a single feed store in the OS, so I thought I should try migrating to IE7. First question: can IE7 import an OPML feed list? It turns out that it can, but the feature exposes some silliness in Microsoft’s new browser.

You see, Microsoft has gone for a clean look with no menu by default, just a few icons and an address bar. Unfortunately, this means there is significant functionality hidden by default, and finding it is not particularly intuitive. In this case, you have to click the Tools drop-down and select Menu Bar, then choose File – Import and Export, then choose Import Feeds.

It worked, I’m glad to say, and now all my subscribed feeds are in IE7. However, now that I’ve realised the importance of the Menu Bar I don’t want to hide it again, so I’ve lost the clean look; in fact, it feels odd having the menu bar below the address bar and I wish I could put it at the top where it belongs.

Will I be able to live with IE7 as a feed reader, or go running back to Omea in a day or two’s time? I’ll let you know.

Finally, a note for any Borland developers reading this. If you use Borland Developer Studio, you need to update the registry to avoid access denied errors with ASP.NET. See Resolving Access Denied errors in the BDS ASP.NET designer with IE7 installed.

Update: A comment to this blog tells me that import and export is also accessible through the Add to favorites icon. So showing the menu bar is not essential after all; it’s just a bit obscure as I’d presumed that Add to favorites only does what its name implies.

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6 thoughts on “Brief notes on IE7”

  1. You can find the import and export function on the add to favourites button. Not particularly intuitive, especially since there’s no arrow indicating a dropdown menu but it’s there nonetheless.

  2. You can find the import and export function on the add to favourites button.

    So it is, thanks! Now if you can you tell me how to sort the feed list, I’ll be really happy. You can sort favourites – right-click, sort by name – but I can’t find any way to sort the feed list other than manually by drag-and-drop at the moment.

    I support I could Export – delete – sort the exported list – Import…

    Tim

  3. I was under the impression that the feeds were automatically sorted alphabetically. Is this not the case? You should have the choice though.

  4. I was under the impression that the feeds were automatically sorted alphabetically. Is this not the case?

    It’s puzzling. I think perhaps I needed to quit and restart IE; they do now sort alphabetically. What’s odd though is that you can drag-and-drop feeds and a horizontal bar appears indicating where the feed will be dropped; but when I drop the feed, it actually moves to the end of the list. Then, when I exit IE and restart, it returns to its sorted position (still not where I dropped it). Doesn’t look quite right to me.

    Tim

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