The joy, or maybe the curse, of building ones own tools is the need to tweak and fix the little annoyances that no one else will ever see, even if they are purely cosmetic and don't stop anything working.
Over the past couple of days I have added a function to update the unread items count on the fly without having to perform a database query and also one to reload automatically if I read all the items on a page. Little things that just needed me to swipe down but now happen without intervention.
By this token, I need to go further and have the unread status of feeds auto-refresh but that's a bit more complicated, although I have an idea of how to make it work.
A while ago I added an option to reset the "lastbuilddate" or "pubdate" for each feed held in the database meaning I could force /reader to parse all feeds rather than those that had been updated post these values. It appears that not all feeds use these dates or necessarily write them correctly meaning I had to throw in an additional check, in certain circumstances, against the most recent post.
All well and good.
What I don't have is a way of alerting if a feed appears to be dead, i.e. the URL no longer exists. After resetting the lastbuilddates and reparsing the feeds it was only when I checked the database that I noticed a couple showing 0: a sure sign of a problem. Sure enough, those feeds no longer existed — at least, not at that URL.
If a feed cannot be found I need to visually indicate this in the tray, immediately bringing it to my attention.