Firefox Support for RSS


The latest version of the Firefox browser autodiscovers the RSS feeds of sites that you visit and puts an RSS badge in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Clicking on the badge let's you add the feed to your bookmarks folder. Then, clicking on the bookmark folder gives a list of the most recent posts on that site. At this point, I'd say "good start." Here's why:

The great thing about this little innovation is that it turns certain bookmarks into dynamic, rather than static links. Rather than linking to a site, I get a dynamic folder full of the most recent content on that site. That's good.

Even so, its not a feedreader. The RSS feed looks like a folder and opening the folder gives you the titles without any content. You still have to click out to the site to read the article. Not quite the experience I'm looking for.

So, this is a handy addition, but doesn't collapse my browser and feedreader into a single tool. Still, I'm hopeful. Since Firefox is open source, it will undoubtedly inspire lots of people who want coolness to play with the incorporation of RSS into the browsing experience.

A note about autodiscovery of RSS feeds: The autodiscovery, actually relies on a <link/> tags embedded in the site's homepage. It didn't work for my weblog, so I tweaked it. Here's the right format:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" 
  title=\\"RSS\\" href="{full url to rss file goes here}" />

This is placed in the header. I use Radio for my blog, so I checked a few other Radio-based blogs and they all seemed have the same problem (except a few). They don't even have a <link/> tag. I had one, but it was malformed, at least according to Firebird. Mine had "meta" instead of "alternative." I don't remember why. I checked my Movable Type-based blogs and they all seem fine.