Subscribe: Comments on: RSS, XML, none of the above?
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Preview: Comments on: RSS, XML, none of the above?

Comments on: RSS, XML, none of the above?

The media pundit's pundit. Written by NYC insider Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine covers news, media, journalism, and politics.

Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 02:44:16 +0000


By: Kevin Marks

Sun, 25 Dec 2005 19:46:30 +0000

My point Dave, is that when the browser detects a feed and shows that icon, clicking on it does something useful. Personally, I found the feed:// method to be a reasonable one for handing a feed over to the users' preferred reader, as this is clearer than the MIME-type based config, even if it is a minor infringement by calling it a protocol. FeedBurner do a good job of making the feed look human-readable in a browser.

By: pt

Sun, 25 Dec 2005 18:05:40 +0000

i think i'll have the icon on a page go to a a page that explains what rss is, all the feeds people can use, etc. what i can't control is what happens in the browser(s). what i'd like to be able to do is tell the browser what to do when the user clicks the icon in the address bar/chrome/whatever. for example onrssclick open aboutrss.html - that would give each page, site and author a way to either link directly to the feed or to a page of all the feeds/things a user can do. just an idea.

By: Jeff Harrell

Sun, 25 Dec 2005 04:31:59 +0000

The whole notion of including links to feeds on Web pages is quaint at best. The protocol for browser auto-discovery is well established. The fact that Microsoft can't be bothered to release an update for Internet Explorer that takes advantage of this protocol is a whole 'nother issue.


Sat, 24 Dec 2005 20:43:51 +0000

If the RSS icon is something the user doesn't recognize, it isn't going to ruin their expectations to click on that icon and be presented with a mess of XML they can't decipher. However if it (or whatever) is adapted as a defacto standard, users who are also RSS consumers will be aware--via documentation in their feedreader/aggregator, via repeated exposure, etc--of what that icon is, and what they do with that information.

By: Dave Winer

Sat, 24 Dec 2005 19:19:48 +0000

About Microsoft, they're going to do whatever they want to do, I've tried to reason with them about this, but they went their own way. Imho, again, it won't work. Users will ignore their icon, as they do in Firefox. It's meaningless and easy to overlook.

By: Dave Winer

Sat, 24 Dec 2005 19:18:34 +0000

Kevin, that's *not* a problem, it's transparency, and it gives us developers an incentive to make sure our technology is understandable to ordinary people. People said the same thing about HTML, but look at this comment form, it has instructions that are in terms of the same kind of language you'd see in a simple RSS feed. It's also like the data center guys before the PC came along. They said users could never handle having to deal with their own data, floppy disks, hard drives, etc. It turns out the users were totally capable of dealing with it and routed around those that tried to care for them too much. You hear this argument from super-techies, but hardly ever from the users they're trying to protect. Instead of hiding the technology, work on keeping it simple. It's a much better use of your time, imho.

By: Carson Fire

Sat, 24 Dec 2005 19:07:43 +0000

I'd be very careful about anything that Microsoft wants to be a standard. What is that, anyway? An antennae ball? A transmission orb? The curved lines suggest an audio broadcast. Even after being told, I don't seen "XML/RSS newsfeed" in that image, anywhere. Where has this become a standard?

By: Kevin Marks

Sat, 24 Dec 2005 17:34:44 +0000

It looks rather like the OS X menubar WiFi signal strength icon, but I suppose that is unavoidable. The real problem is that clicking on an RSS icon gives a page of what looks like garbage most of the time, because raw XML isn't pretty.

By: frankbruno

Sat, 24 Dec 2005 17:33:45 +0000

Which I still think looks eerily similar to the old Apple Airport icon: