Follow

The use of RSS buttons which lead you directly to the RSS feed in your web browser is one of the greatest crimes ever committed on the web

@sir So what should a site do instead to make the feed discoverable?

@sir @clonejo nothing wrong with using both, IMO, the meta tag for those brave enough to feed your site URL to a feed reader, and the marked-up link for those wondering if that'd work (since there's not enough sites offering a feed), and those using a client that doesn't do the discovery song and dance.

@clonejo @sir Browsers used have a feature that when they detected an RSS/Atom feed in meta tags, they showed an icon next to the URL bar and when user clicked on it, they got into their feed reader app. That was the proper way to do it.

@paper @sir that was indeed a good feature, but the problem remains. IMO we should make the RSS feature visible, even if only to introduce people to RSS feeds.

@clonejo @sir agreed, we definitely should. Even most of CS students nowadays don't know what RSS/Atom. imo there is not enough interest in RSS feeds because no-one promotes them and no-one promotes them because they think people will not visit the websites (no profit from ads) when they can read it in their feed reader. Not having full content of articles is a way to combat this, but it's ugly and most feed readers have a way to download text of that article. non-commercial web does not have this problem, but how many of us are there? 1k? 10k? And we usually create content non-tech people would not be able to enjoy or they are not able to find it - who searches for blogs in 2020? Only we do.

@sir Even more than wrapping sites in JabbaShit, so that the simplest page takes minutes to load and render? I think the overuse of JavaScript is much more of an issue than accidentally seeing the text of a feed.

@sir i don’t know how browsers don’t ship with a simple rss feed reader. Feels like if we were smart we could have avoided much of the ills of social media.

@dredmorbius @sir @selea Even if non-tech people click on that icon, they see gibberish and never click again.

@sir I love it for being able to copy the link to the feed and paste it to newsboat's config - no idea if newsboat supports autodiscovery as frankly I've never tried or even known that was a thing until this thread (though I do remember, briefly, those RSS buttons in Firefox's address bar way back when)

@klardotsh we should have emphasized auto-discovery from the very start, and never had the buttons in the first place. Then it would be universally supported (though it's almost universal now anyway) and you wouldn't have to think about it.

@sir @klardotsh
We had auto-discovery, and then browsers removed it. Browsers also knew how to deal properly with a feed when you clicked on the link, and then they removed that feature too. (Though Safari still knows how to deal with Atom feeds!)

Blame the web browser authors for breaking the buttons, don't blame people for putting the buttons there in the first place.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!