Better Feed Handling for Firefox 2

I just saw Ben's post about an experimental feature landing on the Firefox 2 nightly. Basically, Firefox 2 will have a better way to handle feeds.

Currently in Firefox 1.5, there are two ways.

  • Through live bookmarks
    Subscribing a feed in Firefox as a live bookmark can be done two ways, the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is that the site is kind enough to put a <link> in the header to show that it has a feed to subscribe. The hard way is that the site only provides links, and you'll have to copy the link manually, go to Bookmarks Manager, and add the feed as a live bookmark yourself.
  • Through newsreaders
    This will need two conditions to make the process streamlined. First, you will have to have a newsreader that registers itself to the feed: pseudo-protocol. Second, the website has to provide a hyperlink that actually uses the feed: protocol, such as the feed links at the footer of WordPress blogs.

I'm quite amazed on how people think alike sometimes...This happened a few weeks ago: I took a look at the feed links that WordPress provides at the footer of my WordPress blog (which I never did), and found out that it utilizes the feed: pseudo-protocol.

A few thoughts ran through. First, I was like, "OK, it's intended for newsreaders that register themselves to the feed: protocol," then, I was like, "but wait, I don't use newsreaders, it would be nice for Firefox to handle it automatically." Then, my third thought came: "hey, why not let the user choose the default action? The user can choose to let Firefox handle it, or the user can decide to let Firefox pass it on to whatever newsreader registered for the feed: protocol."

Now Firefox 2 will go even further. Now when you encounter a feed, Firefox 2 will offer you three options:

  1. Subscribe as live bookmark
  2. Pass it on to the default newsreader
  3. Send it to an aggregating website, such as Netvibes

Coincidently, I'm a heavy user of Netvibes ;)