I forgot who’s WordPress blog I was surfing this morning, but a mouse hover over their RSS link turned the cursor to a question mark, and clicking the link actually auto subscribed that feed to me aggregator. The link was written differently than the typical link:

feed://www.somedude.com/blog/feed/

That is correct, note the feed:// protocol on the URL. This was interesting as many newbies wonder what all the wonder there is about RSS after they click a “syndicate” link or an organge icon and see a screen full of geek code (raw XML).

I did some googling but found nothing definitive on whether this was reliable, so I played a bit on my own site. At home, it worked perfectly on Mac OSX in Safari, FireFox, and even the protozoic Internet Explorer 5.2. Looking good!

Not so good when I got to work on my PC laptop. No go in Firefox (well it asked for an application, then I picked a RSS reader, and now links do nothing. Worse, on IE, it just generates an error. And sadly, that is the tail that wags the web, so for now, fuggedaboudit.

At least, quickSub still works cleanly on all browsers, platforms, and RSS readers I’ve been able to test. It is still a bit of a side hack, as it leans on JavaScript. Basically, a hover over the RSS link brings up a floating window (CSS div) where you can select which reader you want to subscribe the feed with.

Quick-Sub

And if you really want to see the geeky XML (I admit it, I have an often need for that to see the structure), well, you cans till click the link. It’s one of the cleaner approaches around now…

The post "Not Ready for Prime Time: feed://" was originally assembled from spare parts of a 1957 Chevy at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2005/02/not-ready/) on February 16, 2005.

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