Firefrss, your new RSS-enabled browsing buddy

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Giles Turnbull

Giles Turnbull
Sep. 15, 2004 04:25 AM

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Today's big browser news (heh, sounds like a web site O'Reilly should set up ;) is the Preview Release of Firefox 1.0 (download), and the inclusion within it of a clever system that combines RSS feeds and bookmarks.

Visit a web site with the location of its feed properly specified in the header, and the new Firefox pops up a little RSS icon in the status bar at the bottom of the window. Make with the clicky-clicky for about two seconds, and you can save the RSS feed as what Firefox calls a "live bookmark" (see MozillaZine for more detail).

My screenshot shows the results:

Firefox's Bookmarks menu

This is a very attractive way of doing things. Your feeds are brought into your browser, rather than a browser being coded into your aggregator.

What's also nice is the way you can organize your live bookmarks just like any other bookmark. So if you want to have a folder of often-read feeds on your Bookmarks Bar for quick reference, you can; and if you want to save a bunch of other, less-important feeds into folders deeper down the bookmarks hierarchy, you can do that too. Neat.

(Of course, anyone who likes downloading and using the Firefox nightly builds will have known about this feature for months. But it's new to the rest of us.)

Giles Turnbull is a freelance writer and editor. He has been writing on and about the Internet since 1997. He has a web site at