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    Coincidently I’ve recently read about mailto links not being ideal and I think RSS feeds suffer from a similar problem: links to them are kind of useless beyond signaling their existence. I am much more inclined to plop the website’s URL in the RSS reader than copy the feed URL directly. There used to be the idea of a “feed://” scheme floating around, but I’m not sure if it has caught on.

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      Coincidently I’ve recently read about mailto links not being ideal and I think RSS feeds suffer from a similar problem: links to them are kind of useless beyond signaling their existence.

      In my experience, it’s the opposite - if the the feed icon/URL is not featured on the page I have to copy the site address, open the feed reader, paste it, pick the appropriate feed (RSS, Atom, comments, etc.) and finally add. With a direct link, all I need is to click on it and my reader opens automatically.

      I am much more incline to plop the website’s URL in the RSS reader than copy the feed URL directly.

      This is what I’m forced to do because most pages don’t feature direct feed URLs.

      The problem is even worse when it comes to podcasts - one can find links to all sorts of iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, etc. but don’t have any desire to use any of it and frequently have to ask for a direct feed URL.

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        if the the feed icon/URL is not featured on the page I have to copy the site address, open the feed reader, paste it, pick the appropriate feed (RSS, Atom, comments, etc.) and finally add

        This bugs me every time I have to do it. Plus, there’s a ~20% chance that the site doesn’t expose any type of feed, so I have to go to a workaround like politepol to follow the site :(

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          This bugs me every time I have to do it. Plus, there’s a ~20% chance that the site doesn’t expose any type of feed, so I have to go to a workaround like politepol to follow the site :(

          Don’t get me started about sites** without any type of feed.

          So, you post stuff every so often and would, presumably, like some else to read it.

          Sure.

          Are you expecting me to visit every n days/weeks/months or script it?

          Yeah, why not?

          Thanks, but no thanks.

          ** like with everything in life, there are, of course, exceptions :^)

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          With a direct link, all I need is to click on it and my reader opens automatically.

          Ah, that’s cool! Does it work with any old https:// link to a feed?

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            Does it work with any old https:// link to a feed?

            Sure, as long as it is being served with the correct media type.

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              Huh, on macOS I get three different behaviors in three different browsers for a MIME type of application/rss+xml:

              • Firefox offers to download the file, or open it with… Sublime Text
              • Safari invokes the RSS reader (NetNewsWire)
              • Chrome loads the feed as plain text

              Since I use FF day to day, this behavior might have colored my impression of RSS feed URLs.

              It would be interesting to see how https:// vs. feed://, text/xml vs application/rss+xml behave in the year 2020, and which version (or combination) offers the broadest convenience.

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                You can change the file type’s associated program in FF’s Preferences.

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            My experience chimes with this. I always copy and paste the feed URL. I even use this extension to show me feed links like Firefox used to.

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            Coincidently I’ve recently read about mailto links not being ideal

            That was a fascinating insight into the average user. In every desktop browser I’ve used, right-clicking on a mailto link gives an option of copying the address (often it includes the mailto: prefix, but that’s easy to trim after you paste). I’d never have thought about trying to copy the text because that requires accurately hitting the start and end, whereas right-clicking requires me to hit somewhere in the link. A copy button is potentially a good idea, but I am quite reluctant to encourage untrusted web sites to be able to write things to my clipboard. As far as I know, there are Chrome and Firefox plugins that will allow you to forward mailto links to a webmail client and it surprises me that people who use webmail wouldn’t set these up - I remember this being a problem 20 years ago but largely a solved issue 15 years ago. Does Chrome really not integrate with Gmail?

            The article asks why browsers removed the RSS button. I know why this happened in Safari because Apple talked about it publicly. The user experience for RSS depends on being able to see new things easily. That doesn’t work well when you read feeds on multiple devices unless you have some mechanism for syncing the ‘read’ state across devices. Apple didn’t have that and didn’t want a core feature of the browser to depend on iCloud. The popular RSS readers were all server-side things that kept track of what you’d read centrally. These could ship a browser plugin that detected the RSS feeds and let you add it to your list, so this didn’t need to be core browser functionality. A quick look in the Chrome store implies that only feeder.co actually does this.

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            I remember the days when Chrome and Firefox both displayed RSS feeds for websites right in the browser.

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              I remember the days when Chrome and Firefox both displayed RSS feeds for websites right in the browser.

              That’s exactly waht the author mentions in the article:

              RSS used to be displayed far more prominently in browsers. Firefox, Safari, and the Chromium-based browsers used to include RSS icons or text in their UIs that would activate upon detecting a page with the appropriate meta tag.

              ;^)

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                Decentralised technologies like RSS never become mainstream because they don’t get any support from any major company. Google would prefer users to find what they need on google.com; Facebook and Twitter have feeds they control, Microsoft has Bing, Linkedin, etc. All those are services they fully control.

                But RSS they wouldn’t be able to control or track, it’s completely decentralised and as such there’s nothing in it for them, and no point supporting it.

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                  For several years Google offered what was then generally considered the best RSS reader before they eventually shut it down.

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                  Is it more appropriate/desirable from your experience to have entire articles available in an RSS feed? I just show title, date, description. Not even image…

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                    Given that I use newsboat as my feed reader, I do appreciate when the whole article is included in the feed - it saves time more than anything. I’ll open it in a GUI web browser if there are images related to the content, though.

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                      I have too many feeds, and when I’m thinning them down the first ones to go are ones without full articles, or at least a few paragraphs.

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                      I don’t know if it is appropriate/desirable in general to include all content in the feed. I personally prefer feeds that include the full text. It seems that I am not the only one because there are commercial products that generate full text feeds from partial ones.

                      My impression is that partial feeds became more popular with publishers as a way to prevent people to bypass their paywalls and/or to monetize page views on their main website. If you monetize your website, I would keep partial articles in your feed. If you don’t monetize it, I would suggest to include a full feed just to accommodate your readers that might prefer it.

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                        I make everything available in RSS feeds.

                        I read RSS heavily on my phone and love it when full feeds are available. I understand many news sites can’t do that, so in that case I am happy to subscribe for full feed (for eg Ars Technica) or just click through to open in browser.

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                          Yes, I prefer to read the entire article straight from my feed reader. I find it much less distracting than having to open a web browser, copy the link (I use newsbeuter, so links aren’t clickable) and visit the web site. Of course it doesn’t help that many websites aren’t exactly designed to be pleasant to read, just to look good (or to make money with distracting banners).

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                            Yes, I prefer to read the entire article straight from my feed reader.

                            You and me both! :^)

                            I use newsbeuter […]

                            Ouch! From the very top of the README:

                            ABANDONED! An actively maintained fork is available in newsboat repo

                            […] so links aren’t clickable

                            This is a feature of your $TERM, not feed reader.

                            Of course it doesn’t help that many websites aren’t exactly designed to be pleasant to read, just to look good (or to make money with distracting banners).

                            You can say that again! Unless there’s a really good article, linked from multiple sources, I never visit anything Medium-like.

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                              Yikes, I didn’t know newsbeuter was abandoned. I just installed newsboat and was happy to see that it converted my newsbeuter config automatically. It’s truly a drop-in replacement! Thanks for the tip!

                              This is a feature of your $TERM, not feed reader.

                              Yeah, true. But if I was using a non-terminal based feed reader, it’d likely have clickable links.

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                                But if I was using a non-terminal based feed reader, it’d likely have clickable links.

                                However, you chose a terminal feed reader! If clickable links were a priority, you’d most likely go for a GUI option, no? ;^)

                                Either way, it’s an easy fix :^)

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                                  haha, true that. But the point was about how it’s more convenient to read it in the reader anyway. That’s not an easy fix for me, but it is for the site’s author!