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Firefox removes RSS support (evertpot.com)
265 points by treve 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 231 comments



The removal was previously discussed at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17617821


I am super disappointed, Mozilla! This is such a slippery slope you've created here. If FF doesn't support RSS anymore then even fewer people will use RSS and RSS will die rather sooner than later. This is such a pity as RSS can really empower users.

You basically infringe your own mission statement:

> Our mission is to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. An Internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent.


I don’t see how removing support for rss infringes on this statement. You can still install a plug-in to shape your own experience. In fact, it could be argued that including their own rss support when most users don’t even know what RSS is was itself infringing on that statement.


If they had promoted and made a feature of explaining RSS instead of downplaying and hiding it. They could have promoted it and put RSS feeds on new tabs instead of advertising and what's popular on Pocket.

Most users don't know what RSS is until it is explained to them. Most users don't know what pocket and a whole bunch of other things are either until some explanation is given.


Taken to the extreme this strategy means an ever increasing mountain of things to explain to people. Or things they are expected to learn to become 'literate'.

That said I do find open, broadly supported standards liberating, but I'm a developer. And at times even I give up in favor of simpler, inferior solutions.


But it is not about taking it to an extreme. RSS is one old and popular technology (it is far from dead, see how many people use feedly and other feedreaders) that fits perfectly to the mission of Mozilla. To support it properly not much is needed:

1. Show an icon when the current site supports RSS feeds.

2. Make that icon a button that leads to the rendered RSS feed.

3. Have a way there to subscribe to the feed.

Live bookmarks were a strange feature, I'm not saying they are the perfect solution to handle point three. It could be something like the reader selection list of https://www.subtome.com/

> And at times even I give up in favor of simpler, inferior solutions.

RSS is already the most simple solution for its problem.


Personally I think browsers would be better if they made it easy to get subscriptions into feed-focused tools or services _in a standardized way_. Because browsers are originally intended for browsing and not consuming or producing feeds. (They could expand into such a role, but the reader Ff had didn't aggregate feeds well.)


It's not complex enough to need extremes or great long explanations. A simple "show me" or offer to add first couple of encountered feeds to their new tabs, and perhaps a couple of popups "your XKCD feed updated! [Show]" should do it. Maybe add a notification icon to updated live bookmarks.

You know, rather less than the low level of effort put in to promoting the recently purchased Pocket.

If people can be enthusiastic about wanting auto-updating podcast apps or push notifications and auto-updating news then RSS "failed" for reasons other than capabilities or being too complex to grok.


Reason: more PPM revenue. If people don't go to articles directly, but go through banner laden front pages, they get bigger cut.


How could including support for a technology possibly harm users? What is with this obsession with scrubbing any features that are not "popular" enough?

This mindset comes from for-profit companies. It makes sense for them to obsess about metrics and engagement. But what are you losing by challenging users and making something good?

So much amazing and important software has poor engagement with uneducated users, but it would be considered worthless garbage because it isn't popular with users who don't care in the first place.


All code has a cost, and all code needs to be maintained. It is not as simple as you might think to just leave something in.


Not only this, but having a default and free option built in disincentivizes the kind of experimentation and creative destruction that could develop the platform. Especially if the technology itself isn’t a priority for making the browser.

This is basically how Google hobbled RSS and why it’s on life support today. Reader was great and free. It got cannibalized for their erstwhile social networking bid and the entire ecosystem nearly died when it went away because it had the market cornered.


Wait, what? You're comparing FF's bare-bones live feeds feature to Google Reader? They are night and day. Live bookamrks were meant to be a bare minimum, a starting point for users to get a feel for RSS. No one in their right mind would say they were discouraging competition and experimentation. As evidence: all the great RSS readers (NetNewsWire, Reader, Feedly, etc.) were created while live bookmarks still existed.


I do not believe that it is too expensive to Mozilla to support RSS. If you had to quantify the cost in a dollar amount, it would probably be far less than the money that they spend on single one of their promotional events.


Exactly. Firefox is not going to "win" by copying Chrome's feature set, dropping features that doesn't have enough "usage" and then compete against thousands of Chrome developers on features that they already are dominating in.

FF should work on the features that Chrome is ignoring, like RSS, so that those core set of people continue using FF. It's stupid to take the mentality of a for-profit product when they are strictly non-profit. So what if very few people are using it, it's the collection of features that will define Firefox over Chrome.

You're not going to win by taking on Chrome head-to-head, that's a losing battle.


FF has clearer financing and better aligned projects to the browser through the entities being truly separate between Mozilla and alphabet than chrome has through being a cost center for alphabet. Chrome gets almost no portion of the profits its search bars bring in. Success for a chrome project manager is in supporting alphabet's other projects more than its own market share.

Staying focused on developer tools, being an improved clone of chrome, using rust to achieve better security/speed/clarity, and beating chrome to implementing standards will make them the browser developers do alpha testing on instead of the second platform. That eventually means the most popular browser.

Google's needs push chrome into the wrong place and the wrong priorities just like every vendor provided browser before chrome. I.e. C++ sucks but Alphabet politically has no replacement because their real needs are either server side services (go) or 3rd party developer languages (dart? Something to replace java?) that can't be the foundation of a decent browser.

Chrome is only as successful as it is since Mozilla has a cycle of destroying a fast and debuggable system by trying to bring in the kitchen sink. The very existence of FF is from a group that forced Mozilla to back away from a suite of everything every fringe user wanted that was becoming the worst experience imaginable.


They hid the RSS icon a while ago so that the telemetry would tell them that almost noone uses it so that they could remove it from firefox... Firefox is still my favorite, but things like this make me wonder sometimes.


To be fair, they probably had telemetry on the RSS icon before its removal that told them almost nobody clicked on it. That said, I definitely see this as abandoning an important web principle that Mozilla could have pushed instead. With a good RSS experience that would sync with Firefox mobile, I think they could have gained traction.


The problem is that a robust synced RSS capability would compete with Pocket, and someone at Mozilla appears to have bet their career on the idea that they can make Pocket into A Thing. So they pushed hard enough to get Mozilla to acquire Pocket's developers, which was highly unusual all by itself. And now, even as Mozilla diligently goes about pulling other stuff out of Firefox, Pocket keeps getting jammed deeper and deeper in -- presumably on the notion that if Mozilla pushes it down our throats hard enough, eventually we will learn to like the taste.


With the recent planned re-branding for FF maybe they should just change the name to Pocket Browser /s


Good point but I don't think a company like Mozilla should rely on this kind of analytics... I use this browser to try to protect my privacy as much as possible so this telemetry "feature" is disabled but I did use the RSS feature to find feed addresses.


I can't speak for anyone else but not true for this ~16 year, nonstop FF RSS user. My contribution is worth as much as anyone else's and so far, the only one to respond to you with data either way. I always kept it enabled[0] for the reason you mention.

[0]https://i.imgur.com/NxBHxHk.png


The conspiracy theorizing is fascinating considering so much of Mozilla’s work is done in the open.

The simpler and most likely answer is that the number of people who use RSS but don’t use a dedicated native or online reader is almost vanishingly small.


actions speak louder then words?


thanks dang


Yup. Once you look at all web browsers including desktop and mobile, Firefox has 5-6% marketshare. I am also super disappointed, see my multiple comments in this thread. I've often promoted FF to others based on this simple, amazing feature. Many times, even here on HN if you read my post history[0][1][2]. See reference [0], 3 years ago mentioning to never kill this feature.

By Mozilla's own logic given in their bugtracker comments and 5% marketshare, Mozilla may as well not even exist and delete all the Firefox code.

They just want to push Pocket and other alternatives that they think they can monetize easier than free and open standards like RSS. This is blatantly against Mozilla's code.

It's time to find a new browser, and I've long been a fan of native browsers for their native optimizations that result in lower power usage. Considering I rarely have my computer even powered on without a browser open, Edge and Safari simply make more sense now that FF only has container support & a dedicated search bar to lure me in.

With Windows 10 Sets likely only to work properly with Edge, and Netflix only supporting 1080P & 4K in Edge, and being optimized for my system's best interests.. MS has more convincing features than Firefox. Firefox was always the (only) browser optimized for my personal best interests, through privacy & features.

Safari, same thing as Edge. Only way to get 1080P Netflix on macOS, supports all the Apple integration features like ApplePay payment support with TouchID, picture-in-picture support for Youtube, and better battery life.

It's a shame what Mozilla has become post-Brandon Eich. They're just chasing nonsense now with Pocket.

[0]https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11033694#11033837

[1]https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15694926#15700267

[2]https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16721690#16722005 "It's time to head back to RSS? (wired.com)"


> It's time to find a new browser

KDE browser: https://www.falkon.org/about/


Despite RSS' cult status among Hacker News readers, I'm sorry to be the one to tell you that RSS is already dead. It's been dead. I would even go so far as to say it was dead on arrival, because the average user was never able to make any sense of it.


I am developing a little site which is a news aggregator and search engine for a certain niche topic. Out of a couple hundred sources, I'd say more than 95% support RSS, basically anything that uses wordpress or any blog or CMS system. I was really surprized how widespread it still is, and it makes my life a whole lot easier, since I don't have to scrape all those sites.

Maybe the model of subscribing to all your favorite blogs with a news reader didn't catch on, but RSS is still used a lot behind the scenes for other purposes.


You just wrote it is a little site for a niche topic. What you call widespread is not nearly as widespread as you think it is.


@captainmuon (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17683845) didn't say it was widespread in any absolute sense, only that he or she was surprised by how widespread it was.


I keenly remember how 80% of websites wouldn't render properly in Firefox because they were all designed for IE6. You had no choice but to replicate the rendering bugs in IE6 if you wanted webpages to look good. But Firefox refused. They just focused on making an awesome browser, even if it wasn't appreciated. Even if users mistakenly blamed Firefox for webpages not rendering properly.

10 years ago Firefox flagrantly disregarded the "standards" of the day set out by Microsoft and Adobe, and instead made their own vision of what they thought the web should be, even if it was obscure and "unpopular". And even if it never caught on, and Microsoft had dominated, Firefox (then Firebird) would STILL have been awesome.

They quietly introduced RSS support, because it was a good feature for the browser to have, regardless of how many people use it. That's how I first learned about RSS. I loved Firefox and thought it was awesome that they were giving me access to this new feature.

That was back when adding new features was considered progress, instead of what we have now.


> But Firefox refused.

This isn't quite true.

Firefox refused to do some things (explicitly violating some standards to fix some kinds of cosmetic issues, adding some APIs that seemed bad for users and the web). Firefox definitely did a bunch of other things to improve compat, including implementing various nonstandard IE6 features (XMLHttpRequest comes to mind!), matching IE6 rendering in various cases (see limited-quirks mode), etc, etc.

[Disclaimer: I was working on Firefox back then, and still am now; I've had to deal with a _lot_ of this firsthand.]


You're right, they did have to make some compromises. But they also stood firm against some of the more egregious standards that Microsoft were trying to push.

Of course if Mozilla back then were like it is today, they would have been begging for donations so that they could support Microsoft Janus or RealPlayer or whatever garbage they were trying to impose on users back then, all so that their browser could be a second class citizen in the DRM ecosystem. It was really nice while it lasted, to have an organization that stood in opposition and provided an alternative to the commercialization of web technologies.


> But they also stood firm against some of the more egregious standards that Microsoft were trying to push.

Can you give a specific example?

I'm not saying this wasn't happening; I just can't recall a case where it really mattered much in the end, in the sense that the standard was being pushed by Microsoft _and_ wanted by web developers, but active Firefox opposition killed it.

Now Firefox certainly _has_ done some things like that (e.g. pushing back on NaCl), but mostly by offering alternatives, not pushing back with just a "no". Because just saying "no" doesn't actually work that well in practice...


> [Disclaimer: I was working on Firefox back then, and still am now; I've had to deal with a _lot_ of this firsthand.]

I remember knowing you from UC and being surprised—I think when I saw your name in a changelog, perhaps—that someone I knew by chance was a part of the architecture of a project I loved (and love, albeit less passionately) so much. Thank you for your work!


You're welcome!


RSS is not dead. I have many feeds that I auto-filter and check on a daily basis. Furthermore it is enabled by default on countless wordpress blogs. RSS is not complicated from an end user's point of view. But since it gives users more control to handle their information diet nobody poured money into a marketing campaign to make it more popular with "average users".


As much as I love RSS (as someone that made and sold one of the first news aggregators), you're an outlier. If you asked 10 random people what RSS is, how many would have any idea what it is or how to use it?

Edit: Ok, I should reframe this. An anecdote or random sampling doesn't matter when Mozilla knows how much the feature was actually being used.


What's your point? A great technology should be abandoned just because it's not popular? Maybe I am not average but the fact is that RSS is very helpful to many professionals like programmers, scientists or journalists on a daily basis. What's the alternative? Should we manually skim e-mail newsletters that don't follow a strict structure? Should we all get our information off facebook? Should we waste our time checking a bunch if not hundreds of websites manually every day?


I agree it has utility and not saying whether it should be abandoned or not. I just meant that an anecdote doesn't prove anything and doesn't necessarily apply to the average population. Mozilla knows better than we do.


What's your point? do you think mozilla should continue including un-used features in their browser just because you like the technology that underpins them?

I think RSS is cool too, but that's not an argument for why browsers should integrate RSS feeds in their menu structures. Whether RSS is dead or not isn't an argument as to whether firefox's live bookmarks feature should continue existing. People don't use it, so it got pulled.


> What's your point? do you think mozilla should continue including un-used features[?]

YES. Yes even if not a single person uses it. If it makes sense and might be useful, and especially if it is already there, then it should stay.

I haven't used POP3 in about a decade, and only used FTP a few times in ten years, but I would be miffed if they were deprecated. I want the option to use them if I must. That availability is itself a feature. And RSS is a hell of a lot more useful and common.

And I know that if they remove it that there almost certainly wasn't a sound technical reason for it, it was just someone being judgmental about what features should be available.

Or, what about a spare tire? Isn't it wasteful that our cars are burdened with carrying around all this extra weight in the trunk? How many time in your life have you actually needed to use a spare tire? I wouldn't be surprised to find out that <5% of drivers ever even touch the thing, and yet every car has one! In this day and age, you should just call a tow truck. Spare tires a relic of the time before cellphones.

By your logic, the only features that are worthwhile are popular features. Nearly everything starts out with 0 users. Why bother making anything? Should something get axed the moment it dips in popularity? I know that these days the answer of course is yes.

FYI, the only reason that companies like Apple and Google are so aggressive with feature culling and deprecation is to protect their platforms and help dominate the market. That is it. When OSS copies the decisions of for profit companies then that is just a cargo cult mentality.


Of course it doesn't make sense to drop support for a feature that has no users because it has only just been added. Fatures need time to find an audience. And of course a feature should not be axed as soon as its popularity dips. Those are straw-man arguments. But RSS is neither of those things. Firefox RSS support has been in the browser for a very long time and its popularity has declined over a very long time.


> "audience"

What "audience"? Why are you using that nomenclature? This is not an entertainment product, nor is it for-profit software. So why do you care about building an audience and a brand? How about instead we make actually good software.


Supporting even completely unused features creates significant costs, including:

-- Tests for those features still run regularly

-- Increased download size

-- Increased runtime code memory usage (it's impossible to completely separate code pages for unused features from used features)

-- The code must be maintained as interfaces they depend on are refactored

-- Attackers will find exploitable bugs that harm users and must be fixed


We are talking about the RSS reader. How many extra megabytes do you think it will add to the download?


> Or, what about a spare tire?

There's one spare tire. If cars were carrying around spares of 10 different things, you bet people would be looking into cutting some of them out.

There is a real cost in terms of technical debt, complexity, ease of maintenance, etc to having more features. The question then always becomes whether the features are worth the cost.


> YES. Yes even if not a single person uses it. If it makes sense and might be useful, and especially if it is already there, then it should stay.

By this argument, Pocket has to stay, and I hope that's at least not the universal sentiment. I want Mozilla to have a stripped-down core and be endlessly customiseable by add-ons; Mozilla themselves have drifted away from this vision, but I hope that their most passionate users won't!

> Or, what about a spare tire?

The argument isn't about whether you should have a spare tire, but whether the spare tire should come pre-installed by the manufacturer. You can buy another spare tire just like you can install an RSS add-on, or use a separate RSS reader.


Ironically, some new cars nowadays aren't being sold with spare tires.


> do you think mozilla should continue including un-used features in their browser just because you like the technology that underpins them?

It's not unused, but sure, keep repeating that to yourself. And yes, they should continue including it. What exactly do they gain by removing it?

There's a reason Feedly has millions of users and it's not because RSS is dead and nobody cares.


> What exactly do they gain by removing it?

More developer resources?


That's not a great argument. You could ask 10 random people anything about anything and they wouldn't know the answer. Ask your 10 people if they know about Chrome sync, once they fail, and they will, remove that feature too. And that one has the massive advantage of 60% marketshare.

With the standard you've setup, we'd remove almost every piece of technology around us. Our institutions and everything that consists of your way of life. Seriously. No one really studies liberal arts as a renaissance man anymore and knows about things around them, how they work, or how we got here.

There's a lot of things to be aware of today, if you want to be savvy and successful. People aren't even prepared to educate themselves, work a career or save for retirement. Of course they never bothered, once, to look into the features of the web browser.

I always try and always read or skim the manual, so to speak, because I've learned many things about even my iPhone that I kick myself for not finding out before that point. But that's not common for people to actively educate themselves.

RSS is amazing, and Mozilla certainly deserves to be labeled as Luddites for this.


It strikes me as very hypocritical, especially coming from Mozilla who praises themselves as a savior of the free web technologies. It will do nothing other than harm the open web. More blogs, podcasts and artist will have the incentive to include Twitter and Facebook buttons where you will be able to "see the updates".


It should've been clear to everyone when Mozilla acquired Pocket. They feel obligated to build that out with their zero vision. What they should be doing at this point, is retasking that team to finding new and creative ways to build upon RSS/Atom feeds and integrate them with the browser. I'm sure there's a lot of ideas that haven't been conceived.

How about just a simple feed that scrolls somewhere? Maybe even with transparency over a portion of your browser? Certainly would beat checking the Facebook feed. Those are just off the top of my head, if someone with half a spark of humanity within their mind sat down and worked on ways to advance free & open technologies, a lot could be done that hasn't been.

There's a lot to do, but Pocket should have nothing to do with it other than at most, being the name of possibly cloud storage for your RSS feeds that you want to read later. If they think they'll figure out a way to make Pocket some sort of killer feature and takeover Chrome's position in the market, I can't help but laugh.


If I asked 10 random people what IP is, how many would have any idea what it is or how to use it?


The usage metric from FF data is a solid spot to look.

Whether random folks know the technology is irrelevant. Ask 10 random people if they know what hyper text is, and you'll get bad answers. Doesn't mean people don't use or like it.

The shame here, is that Mozilla didn't push to get stuff like their homepage driven from RSS based feeds. They didn't get people using RSS, but they also didn't seem to try.


For example: I have never used RSS, until relatively recently I was not actually sure exactly what RSS was (except that it had "something to do with blogs"), and wouldn't know what to do if I wanted to start using RSS without at least doing some Googling first.


Which is exactly why having stuff like this in the browser is useful: You don't know what RSS is, but you could discover and use Firefox's live bookmarks without knowing that. Mozilla hid this stuff, so it's no wonder usage rates are low, the question is if that's the correct way to take for an organization with Mozilla's goals.


Your experience seems to be common, and I wonder what sort of critical marketing failure is responsible for that, because RSS is really straightforward: it shows you which of the blogs/webcomics/podcasts/etc. you follow have updated recently, in one place, without cramming up your email or bombarding you with alerts. It's like a Twitter/Tumblr homepage, but for the entire web.

It's not like trying to explain what Google Wave is for; it's no more difficult than getting started on Twitter. It's really strange to me that it's still such a Here Be Dragons thing.


Even in the heyday of RSS 10 random people were unlikely to know what it was. It was always a niche technology but it’s primary niche was specifically people who were influential parts of internet culture and the blogosphere. This included the HackerNews demo, but also bloggers, journalists, and entertainers.

It’s not a mass market feature, but the market is serves has ripple effects. Because of that, though, the people using it are likely to prefer better, more robust tools rather than the neglected offerings built into the browser.


I'm not sure "random people" are the target market for RSS.


Users could make sense of it, but advertisers couldn't capitalize on it to shove ads at your eyeballs.

what I noticed as stabbing rss in the back was Google embracing and then eventually extinguishing Reader.


Bingo. It's not driving revenue, it drives quality content (or at least click bait titles but that's going to be there regardless), so it has to go. Thankfully WordPress will keep this alive, it's probably a more significant factor behind RSS adoption than any browser.


> the average user was never able to make any sense of it.

By that metric, Bitcoin is also dead.

There are multiple for-profit RSS reader services. I follow a really unreasonable number of webcomics, and I've seen one, ever, that didn't have an RSS feed. "Niche audience" is not the same as "dead".

(I've honestly never understood why people find RSS so confusing. You sign up to Feedly or whatever, and you choose creators you want to follow. It's not dramatically different than getting started on Twitter.)


This saddens me as I didn't have much need for RSS when Google Reader was around. Currently my news apps keep "learning" what I like and have become increasingly useless so I signed up for Feedly to create a less filtered feed of things I actually am interested in. The RSS support in Firefox has been great in helping me find feeds to add.


Have you any idea how popular podcasts are these days?


I have tons of scripts that use RSS feeds, I don't know what you are talking about. I even use Feed43[0] to generate RSS feeds for sites with no RSS.

[0]: https://feed43.com/


This is the crux, isn't it? We might even say it was dead when they named it RSS. That wasn't consumer friendly enough.

The general idea was certainly sound. But as much as publishers offered it they were never comfortable (read: in favor of) so much of their contented being consimed without a visit, or at the very least without any analytics. Total feed subscribers just wasn't good enough.


Users shouldn't have needed to know the name. They should have just seen the logo, clicked it, and been magically subscribed through whatever their reader of choice is. In most cases that is and was how it worked... works.

The problem was always getting users on board with it. From inception the kind of person that would struggle to use RSS and lead to its eventual downfall was using webmail and thought their browser was the entire PC besides Solitare back in the early 2000s. For them, getting some arcane "where should we open this link" when you clicked a subscribe button with the RSS logo completely shut them down. I'm not sure if Firefox's "live bookmarks" ever worked intuitively.

Add on to that I'm not sure if IE or Safari ever supported RSS, had a reader, or anything of the ilk and it was DOA. The remotely informed user would have just used Google Reader, but there was no mechanism (and I don't think there even is one today?) to transparently feed RSS links into a webapp reader.

I know at at least one point Firefox was defaulting RSS to Google Reader, but I don't think IE or Safari ever did, and that was at least 60% of the browser market at the time not providing a usable experience for a syndication format. Thats how it ends up dead on arrival.


> "Users shouldn't have needed to know the name."

How would they communicate with each other about it then? These things don't expand in a vacuum. Perhaps not in a modern social media sense, but there is always a network effect.

Calling it RSS was too plain and too clinical.


This is the elephant in the room here. With google reader, they actually had a good integration with google buzz so that I could have a small social circle around some posts. I could put a comment on an RSS item and my friends and I could have a conversation on it.

Then, they killed it hoping to get everyone discussing things in a plus feed. Something I have no interest in. Especially because I can't really see the discussions in my email.

Which is ultimately what is killing things here. Many of us built up real workflows for correspondence using email. It works great for that. Instead of trying to help build on these correspondence workflows, companies would rather find ways of owning that correspondence, such that now I have to use Facebook or Google Plus or whatever in order to have basic back and forths with friends/family/strangers.


Agreed. That said the typical email UI could easily become an RSS reader.

- Sender = publisher / source - Subject = title + author - Body = body

The same can be said for SMS.

Shifting the email client to a one-stop comms dashboard would make a lot of sense (to me). Add in drag & drop to a TODO list(s) and I'm more effective and happier.


IE had a reader (introduced in IE7 I think). There was some sort of support in Outlook as well.


RSS feeds still in Outlook, but it's the first feature I disable.

Don't need unused folders in my mail directory trees.


I follow 561 RSS feeds on feedly.com. Pretty much every site I care about provides an RSS feed, and adding one is not that hard (one site even added one today, on my request).

So, I don’t agree that RSS is dead.


Perhaps RSS wasn't built for the average user.


rss is already dead, its just weeding out unused parts.


I will go against the grain here and say that this is good. RSS is not a core function of a web browser and as such should be handled by an extension, if at all.


I think browsers should render any content type in a way that provides functionality for a user; for example, I think it would be great if when loading a JSON file, I could toggle between the raw data provided and a pretty-printed, syntax-highlighted, collapsable tree view of the JSON file. I think it would be great if when loading an MD file, I could toggle between the raw markdown and a rendered version. Certainly when I load an image or audio file outside a webpage, my browser decodes renders the content usefully.

Given these cases, why would XML files be any different?


Yeah, I usually preview a feed in Firefox before adding it to a proper RSS reader.


It's also been great for one-off grabbing of a resource from an RSS feed when you don't want to subscribe -- nor use the embedded players sites have been increasingly pointing users towards on their web pages.


yes to all this, but then when do you stop? how many file types should be supported by a browser? i'm sure some people would like it that the browser could edit spreadsheets too. there are so many different use cases.


I would start with the guiding principle that read-only decoding is more important than annotation or editing; non-patent encumbered formats should be the first priority (and in Firefox, perhaps the only formats supported); and formats that exist and are in use currently are more important than historical document formats. I don't think this is egregiously bad mission creep for a browser.


I agree. JPEGs, PNGs and other image formats aren't core to what a web browser is supposed to do (and certainly not scripts), and certainly weren't in the original ones. Let's get rid of that cruft!


Agreed. At a certain point you find that you've made more than a browser, you've made a full OS


If you have a security model and a virtual machine, you already have, haven't you? Browsers are in a meaningful way already operating systems. (This is not an original thought).


>i'm sure some people would like it that the browser could edit spreadsheets too. there are so many different use cases.

Why not?

Why shouldn't browsers display at least the most common image, document and media types (including spreadsheets?) Why only display a few content-types but download all others? Content is the point of the web, after all.


You are right, why stop at XML?! We should totally stop displaying JSON in browsers also!


JSON parser is indeed a very nice feature of Firefox I wish Chrome could come up with something similar.


There's a ton of extensions that do exactly that.


And I don't need the hassle to figure out who stands behind them and if I can trust them. Most of the time there isn't any good reason to trust them anyway.


Oh thanks! I don't even know that's possible with extensions. Just installed one, works like a charm :D


I disagree. Viewing a pretty printed JSON file is not something 98% of web browser users want to do, building in functionality for it just adds complexity. Pretty-printing JSON is much better handled by an extension, as is the case in Chrome.


By that logic no browser should include the developer tools either.


If the extension APIs allowed it I'd agree with that, but developer tools need much deeper access than extensions provide.


Right, but a web browser wants all sites to look good on them (which IS their main purpose), and including developer tools integrated into the product really helps web site developers make that happen.

RSS isn't used by people to make the main product of a browser better.


Firefox (at least the Developer Edition) renders JSON like that (no syntax highlighting though).


I wouldn't mind if firefox rendered text/markdown.


I only disagree with this for one reason: many websites have RSS feeds, but don't link to them in an obvious place. Clicking "Subscribe to This Page…" in the Bookmarks menu and get the feed URL is something I do quite a lot. Also good for accessibility, RSS feeds are usually less cluttered than web pages.


I build websites for a living, and providing an RSS feed for my clients (from their perspective) is incredibly low priority.

Why? Because their clients don't ask for them. RSS feeds are used for social media content sharing, but not for regular users.

Also, most blog content these days (for my clients) tends to be pretty canned stuff only used for SEO and content-bling to make some site look important.

I think sites that are serious about followers may use RSS, but not the majority of sites out there. Which leads us to why RSS support isn't needed anymore and can be relegated to an extension... popularity.


> from their perspective) is incredibly low priority.

Perspective has nothing to do with it, implementing RSS/Atom is incredibly simple for most use cases when you build websites for a living...


Yes it does, because they pay the bills.

Also, all of the sites I build have RSS built into them automatically because of the framework running them.

It's just that no one cares. RSS has never been requested by an end client (owner of the site) in any site I have built in almost 20 years.

But, when the social media and marketing people get involved, they used RSS as a way to share content with other 3rd party services.

RSS reader in Firefox as an extension is a perfect solution.


The core function of a web browser shouldn't be to pretty print JSON either, yet they recently added that feature in core.

I understand getting rid of XUL legacy cruft, but removing the RSS renderer/reader entirely with no plan other than "extensions will fix it" just leaves a bad taste.


One of the core features of web browsers is web development tools. Pretty printing JSON is a extremely useful and versatile web development tool, and as such I consider it in scope.


The core feature of a browser is browsing. Web dev tools are secondary. To a regular user who is not dev the removal of RSS is a loss. JSON is secondary. Firefox would make a mistake if they prioritized Dev tools over end user features.


How many regular users actually use RSS? To be honest, I don't think most devs use RSS, much less non-devs.

Mozilla has a finite budget to allocate to features. Maybe they looked at usage rates and decided that RSS just wasn't an important feature, or other features were more important.


How many regular users use JSON or other development tools?


Very few, but I bet there's an order of magnitude more developers who regularly view JSON in a browser than RSS in a browser (without extensions).


Believe it or not JSON is not the only data transfer format used on the web. Some web services even spit out XML, crazy I know.


There is a separate "Firefox Developer Edition" for that.


I'm strongly in favor of anything that makes it easier for non developers to "see behind the scenes" into computers, so while developer edition is nice and all I don't consider it a strong reason not to include development tools in regular firefox.


All browsers have been pretty-printing XML for a while. Adding JSON was long overdue.

It might not be a core functionality of a browser, but all major browser vendors now accept that browsers are also development tools.


Given Pocket's inclusion in Firefox, it seems that Mozilla does indeed consider a "news feed" to be a "core function" of their browser.


And given Looking Glass's required install, it seems they consider "marketing TV shows" and "cryptic messages that look like security compromises" to be a core function too.


In principle that would be correct if Firefox was a lean browser. But it includes hundreds of integrated components/services no one asked for, most far less useful and less popular than RSS.


Now if they're remove Pocket....


Indeed if you want to access RSS through your web browser it makes sense to do so through a hosted service similar to how google groups does for usenet


Agreed. Remove the bloat.


I don't disagree in principle, but Firefox also breaks extensions indiscriminately so the platform is starting to get defined more by the functionality it's lost than gained.


"indiscriminately"

uh huh


Running a profitable RSS-driven startup (https://feedity.com), I've come to the conclusion that RSS is not a consumer technology. It's a business technology, and a critical notification 'protocol'.

Millions of businesses, 'knowledge workers' and infovores rely on RSS for their daily workflow and learning, without which they'll have no other reasonable alternative to stay updated with decisive information and insights for high-volume, high-frequency, low-noise Web content.

Starting from Google Reader's shutdown to Firefox's removal of RSS support, it's just that these consumer vendors have not been able to leverage its business use-cases. It's a feature for them that they couldn't monitize, because that requires a different tool-set, which is not their primary product.

RSS is a backbone, much like a simple API, but it was touted as a front-end enriched with ads, analytics, widgets etc., that didn't/can't work for the casual consumer.

RSS ecosystem is alive and healthy for it's vast and core audience, irrespective.


Uh, this post sounds like an ad. The pricing model of that service obviously targets businesses instead of consumers, so it's kind of obvious from where the demand would come.


Not cool. This also seems to imply no support for Atom feeds as well. I have switched my media channels entirely to RSS/Atom feeds, though I only read them through Emacs. This cannot stop stuff like fake news, but it always seemed important to me to the fact that it makes viewing discussions entirely optional (you have to visit the link for that). The lack of ads is also a plus.


You know, I feel like a moron now.

I have come to use emacs for everything, and I love being in emacs. It never occurred to me that I don't have to find an RSS reader -- just an emacs package.

Thank you for writing this comment.


I assume most RSS users have switched to other apps or webapps for feed management just as you have.


People who don't use RSS say it's dead, and they won't be convinced otherwise.

People who use it every day know that it's not dead at all.

Firefox's decision will not make the slightest bit of difference for either group of people.


Bigger than both of those groups are the people who don't realize they use RSS but listen to podcasts.


It is all about how you define 'dead'. Some people mean 'dead' as in 'not one single person is still using it' and others mean 'dead' as in 'it is declining in popularity and is no longer mainstream'

RSS is dead for the latter people but not the former.


Agree. If you define 'dead' as is 'rare' and/or 'have not heard of anyone still using it' it's pretty much dead. It's a shame that it died (as consuming RSS feeds was an extremely efficient way of staying up-to-date without mindlessly browsing the web and checking tens/hundreds of sites).

If you ask me Mozilla didn't kill RSS, they just updated their browser to reflect a reality. The reality is that most people don't use RSS and don't care about it. Who killed RSS? Going to go out on a limb here and say Google. Anyone remember Google Reader? That thing was amazing - I remember the days I used to go through all my feeds in under 10 minutes. .I guess it did not really fit Google's business model or it wasn't big enough to worth investing in, but if you ask me it was the closest Google came to having a social network.


Another definition of 'dead' is "I don't use it, and no one I know uses it (or if they do I don't hear about it)"


Agreed.

I used RSS 10 years ago. Even bought a keyboard with a LCD to have my RSS headlines always available.

I have no need for that functionality for years.

I know noone in person who uses RSS anymore.

I would call it dead (but obviously as per other comments here, people still need/use them).


> Even bought a keyboard with a LCD to have my RSS headlines always available

Woah, what keyboard was this?


Firefox' handling of RSS feeds as live bookmarks was one of its killer features back in the day, at least to me. But it must have hit a nerve with others, too, because I remember that Microsoft put something RSS-related into IE7; I never used IE7, though, so I cannot vouch for that.

Of course, there are alternatives, but still - the live bookmarks are really cool and extremely convenient to use. It's a shame they are going to be excised. At least that gives me an incentive to pick up the RSS aggregator I wrote a couple of years back and polish it a little.



Thank you!


First, a shout-out for inoreader.com :)

Really disappointed in Mozilla. After all, it's quite obvious, if you don't modernize and even continue to hide a feature for years, its usage won't improve unless external events drive the demand.

And since RSS readers counter the interests of both ad- and subscription-driven media, it's unlikely there will be any demand generated by anyone else other than RSS aggregators themselves.


It used to be a way for media to keep their readers updated about new content, which was in line with the interests of both subscription and ad driven media. But since then we've come to have Twitter, Facebook, mobile apps with notifications, even websites with notifications, so RSS has become somewhat redundant.


Uh, what have notifications anything to do with RSS? Practically all all web services and mobile apps for it offer them.

Social media, on the other hand, is an alternative solution to the consumption of information, not inherently a better form of aggregation.

It is mainly the addiction to social feedback that attracts people to social media, while RSS is a boring stream of data you've specifically decided to process.


RSS was created in 1999, when short of visiting a website it was the only way to get updates about new content. Now, there are other ways which people already use and like, addiction or not.


When RSS was created is irrelevant, when its age does not hinder innovation in its implementations. It's like saying email or phone calls are obsolete because social media has taken over.


I didn't know I could read news by looking at Facebook and Twitter. Seriously, RSS doesn't need to die but there's someone trying to kill it.


RSS was never intended to serve content, it shouldn't be different from a Twitter feed full of "title, link, short summary" posts. Minus the comments.


That's a pity, live bookmarks are useful for things other than blogs, for example bugzilla queries. I hope the Web Extensions API is enough to provide something similar.



Not sure we're losing that much, there are many good RSS readers that provide way more features than Firefox does. Off the top of my head: https://feedly.com, https://inoreader.com, and my own https://aktu.io (with a nice dark theme https://aktu.io?theme=dark :-))


I'm not familiar with your reader, so I don't want anyone to take this as a comment on what you've made — but I know that the first two are both monetized, though they don't tell what you'll have to pay up-front. A third-party for-profit business with sketchy monetization practices doesn't seem like a better replacement for RSS integrated in Firefox.


Agreed. I just tried to find a feed reader for my phone and those two creeped me out for sure. No way I’d give them my email address.

Why do you need my address in order for me to view RSS feeds from somebody else?



Maybe I'm misunderstanding your comment, but I wouldn't consider having an optional paid version of your free product to be sketchy practice? I use feedly and I've never paid a penny. Sure, they've tried to upsell me a handful of times but that's hardly insidious. I mean I'm literally already using their product, what's wrong with offering me a pro account?


That's not wrong in itself, but Feedly doesn't seem to even mention that there exists a pro version, or what it will cost.


does that matter? surely that's just poor marketing on their part. knowing a free service also had a paid option wouldn't put me off. in fact, it would be more likely to encourage me to use it, because if they're making money from pro users then 1) they're more likely to still be in business in five years time and 2) they're less likely to resort to advertising or selling my data.


It's a bait-and-switch fraud.


Only if they claim to offer a free service but then attempt to charge for it. Which they don't. Feedly is fully usable for free


Neither does inoreader.


True.


>A third-party for-profit business with sketchy monetization

What is exactly is sketchy? What is bad about a for-profit business?

>though they don't tell what you'll have to pay up-front

Where did you get that? You're registering for a free account. If you want to upgrade, you select a plan. All information of the features you would unlock are available upfront.


> What is bad about a for-profit business?

For one, it's not as accessible to all of Mozilla's users. Remember, their goal is to help the poor and the young as well as SV programmers.

Besides that, not necessarily anything — there are lots of great businesses out there — but it creates a greater possibility of mismatched incentives than something like Mozilla. My highest goal in a feed reader is to be able to keep up to date with feeds hassle-free. A for-profit business's highest goal is to make money. The best way for them to achieve their goal might be helping me achieve my goal as efficiently as possible, or it might not.

> Where did you get that? You're registering for a free account. If you want to upgrade, you select a plan. All information of the features you would unlock are available upfront.

Can you find for me the part on Feedly's front page where it tells you what all the limitations on a free account are, which are relieved by upgrading to a pro account? I can't find any place where it even lets you know there's more than one kind of account. For a couple of specific examples:

- It doesn't mention that there's a limit on subscriptions on a free account.

- Many of the integrations mentioned on the front page don't appear to be enabled for a free account (e.g. OneNote, EverNote, Slack).


>For one, it's not as accessible to all of Mozilla's users. Remember, their goal is to help the poor and the young as well as SV programmers.

What nonsense is this? How is a free account inaccessible, and how are Mozilla's(??) users specifically affected?

>(...) there are lots of great businesses out there — but it creates a greater possibility of mismatched incentives than something like Mozilla. (...) The best way for them to achieve their goal might be helping me achieve my goal as efficiently as possible, or it might not.

So, you don't have an argument against them. Just a bunch of maybes.

...

I don't like Feedly, so be my guest if you want to hate it. However, both services list all the features of every plan once you're in. A lot of per account or freemium services do that, it's nothing new.


I really like the model of Feedbin[1],

Up front no BS business model of "you give us money, we track your rss feeds"

They are even open source too (MIT) [2].

1: https://feedbin.com/ 2: https://github.com/feedbin/feedbin


Maybe I didn't do a good job getting this across, but I don't care that much about losing these specific Firefox features.

I really want new users to be able to discover features like RSS/Atom feeds. Live bookmarks can definitely go to the grave in my mind, but I hope Mozilla will focus in the future on web features that help advocate the federated web.


The real means to fix that is to make the popular browsers redirect rss feeds to readers. You should be able to pick one, but if you don't set a reader it should default to something reasonable like feedly. The main barrier to adoption RSS has always faced is that for most people who don't know what it is the links are dead and do nothing except sometimes offering an arcane and unhelpful prompt for a program to open it with.


To bad. I found this really useful and would often use Firefox to look at RSS of podcasts.

Sadly many pages don't have a good page to browse threw or search podcast. In the RSS page you could do a page search and find all the relevant info.

However there are probably other ways to achieve the same thing, so I'm not really all that opposed.


This is sad. Atom is going to be one of those standards that gets uptake eventually, and Mozilla is already positioned well. It cost them nothing to keep it other than the additional maintenance complexity, while removing it upsets the admittedly small at present userbase that use the features alot (like myself). I use Live bookmarks for server status updates, commits, and a number of other things in addition to blogs.

That is easier for me than having Growl on my Mac, DBus notifications on Linux, or Windows Push Notification Service on Windows. Instead I can use one protocol, and the same app I've already installed, on each of those platforms.


> It cost them nothing to keep it other than the additional maintenance complexity, while removing it upsets the admittedly small at present userbase that use the features alot (like myself).

Sounds like they're being pragmatic then by removing a not so popular feature that has the potential of adding maintenance complexity.


Not the best move from Firefox. But, they never did support RSS more than half-heartedly.

OTOH, the constantly-maintained-these-days Thunderbird supports RSS -just fine-.


Thats really too bad. I use RSS heavily with internal tools to give me sorted lists of config changes, trouble tickets, alarms, caller logs, emails/voicemail, etc.

I also have a nicely curated set of RSS searches from Nyaatorrents, craigslist, Kijiji and a few other sites that I check thru firefox.


As the creator of the infamous Popurls, I can assure you that RSS is anything but dead since I launched a successor at hvper.com a while ago and the site is alive and kicking. Obviously a lot more is coming from APIs these days but no major site has removed support for it.


[EDIT:] Suggested correction...


Thanks, Corrected.


Had a quick look at hvper.com. Surprised that Digg is at the top of the page. Digg to me does not seem an important source of content anymore.

Do sites pay you to be higher up the page?


It's still popular for mainstream. No, the initial order is something I base on experience and use.


What is the benefit of switching from Popurls to hvper? Honest question.


Popurls was acquired many years ago and is now dead.


That's a compelling reason. Thanks.


installed firefox recently and it's showing me recommended content from Pocket.

bro not cool. I don't want your backend recommendation engine tracking what I'm doing.

(online or off)

(and, yes, I disabled it, as well rewired the pocket-relevant urls to example.com)


"Important Note: Neither Mozilla nor Pocket receives a copy of your browser history. The entire process of sorting and filtering which stories you should see happens locally in your copy of Firefox. " https://help.getpocket.com/article/1142-firefox-new-tab-reco...


That only marginally makes it better...


Digging in your heels when your central point is refuted is not a great strategy, and your reply seems to indicate that you're prepared to move the goalposts.


I don't want an analysis of my browsing habits by anyone not me, fundamentally. I don't want "popular sites" sent to my machine, I don't want my habits sent upstream. Either is not my desire.

I really don't feel like having the debate as to whether its local or remote - both are quite compromiseable in terms of security.

I don't want to have this integration into my browser. I don't like Green Eggs and Ham, Sam I am. I do not want it this way or that, online or off. That is the goalpost I expect Mozilla to hit, based on their general vision.

If I want to have my browsing habits analyzed, I'd rather `cat` out the history file to a tool I wrote.

Mozilla being an entity historically predicated on better practices choosing to deal this way is highly unpleasant. And, on topic, RSS is a good open practice that should be kept. Mozilla's choice to axe RSS and keep Pocket seems to all be in the same vein.


> I really don't feel like having the debate as to whether its local or remote - both are quite compromiseable in terms of security.

The moment that thing is local your concerns are not valid anymore. If a local browsing habits file can be exploited your browsing habits could also be detected by other means. Like you yourself said, that is just included in your browsing history (stored anyway by default).

There is no point in expressing a dislike for a good solution when the thing they are doing does not at all conflict with their mission. Which is the thing with removing RSS support, but not with the site recommendation.

If your main concern - not wanting that your history is uploaded - is met by the great solution Mozilla seems to have found here, it would really be the right thing to accept that.


It makes it a lot better, tbh.

It doesn't spy on anyone and it's trivial to disable. Hard to do it better.


Better than making it removable without digging/disabling through about:config or making it an optional add-on? All the while killing RSS for "bloat" and resource considerations? Riiiiight.


The same webpage I link shows that you can disable with a single option in the home page.


disable!=remove

Google yourself how many times a disabled feature "accidentally" re-enabled(& tracked!) for providers' benefit. Throw Apple & Google un for the most nefarious "accidents". Or not... despite no proclamations of Moz employees posting (as of yesterday) this thread has the stink of astroturf.


Well, you may look at my post history to see if there's any chance of astroturfing. Last time I saw, Mozilla did not have a RF hardware division.

I just want to set things straight. Bad mouthing Mozilla for something they have not done does not help discussing the decisions they take.

On tracking, well, you may always look the code. It's all client-side, I guess the most nefarious accident it could happen is you noticing the suggestion again and disabling it again.


Yet another reason not to upgrade to Quantum+ I guess. Currently I've got ~30 RSS/Atom feeds in my toolbar.

Does anyone have Pocket usage numbers to measure its popularity? Web Dev tools? The Firefox Tour? Since we're already discussing stripping out features based on such a corporate metric...


Firefox has been removing stuff for a while... the slippery slope has started at the point when the extension compat checking became a version-based setting that you need to re-set after every update. It was downhill from there... what used to be a hyper customizable browser with lots of features and extensibility, is now just inferior, open-source Chrome wannabe.

I've personally stopped using it a few months ago after being a fan since before it was called Firefox (Mozilla browser? or something). The only things I miss are minor stuff like being able to color tabs (who knows, Firefox might have disabled that too since then).


Chrome doesn't have per-tab accounts/"containers", built-in tracking protection, a screenshot tool, built-in or even first-party dark theme, an API to let extensions hide tabs, or the (upcoming in FF63) ability to control autoplaying video on a per-site basis. And the mobile version still doesn't support extensions at all. Even if you don't use these features, I don't see the argument that FF is a Chrome wannabe.


I think it’s possible the removing stuff is a function of constrained resources, Mozilla might just not have time to stay competitive with chrome/safari etc and maintain all these features at the same time.


Firefox is faster than Chrome on lots of benchmarks, and not controlled by/contributing to Google, and its extension system allows things like NoScript and Tree Style Tabs that Chrome doesn't.


So, now for my RSS feeds I use to check for news articles to read in my browser, I'll now have to install an external program/extension just to load the feed, to read these articles in my browser.


Wow. Really fucking awful decision.

Parsing XML is such a hassle? Laughable to think Firefox is so bloated that not rendering a styled DOM for an XML datatype saves them an hour of payroll or trims hardly a megabyte off their binary.

This is probably the least amount of complexity they could drop, and yet they bloat the fuck out of their application, with features I turn off, avoid or never use.

Pocket, Web RTC, those stupid cartoon images for their error messages. And so much more, worth so much less.


Parsing RSS is a hassle. The specification never made it clear if you could include HTML or not---did you entity encode the HTML? Strip it out so it's only plain text in the feed? The original designer of RSS, Dave Winer, never clarified that point, nor did he want to. In fact, he got downright nasty when a group did clean up the specification and released it as RSS 2.0. That lead to the development of Atom, to clarify these issues and remove Dave Winer from the discussion.

So there are at least three different RSS standards, most of which are under specified as to what is and isn't allowed. It's like the tag soup of XML.


> Parsing XML is such a hassle?

Have you ever tried parsing RSS as produced in the real world? If you try to parse it with an actual XML parser, you are going to have a _very_ bad time.


I'm very disappointed, Mozilla. This move completely hinders RSS discovery and use. RSS isn't dead yet. It's actually an important technology for the free and open web. Pocket? I doubt...


I've used RSS pretty heavily, but never Live Bookmarks.

Who sticks a feed of news stories in a drop-down menu?!


Live Bookmarks always seemed like a solution in search of a problem.


Absolutely tragic.

I've been using FF RSS[0] for 16 years now, since Mozilla Firefox was Mozilla Phoenix. Never left the browser all these years, of course I tested other things out and kept native browsers (Safari/Edge) as backup browsers. But these features are what differentiate it from other browsers, there's no way there's substantial ongoing maintenance cost to RSS/Atom support at this point.

Shame on them, they know better than this. If they want to help advertisers, if they want a centralized web, if they want to remove the few reasons left for not just using Chrome, then it's a great idea.

As soon as I lose my RSS support, for the first time in 15 years (before which I was a Netscape Navigator user) I'll be looking for a new browser.

I see a lot of mentions about Foxish, I tried that with Chrome a few times, it's not very reliable. I didn't find it worked very well at all, updates erratically and so forth.

If all browsers are becoming the same, there's very little reason to not just take the performance-power savings of native browsers. So I'll likely just use Edge and Safari going forward. Browsers are the majority of what people use their computers for, so any resource savings that results in power usage reductions is welcome, especially on mobile. I'll take a good hard look at Brave as well, those folks are actually trying hard to upset the apple cart, instead of just removing features to upset someone.

[0]https://i.imgur.com/Xzv9KyS.png


I would shamelessly suggest to try my web based reader - https://bazqux.com - simple business model, no ads/tracking, just read your feeds effectively.

But in general that's bad. Having feeds support in a browser is a good way to get more people to know about RSS. And the more people know about RSS the better for humanity.

People must know that there are another ways to get content than liking something in a silo. And more importantly - the medium is the message - content that you get in RSS feeds is different from social media. It's not oriented to be likeable or shareable or to make money in any way. It's more about ideas, opinions and utilitarian (not emotional) news. Yes, you could still get junk in RSS feed, but there are much less chances to get it.


I so much hope they're not going to remove it from Thunderbird, which I'm using for consuming feeds.


RSS always made more sense to me in a mail client than a browser. Live bookmarks were useless to me.


I remember the original video introducing Google Reader. "Imagine an inbox for the web", the guy said.


Only problem was that Thunderbird insisted on opening the linked page via its internal gecko copy rather than being able to pass it on to a full browser...


Indeed, that's why I'm using rss2email to follow my feeds.


I'm sure you can find alternative apps.


bummer. I use live bookmarks extensively, it's nice to be able to see at a glance whether or not a blog or web comic has an update without visiting the site. anyone know of an extension that will provide this functionality?



If you view the source of any Feedburner RSS feed, you'll see that it's quite easy to use an XSL stylesheet with some CSS and make the actual RSS render however you like in a browser.


> they represented an idea that anyone can start a website and become part of the "blogosphere"

The main barrier to entry isn't the lack of RSS, it's the fact that people don't read as much anymore. It's gotten to the point where if you submit anything text-based (as opposed to photos, video, podcasts, etc.) to a lot of subreddits the moderators flag it as spam.


That's more to do with Reddit being horrible and horribly moderated than any concrete problem with RSS, though.


There are also subreddits with mostly text only submissions, but of course they are neither the meme or porn ones.

Actually, there are even some subreddits which act like a RSS feed for some sites.


I honestly prefer text, at least for technical stuff, over a video. The videos often end up spending 10 minutes when all i want is some quick specs or a bullet point list.


While the built-in reader isn't the most amazing thing in the world, I assume this also means the Subscribe button is being killed? I'm sure an extension will be able to do the same thing, but that's somewhat of a nuisance.


If you're looking for a free alternative: http://github.com/getstream/winds


Ouch, I was actually using this feature. :( I hope Mozilla knows what they are doing...


Userbase removes Firefox support


Mozilla: killing the open web.


If everyone hates what firefox/mozilla is doing why dont you guys stop writing blog posts and start making a fork of firefox/thunderbird?


There's already plenty. I'm sure Pale Moon will keep RSS intact just as they're choosing to stay with the XUL-based extensions platform.


Not sure why you're mad but Firefox doesn't exactly consist of 10 files.


Well I guess I should chill sorry... but if like even if some of the people stopped blogging and started either testing the alternatives or maybe wrote a few lines of code to fix the small bugs we would get somewhere.


Who needs RSS when there is pocket. /s


It's sad that Mozilla's excuse when responding to the Pocket integration was that Pocket wouldn't affect Firefox if you you use it. Now why don't they say the same for RSS? The "new tab" page is a glorified Pocket ads right now.


You can turn those off easily enough: just click the gear in the top right of the newtab page.



Classical Mozilla


As long as it still renders the RSS feed in a reasonable manner and doesn't default to just an XML dump.

I guess it's not too bad.

Edit: actually it looks like they're removing the reader as well. Guess I'll have to find a extension. Shouldn't be too hard



I think if anything, this supports Mozilla's message: "... where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered..."

Well, individuals shaped their experience by not using RSS.


Well, that thing in bookmarks wasn't really that useful (if it ever was) for most of users, so I'm a bit surprised they kept support for RSS for so long. I would've not been surprised if they dropped support for it around the same time they killed e.g. Gopher-related code (Firefox 4, c. 2011).




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