With more perspective on the problem, I think the way we implemented it at the time was wrong, with the XML processing done in unsandboxed C++. At the time, Chrome didn't use any HTML for its UI like the new tab page, so only web content was sandboxed, but with today's perspective it's obvious to me you want to process XML content with the same sandboxing indirection you use for other untrusted data formats. So in retrospect I'm glad the feature didn't launch as it was, because it would've been a security disaster.
Also my recollection is that the code wasn't great. (I feel allowed to say that because I authored it -- I'm not slagging on my coworkers.)
I used to have direct feeds from my YouTube subscriptions, but they either killed or moved that feature. This runs on the same $5 vm as my RSS feed reader and works great.
FWIW, I noticed that Substack has RSS feeds for its newsletters, so that is an option.
It could be optimized though, there's currently a lot of data in it and hadn't had a lot of time.
2) Question as someone who's new to RSS: is there a standard URL path that a reader can use to automatically find your XML feed? I've already added RSS to my site, but right now there's just a home page link to the XML document, I'm not sure how it would be auto-discovered for such a "follow" button
Just looked through the Chromium source code, the algorithm for finding RSS feeds is here: https://source.chromium.org/chromium/chromium/src/+/main:com...
 https://pypi.org/project/feedsearch/  https://fetchrss.com/api
Yes. Add a link like this:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="My articles" href="/articles/rss/" />
(Or more likely, application/atom+xml -- rss is not great, atom is generally what you want, and what you'll be publishing)
I work for a service that creates "RSS" feeds as a side effect of what we do and they've all be Atom for 10+ years with no issues.
Please let the RSS format die.
In theory it's a simple protocol, but there are so many differing implementations that it's a full-time job to keep up with all the little warts.
Making complicate protocol simpler require process equivalent to rewrite in software. Re-architecture the basics. It is more then seldom to the point you can think all that complications are intentional.
One example of simplification that happen in IT is UTF-8. But it was more a replacement and big companies didn't switch anyway...
Another article on the front page is about the Amish and carefully evaluating how tech fits into your life and values, and who it serves.
Applying that here -- RSS does serve those who want to get updates from a site, and does not serve advertisers and cookie-traffickers. RSS is peak "good old days" of the Web.
Yeah, there's some sites that have killed their RSS feeds, and feeds can be tough to find (though there's browser extensions that fix that issue), but most major news organizations, blogging platforms, etc, support RSS. And for those that don't (including Twitter, Instagram, Github, etc), RSS Bridge can often fill the gap:
In short: RSS is my frontend to the web, and it's fantastic!
The whole podcasting space is going through a period of massive consolidation as podcast networks get bought up by the likes of Spotify and Apple (e.g. Gimlet). I won't be in the least bit surprised if those existing acquisitions are eventually forced to shut down their RSS feeds and go exclusive, and for new acquisitions to start out that way, as Netflix has proven content is the way to drive more subscribers to their platforms.
Meanwhile, Spotify and Apple have a huge advantage over RSS-based podcasts: data. The simple fact is, thanks to their walled garden, app-centric platforms, they can collect more behavioural data and target advertising more effectively, which means they draw advertisers away and make it a lot harder for everyone else to compete.
Do these headwinds stop the small players from continuing to publish via RSS? No, not at all. But if the bulk of the money and audience shifts to those walled gardens due to their owning the biggest names in the business while enabling the kind of surveillance capitalism that's so in demand, eventually the ecosystem built up around RSS is in danger of drying up.
For Chrome I can't vouch for anything recently but I came across this a while back:
It sits in the sidebar and automatically updates so you can immediately see when a feed updates, then the feed renders in the main panel. This is very useful for news, status pages, and things like live YouTube events.
Is it a problem in practice (cannot be solved by removing images or similar)? Could it be improved through smarter polling or some "last updated since" header? Or by using an "active" RPC-like protocol where the reader specifically queries for "list of all articles since this timestamp" and can fetch them together or individually, with or without images?
For my extremely minimal site, the RSS feed is still smaller than normal pageloads because it only has graphics by reference. RSS readers scrape surprisingly often, but the file is small and highly cacheable, and most of them do a HEAD request only initially and never ask for the file if it hasn't changed. Despite accounting for a large percentage of requests, RSS clients account for only a small portion of traffic. The cool thing is that a lot of these RSS readers are shared (commercial feed readers, ttrss instances, etc) and so they are caching the feed on their end and actually saving me bandwidth vs an equivalent number of users accessing the site directly - a lot of these put the subscriber account in their UA string so I can see that e.g. Feedly is making regular requests during the day but has 30-some users behind those requests. It's a better deal from a cost-perspective than those 30-some people checking each day.
So a) no, it doesn't contain images, just URLs to images where necessary; an RSS or ATOM feed is just a text XML document adhering to a certain schema, and b) the feed file is only as big as the site decides it needs to be.
For example, a typical blog or news organization could generate a feed containing the last 24 hours worth of new content. Feed readers will poll that and pull in new content while ignoring existing content.
In short: this should be a non-issue unless you're turning out massive amounts of new material on a regular basis, in which case you're probably a major news organization and can afford it.
> As a result, some blogs (like christine.website) stopped serving article contents in the RSS feeds.
This isn't because of bandwidth concerns. This is because they can't advertise in an RSS feed so they want to drive eyeballs to the site.
Personally, I run ttrss and use a plugin that scrapes the content from the source site and embeds it right in my feed. As a result I only have to leave my feed reader if I really want to for some reason (e.g. to read comments on the originating site... like, say, HN!)
The real reason why sites started switching to partial content is advertising. This is why personal or corporate blogs usually provide full content and some sites like ArsTechnica.com offer it to paid subscribers.
What is that dark pattern called again that Microsoft is so famous for? … join and effort, co-opt/compromise it, and then take it over and make it their own; leaving the original effort totally eviscerated?
Edit: apparently someone else (sthnblllII) smells exactly the same trap but knew the term/phrase; "embrace extend extinguish".
This renders any move the Chrome developers make available and usable to something approaching an actual critical mass of usage, even if it is a less open standard.
And I say this as a Firefox user and someone who wants open standards to win out over whatever corporate lock-in Google decide to roll out.
My only major concern is that the format of appearing on the New Tab Page may encourage short "summary" style feeds instead of full-content feeds.
If this means that feeds will be sorted/hidden based on a black box trained to sell me things, sorry but I won't call that rss.
Rss for me is an aggregator, a list where all and every item of multiple lists are placed together and sorted chronologically, optionally with tags to filter if needed. I choose the lists to aggregate, I decide which posts to read and which not, and if I don't like the content of a list, I'm the one to remove it. I have full control, not an algorithm.
If it's the latter, then no-thank-you.
This is a shitty play.
And "follow" is not a "social media buzz word". "Follow" and "Subscribe" have been used for fucking ever in the RSS world, long before Facebook was a thing.
Now there are tons of better alternatives to Google Reader, without the tracking, great mobile apps… I would never go back to Google Reader, even if it resurrected tomorrow.
I seem to remember both internet explorer and firefox back then could open RSS feed albeit poorly in comparison.
Then came chrome. I resisted switching from Opera until it became useless, but we had Google Reader for feeds even though chrome couldn't read RSS. Reading feeds was not a problem until they killed Reader.
Then we were left with chrome with no rss support and no Google Reader. Feedly was to bloaty to keep using.
This how i see the progression of chrome killing rss.
I understand how you feel; improving RSS support in Chrome feels shitty, considering what they did to Reader. Even bringing back Google Reader would be unwelcome, at this point.
Having said that, since Google killed Reader, it's not the least bit clear what would you even want Google to do now, in 2021, beyond what they're doing in Chrome. What could possibly make amends for killing Google Reader?
For Chrome alterivates, Vivaldi have native RSS support. It need to be enabled in the setting to use RSS.
Also there are tt-rss for selfhosting.
Google's "revival" of RSS is reassuring that my beliefs/observations might not be too wrong.
My "aha moment", assuming it was an aha moment, was noticing the number of views on certain youtube channels and believing that blog posts generally don't get a similar number of view. At first I thought the obvious reason is people like videos more than blog posts. But then I thought, well, maybe one reasons is because youtube recommends more things to watch as well as lets you subscribe and blog posts don't.
on that subject, anyone know of a way to filter out keywords on a feed in feedly?
ie I have a RSS feed that has Amazon stuff popping up in it, I loath anything amazon and don't want to see anything with the word Amazon in it.
Sure it's a pseudo-killer app/tech on the net we lost somewhat (yes I know, never went away really) but it's also been there done that.
Firefox had this. Email apps and "Readers" had it.
But we moved to following Twitter feeds and social. And the number of sites publishing out there went down anyways. Yes, there's been an uptick in personal sites and blogs again for sure. But despite what we see in the tech bubble are there really that many sites/feeds out there worth following? That aren't being followed elsewhere already?
Having Options for ways to keep in touch are good sure but history repeats when we'll see again the feature isn't worth maintaining or provides no return for publishers.
Sorry I missed the googleio discussion earlier.
What we need is good experience built on top of it.
I wrote about it here: https://www.fivefilters.org/2021/google-news-rss-feeds/
Meanwhile, we have RSS-Bridge as a bandaid for those sites which dont support RSS.
Sadly, I already reinvented the wheel for the primary RSS-less site I use (the DoN's ALNAVS listing: https://www.mynavyhr.navy.mil/References/Messages/ALNAV-2021...). On my site, myrss.xml is a symbolic link to myrss.py, which reads the ALNAVs site, parses the main table, updates a sqlite database of titles, links, publication dates, and descriptions, and spits out the RSS representation of everything in the database.
Maybe I'll have to play with RSS-Bridge next time I run into something similar!
Given recent conversations, I just have to point out that RSS goes right into email. Great match, will work like a treat, just saying.
Also allows them to sidestep all sorts of cookie limitations on personal data. Smart.
Can you explain what you mean by that?
If 3rd party cookies are blocked, then it's hard for Google to know what people are looking at, and also hard to sell ads at the highest rates.
However, if you connect an RSS feed into a user's google account via a browser button, then you now have access to all the things a user likes (by virtue of the fact that the user has clicked the follow me button, thereby signaling, "hey, I'm interested in this!").
I have no idea how this gets implemented for Google, but if there isn't some tie in to their advertising revenue, I'd be surprised.
But I'd prefer this was a separate web service rather than tied to chrome so I can view it on safari on my phone too. But if Google makes it more attractive for websites to support RSS then more tools/readers will become available.
Forcing Firefox to follow that.
And now google comes back with, look at this shiny new RSS.
Fuck you Google. Youre a plague and cancer to the internet.
Why does this not exist?
This sounds like an "embrace extend extinguish" strategy. Piggyback on websites that have RSS for basic functionality, but use Google's control over the browser to ultimately push websites into something like update aggregation to "reduce server load" that allows Google to track people even when they think they are using an open alternative. It's similar to Google's recent move on FlOC. Making small easily reversible moves towards an open web that protect Google's core position from regulation and users choosing alternatives.
EDIT: If Google deserved the benefit of the doubt they wouldn't still be reading people's email to build creepy profiles on everyone's interests and browsing history. I'm not a fool, I'll consider giving them the benefit of the doubt after they stop that and delete all the data they have collected.
Disclaimer: I currently work at Google.
To be argumentative, though, I would wager a lot of money that you don't know what _exactly_ your SMS messages are being scanned for either.
Precisely, this is why I try to limit my use of services that require my phone number for any reason, and sms messaging in general.
If you like RSS, don't rely on Google. They'll probably kill it again  after this experiment runs its course, or wait until more people adopt it by default and then try to break yet another open standard.
If you'd like a recommendation, Feedbin is fantastic.
Everything else has about or below a million of users.
80 millions is a lot, yes? We have 4660 million web users.
Twitter has 200 million users. TikTok has 700 million users. Instagram has 1000 million users. WhatsApp has 2000 million users. Facebook has 2701 million of users. Youtube 2740 million users.
All of those one-off platforms dwarf the supposedly ubiquitous RSS format, and all those one-off platforms have one-off apps with their own push notifications for content.
RSS is today a small niche. It's on a path to becoming like IRC, where a small core of people swear it's the most important thing ever, but actually they didn't get the memo that most everyone has moved on.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say. There's more people using internet now in general. Saying "it's absolutely irrelevant except to a small niche of users" is an egregious statement.