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Vote: The Board Supports the Common Feed Icon

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  • rcade
    The proposal [1] to support the common feed icon [2] has passed 5-0, with RSS Advisory Board members Meg Hourihan, Jenny Levine, Eric Lunt, Randy Charles Morin
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 20, 2006
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      The proposal [1] to support the common feed icon [2] has passed 5-0,
      with RSS Advisory Board members Meg Hourihan, Jenny Levine, Eric Lunt,
      Randy Charles Morin and myself voting in favor.

      In an effort to make the concept of syndication easier for mainstream
      users, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera will all identify
      RSS and Atom feeds with the same icon:

      http://www.rssboard.org/images/syndicated-feed-icon.gif

      The board has adopted the symbol on this site and encourages its use
      on web sites, browsers, and syndication software.

      Additionally, the board encourages web publishers to use the icon on
      any feed, regardless of whether it employs Atom [3] or the two formats
      that call themselves RSS: RDF Site Summary [4] and Really Simple
      Syndication [5].

      If you've added the icon to a site published with Movable Type,
      WordPress or another weblog publishing system, your tips on
      implementing the icon are welcomed here on RSS-Public.

      1: http://www.rssboard.org/news/36/proposal-support-common-feed-icon
      2: http://www.feedicons.com/
      3: http://www.atomenabled.org/
      4: http://web.resource.org/rss/1.0/
      5: http://www.rssboard.org/
    • David Powell
      ... It seems a good idea for browsers to use a consistent feed icon, but isn t there a risk of confusion if this icon is co-opted by content publishers for use
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 20, 2006
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        Monday, March 20, 2006, 1:34:00 PM, rcade wrote:

        > The board has adopted the symbol on this site and encourages its use
        > on web sites, browsers, and syndication software.

        > Additionally, the board encourages web publishers to use the icon on
        > any feed, regardless of whether it employs Atom [3] or the two formats
        > that call themselves RSS: RDF Site Summary [4] and Really Simple
        > Syndication [5].

        It seems a good idea for browsers to use a consistent feed icon, but
        isn't there a risk of confusion if this icon is co-opted by content
        publishers for use on their sites?

        The Microsoft announcement only suggested the use of the feed icon in
        software such as browser chrome. Putting the icon on your actual page,
        may be well meaning, but isn't it almost as confusing as those "Your
        PC Needs A Software Update!!!" spam pop-ups intended to look like
        Windows error messages?

        Having two identical icons on screen, one in the browser chrome that
        works, and one on the page that a) might work, b) might present the
        user with an unknown-filetype download box, c) might display a load of
        XML gunk, or d) might display a completely different user interface
        according to the feed's stylesheet link - seems to be a questionable
        user-interface design.

        Who does this actually benefit? Won't it only be Feed-enabled browsers
        that do anything useful when the user clicks on the icon? And, won't
        those browsers already have the benefit of the icon in the browser
        chrome from the page's LINK tags anwyay?

        --
        Dave
      • rcade
        ... That s already happening: http://www.technorati.com/search/www.feedicons.com All 1,000+ of those links to the site promoting the common feed icon were made
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 21, 2006
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          --- In rss-public@yahoogroups.com, David Powell <djpowell@...> wrote:
          > It seems a good idea for browsers to use a consistent feed icon, but
          > isn't there a risk of confusion if this icon is co-opted by content
          > publishers for use on their sites?

          That's already happening:

          http://www.technorati.com/search/www.feedicons.com

          All 1,000+ of those links to the site promoting the common feed icon
          were made in the last several months.

          I see the common icon as an improvement on web pages because there's
          so little uniformity in how sites identify their syndicated feeds.

          > Having two identical icons on screen, one in the browser chrome that
          > works, and one on the page that a) might work, b) might present the
          > user with an unknown-filetype download box, c) might display a load of
          > XML gunk, or d) might display a completely different user interface
          > according to the feed's stylesheet link - seems to be a questionable
          > user-interface design.

          I view this as a separate problem -- first you come up with a way to
          let people know you offer feeds, then you decide the best thing to do
          when they open your feed.

          Randy has done some work on this with his Universal Subscription
          Mechanism proposal:

          http://www.kbcafe.com/rss/usm.html
        • ecomputerd
          ... but ... content ... icon ... there s ... that ... the ... load of ... interface ... questionable ... to ... do ... I agree that how the client interprets
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 21, 2006
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            --- In rss-public@yahoogroups.com, "rcade" <rcade@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In rss-public@yahoogroups.com, David Powell <djpowell@> wrote:
            > > It seems a good idea for browsers to use a consistent feed icon,
            but
            > > isn't there a risk of confusion if this icon is co-opted by
            content
            > > publishers for use on their sites?
            >
            > That's already happening:
            >
            > http://www.technorati.com/search/www.feedicons.com
            >
            > All 1,000+ of those links to the site promoting the common feed
            icon
            > were made in the last several months.
            >
            > I see the common icon as an improvement on web pages because
            there's
            > so little uniformity in how sites identify their syndicated feeds.
            >
            > > Having two identical icons on screen, one in the browser chrome
            that
            > > works, and one on the page that a) might work, b) might present
            the
            > > user with an unknown-filetype download box, c) might display a
            load of
            > > XML gunk, or d) might display a completely different user
            interface
            > > according to the feed's stylesheet link - seems to be a
            questionable
            > > user-interface design.
            >
            > I view this as a separate problem -- first you come up with a way
            to
            > let people know you offer feeds, then you decide the best thing to
            do
            > when they open your feed.
            >
            > Randy has done some work on this with his Universal Subscription
            > Mechanism proposal:
            >
            > http://www.kbcafe.com/rss/usm.html
            >

            I agree that how the client interprets the XML is a separate issue.

            This may be a related point: what the feed icon specifically points
            to is extremely relevant to the user experience and developer
            tools/support.

            Right now, there appears to be a significant deployment of the RSS
            orange icon. This icon variously points to (meaning "surrounded by
            an A tag/element having an HREF URL pointing to):
            An HTML page listing feeds (may or may not include autodiscovery or
            USM).
            XML feed.

            Simply saying "this is the new icon" does not improve the ability of
            tool developers to design the user experience.

            To help tool developers, it would extremely beneficial to
            specify "the icon is an IMG tag, surrounded by an A tag with an HREF
            that points to an XML or an HTML file. If the HREF tag points to an
            XML file, then the Server MUST specify a Content-Type of ATOM or RSS
            or other syndication feed. If the HREF tag points to an HTML file,
            the server MUST report a Content-Type of [is it text/html?] and that
            HTML file must implement Autodiscovery."

            Notes:
            1) I'll have to read up on Autodiscovery vs. USM, but both I think
            could be relevant here.
            2) I'm not proposing this exact language (yet), just a rough form.
            It's possible we want the feed icon to ONLY point to XML files. And
            we should recommend another icon for A) a list of feeds with
            autodiscovery and B) an HTML "About feeds" help page.


            I didn't see any of these requirements in the original proposal.

            I know this is more restrictive, but if we have significant
            deployment prior to this being specified, we'll end up with the same
            tool development problem that we have now with the RSS orange icon.

            We don't just need to get this working with IE and Firefox and
            Opera. We have to also get it working (or rather "make it possible
            to get it working") for Pocket Internet Explorer and [insert Symbian
            browser name here]. "Get it working" means have the ability for a
            user to browse a page, see the icon, and tap the icon to subscribe.

            I thought I had brought this issue up during discussion, but I can't
            find it in RSS-Public.

            I'm divided on the "icon on page vs. icon in toolbar" issue. I think
            it's a valid point, but I'm not decided on a recommendation.

            Greg Smith
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