Firefox’s RSS auto discovery needs fixing

Just been putting OPML subscriptions into some of the BBC world service sites using auto discovery. Theres a really nasty thing firefox does with autodiscovery which was unexpected. It seems to search for all link rel's with RSS or ATOM in the title attribute. This is fine except when you try to put something like RSS subscription list as a title attribute for a opml file. Then Firefox tries to load it in as a live bookmark, which when I first tried it, I thought was very cool. But of course it breaks. After some googling looks like no one else has hit this issue before. So here it is for all to see. By the way, OPML is now available in beta form for the 35 rss 1.0 languages we do now. It works like this – http://www.bbc.co.uk/ [language service] / rssnewsfeed.opml. For example – http://www.bbc.co.uk/czech/rssnewsfeed.opml. You should start to see auto discovery link elements for them coming over the next few days, and I hope to clean up the default exported opml files with more information in the near future.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.