[wp-hackers] feed:http://address problem

Joseph Scott joseph at randomnetworks.com
Thu May 19 17:09:54 GMT 2005

On May 18, 2005, at 11:02 AM, Matthew Mullenweg wrote:

> Mihailo Stefanovic wrote:
>> In short, in default themes, feed URI's have 'feed:' prefix. Ie.:
>> feed:http://www.mikis.org/blog/feed/
>> What is this for? At least Firefox doesn't recognize it as a valid  
>> protocol.
> Safari RSS, most feed aggregators, the Yahoo toolbar, etc all  
> either register the feed: protocal or plan to in the future.  
> Chances are if you have an aggregator that link works far better  
> than dumping you on a screen with a bunch of XML. If your  
> aggregator doesn't support feed: I would file a bug with them.

I don't believe that feed: is actually a protocol, which is  
contributing to this problem.  I realize that mailto: isn't really a  
protocol either, but I don't believe that comparing mailto: and feed:  
is valid, one doesn't even use http as a transport in the end.

What feed: does is use the http protocol (I'm not saying anything new  
here, just trying to clarify things).  Feeds are document types,  
which should be dealt with by mime types.  Unfortunately that isn't a  
perfect solution either.

So what should we do?  Personally I ripped out the feed: links and  
simply used http: again to point at the feed urls.  In Safari this  
works exactly as you would expect, it determines that it is a feed  
and shows it as such.  In Firefox is displays it as pretty XML, as  
does IE.  In my opinion this is better that giving an error because  
you are asking the browser to use a protocol that doesn't exist (feed:).

At the very least if you are going to reference the feed: idea don't  
refer to it as a protocol.  As for getting more browsers and tools to  
make use of feed:, I don't believe that putting up broken links on WP  
installs is going encourage much of anything.  If feed: does become  
more wide spread it will be because of the massive use of feeds now,  
not putting up broken links on sites.

Joseph Scott
URL: http://joseph.randomnetworks.com/
Email: joseph at randomnetworks.com

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