When
· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · December
· · · · 18 (1 entry)

Orange, but Unhappy · If the IE team and the Fire­fox team agree on some­thing, can it be a bad idea? Ac­cord­ing­ly, pages at on­go­ing now have a lit­tle or­ange here’s-the-feed splodge at the bot­tom of the right margin. De­spite that, it is a bad idea; a tem­po­rary mea­sure at best. Based on re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence with my Mom and an­oth­er Mac new­bie, this whole feed-reading thing ain’t gonna be­come main­stream un­til it’s re­al­ly re­al­ly in­te­grat­ed. By in­te­grat­ed I mean that that if a page has a feed, there should be a stan­dard but­ton some­where in the browser, one click and you’re sub­scribed, and on that but­ton should be the word “Subscribe” in your na­tive lan­guage. The no­tions that this should de­pend on a but­ton that the au­thor has to put in the page, that it should be dec­o­rat­ed with a vac­u­ous icon or a geek acronym, and that the the us­er has to copy the link and paste it in­to some oth­er pro­gram, well that’s just lame-brained, and Mom won’t do it. To be fair, the Mac now gets this part­ly right; it has the no­tion of a “default feed reader”, and it does au­todis­cov­ery, and a blue RSS glyph ap­pears in the brows­er chrome as ap­pro­pri­ate, with dis­patch to the de­fault read­er. There are still two prob­lem­s: First, a blue rect­an­gle with a white “RSS” on it means ap­prox­i­mate­ly noth­ing un­less you’re al­ready feed-savvy. Se­cond, when most peo­ple click on it, they get the Sa­fari read­er, which is pret­ty fee­ble. Steps in the right di­rec­tion, but I look for­ward to am­pu­tat­ing the or­ange lozenge soon­er rather than lat­er. [Up­date: It’s bet­ter than I thought; this will end up in both browsers’ chrome. So in a cou­ple of years, when maybe half the pop­u­la­tion has a brows­er with one-click sub­scrip­tion, we’ll find out if feeds will ev­er be­come main­stream.]
 
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