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Mozilla Firefox: RSS and Live Bookmarks

view RSS web feeds using Mozilla Firefox | 44 comments

Since public release 1.0 (also known as version 0.10) Mozilla Firefox has a very nice feature: Live Bookmarks. With Live Bookmarks you can see the item titles of an RSS web feed ("headlines") in your bookmarks. This way you can stay in touch with sites without visiting them all the time.

How to create a Live Bookmark

Subscribing to an RSS web feed is as simple as creating a so called Live Bookmark. And to make life even easier Firefox can auto detect some feeds, and provide a shortcut for subscribing.

Subscribing to an RSS feed (pre 1.5)
Subscribing to an RSS feed (pre 1.5)

When you visit a site and you see the orange icon in the bottom right part of the Mozilla Firefox browser window (the status bar), or if you are using version 1.5 or newer, in the right most part of the address bar.

Subscribing to an RSS feed (1.5 and later)
Subscribing to an RSS feed (1.5 and later)

You can add the feed(s) by clicking the orange icon and subscribing to one. If there is more then one RSS feed, Firefox shows a list from which you can pick one.

Multiple RSS feeds (1.5 and later)
Multiple RSS feeds (1.5 and later)

The Add Bookmark (Add Live Bookmark for 1.5 and newer) dialog appears and you can add the Live Bookmark.

Adding a Live Bookmark
Adding a Live Bookmark

I prefer to add the Live bookmarks to the Bookmarks Toolbar Folder, normally shown under the navigation toolbar, so I can have a quick peek at recent events with just one mouse click.

Live Bookmarks added to the Toolbar Folder
Live Bookmarks added to the Toolbar Folder

Manually subscribing to an RSS feed

If a site has an RSS feed, but the orange icon doesn't show up, you can add the feed manually. Select "New Live Bookmark..." in the Bookmarks Manager and enter the URL and other information of the feed.

How to get the orange icon on your site

If your site makes a feed available, but the orange icon doesn't show up in the status bar, add the following lines to the head part (not the body) of your HTML pages:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"
    title="John Bokma RSS" href="/index.rss">

Add a link element as given above for each RSS feed available on your site. If you need an example, just view the source of this web page.

Other options

In the past I used Awasu, which I didn't like because it uses Internet Explorer, and Aggreg8, a Firefox extension. But Live Bookmarks does exactly what I want, using the right browser and just showing the headlines.

RSS feed related

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