Safari RSS; notes and queries

by Giles Turnbull

At a press preview event the other day, I had a chance to see the new Tiger version of Safari in a bit more detail.



The most-hyped new feature in Safari is RSS feed reading and management, and I was curious to see how this would measure up against the UI of popular aggregators like NetNewsWire and NewsFire.



The new Safari treats feeds just like any bookmark, and the UI controls are much the same. Where other feed-centric apps have been busy adding their own (WebKit-constructed) built-in browsers in recent months, Safari is heading in the opposite directions, adding a feed manager into the browser.



When you browse to a web page with an associated feed, a blue 'RSS' icon appears in the address bar. Click this and you're shown a view of the feed itself, nicely styled (I'm guessing this style will be pretty easy to customize).



From then on, you 'subscribe' to the feed by adding it to your bookmarks list.



You can combine all feeds into a single page, for a very helpful-sounding "What's new?" view, and you can view feeds using a number of criteria (by source name, by time/date, etc).



Best of all, you can search through all the feed data for something specific, and then save that search as yet another bookmark.



Now you have a saved, constantly-updated, personalised search which you can use any time you want to crawl through all your incoming feeds for new stuff about "dogs in hats" or whatever else you care about. Nice.



I only had a brief opportunity to see Safari in action, and didn't get answers to these questions:




  • Can I add a new feed without visiting the web page first?

  • What happens on web pages with more than one associated feed?

  • How does Safari treat 'old' items, and how do I mark them as 'read'?



I look forward to getting the answers to these questions just as soon as Tiger arrives.




Might you be tempted to switch from a dedicated aggregator/reader to the new Safari?


1 Comments

F.J.
2005-04-27 09:27:50
I might be able to help…
Hi!


First of all, thanks for such an informative blog entry! :^)


Here are the answers to your questions:


1. Can I add a new feed without visiting the web page first?


Yes, you just need to enter a "feed://" URL in the URL field or add it to your bookmark list and this will cause the RSS View to automatically open. Mixing "http://" and "feed://" URLs inside the same list has uh… unexpected results with Safari opening the pages immediately in tabs and grouping the remaining feeds in the RSS viewer.


2. What happens on web pages with more than one associated feed?


While you can add manually the feeds to your list by copying and pasting the link, Safari will only recognize one feed in the many available.


3. How does Safari treat 'old' items, and how do I mark them as 'read'?


"Old" items are removed according to the interval you set in your preferences. An item is marked as old when it is displayed for the second time (or more) or clicked on.


I hope this helps!


FJ