Autosubscription to newsfeeds

As Stanton Finley pointed out in my comments, AOL‘s explanation of RSS mentions that the link to the feed is not meant to be viewed in a web browser. They’ve clearly thought about the problem of people clicking those ubiquitous orange XML and RSS buttons.
I’m wondering if there’s some way to tell the browser how to recognize an RSS (or Atom?) feed and summon a helper application (probably an aggregator, such as Radio or NetNewsWire or SharpReader, etc.) where the feed can be handled, subscribed to, viewed, and so on?
I guess this is what NewsMonster does automatically in the Mozilla context? I’m downloading Firebird now to try it out.






3 responses to “Autosubscription to newsfeeds”

  1. Pete Hopkins Avatar

    I can think of two solutions: have a special MIME type for RSS (maybe this is already being used? application/xml+rss or something?). Web browsers would think they couldn’t display it and download the file to disk, possibly auto-launching a helper. I don’t think this is the best solution, though, because it doesn’t make sense to download the file to disk.
    What would be better would be to make rss:// URLs, then attach the helper to that. Then the URL would get passed to the helper, which could subscribe to it.

  2. Kevin Burton Avatar

    I just blogged about this the other day. Probably required reading…
    BTW (not a good idea to fail on comment post without an email and I don’t believe it was a 404 either)

  3. This Pirate Kills Fascists Avatar

    Telling An Aggregator To Subscribe

    Several parties have recently looked at the issue of how to make a link in a webpage that signals to an RSS (or whatever) aggregator that it should subscribe to a feed: With the immanent arrival of AOL Journals, some