RSS Auto Subscribe

Introduction

For RSS to become mainstream, there is a least one thing that has to be made easier: subscription. We have seen that all major web sites have added RSS feeds to their web pages with the XML button next to the link. The XML button indicates the link is to XML data of the feed, or is it supposedly to be used by the user to click and subscribe?

Surprising to most ordinary users, clicking the XML button actually opens up the XML page and displays the cryptic XML data on screen. To subscribe to a RSS feed, one often has to learn to copy and paste the URL of the link to their new reader. There must be an easier and more transparent way of subscribing to RSS feeds!

Follows the same idea of RSS Auto Discovery, Deepnet Explorer 1.4 introduces RSS Auto Subscribe.

Implementation

It is simple, yet effective. To indicate that a hypertext link is to a RSS feed the developer would simply use the REL and TYPE attributes in the A tag, almost identical to the way RSS Auto Discovery is implemented:

<a rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml href=http://news.com.com/2547-1_3-0-5.xml> <img src="http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/ne/gr/xml.gif"></a>

Example:

Click here to subscribe CNET News

If the underlined content of the link is an OPML document, then we specify "application/opml+xml" as its type.

The beauty of this approach is that the hypertext link is fully compatible with all browsers regardless whether or not the browser supports Auto Subscribe.