Simon Willison’s Weblog

Browser innovation is alive and well

Here’s a feature that caught me by surprise (maybe I haven’t been keeping my ear close enough to the ground): the new Firefox 1.0 preview release supports Live Bookmarks, a novel twist on RSS aggregators where feeds look just like bookmark folders, displaying a list of bookmarks corresponding to the headlines from the feed. Best of all, the feature support RSS autodiscovery. Sites with auto-discoverable feeds display an attractive RSS icon on the right hand side of the status bar, allowing for one click subscriptions.

There are certainly some issues to be ironed out. Subscribing to a feed without auto-discovery isn’t very easy, as the “New Live Bookmark” button is missing from the bookmark manager’s toolbar (look in the File menu there instead). I also haven’t found the interface for setting subscription options such as polling intervals, so I’ll have to trust that Firefox is doing more or less the right thing. Those points aside, it’s great to see Firefox driving forward browser innovation yet again.

Update: Here’s a killer app for this feature: if you use blogmarks/b-links/del.icio.us instead of bookmarks, subscribing to the accompanying RSS feed as a live bookmark will give you access to your most recently added items within the browser UI.

This is Browser innovation is alive and well by Simon Willison, posted on 14th September 2004.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2004/09/14/liveBookmarks