Related to Dan's complaint, I see the FeedBurner, like a few other services, does a good job of using XSLT and CSS to render human readable views of RSS feeds.

Have a look at John Battelle's feed. Aside from the fact that they weren't expecting his feed to contain HTML, it's a pretty good shell in which to see a feed for the first time.

Posted by jzawodn at January 16, 2005 10:35 AM

Reader Comments
# Robert Sayre said:

Yeah, they do a pretty good job. They shove HTML content into content:encoded, and strip the markup from the description, which doubles feed size. But hey, it's their bandwidth.

If Atom feeds come through with XHTML content, you can see the markup too.

The tradeoff is that escaped markup shows up if it's encoded.

on January 16, 2005 10:50 AM
# Eric Lunt said:

If you dare fire up IE and take a look at the feed in that browser, you'll see it looks much nicer and the HTML renders just fine. In Firefox (which I assume you're using ... isn't everyone these days?), they have made a conscious decision to not support the disable-output-escaping attribute, which means no treating the chunk of text as a renderable DOM fragment.

We've tried a number of workarounds, but nothing (short of running every content through HtmlTidy to get well-formed XHTML) has worked yet. If anyone has any ideas, please send them to feedback at!

on January 16, 2005 02:09 PM
# Joel Abrams said:

The Christian Science Monitor recently started using an XSLT on our RSS feeds as well, so that when you click on the orange button, it works properly (and you see a little introduction to RSS, as well). The XSL file gets about 70 clicks a day, which shows that this perhaps isn't a huge problem (or shows that users have quickly learned not to click on the orange button).

For those who don't want to learn XSLTs, FeedForm offers this service for free.

on January 18, 2005 10:36 AM
# Matt Shobe said:

Over at FeedBurner we've recently released an upgrade to the original Browser-Friendly service -- its focus is now on subscriber education (i.e., 'how do i use this thing I'm looking at?'), rather than the feed content itself. Comments and trackbacks about the service update are quite welcome. FYI, the richest human-readable view option is only supported by XSLT-capable browsers, such as Firefox, IE, and Mozilla.

on February 1, 2005 10:07 PM
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