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From "Dave Johnson" <snoopd...@gmail.com>
Subject Styled RSS/Atom feeds in Roller 3.0 and a question about defaults
Date Tue, 25 Jul 2006 14:54:54 GMT
The problem and solution

In Roller 2.X and earlier, it's not obvious how to use the newsfeed
links that appear in most every blog. If you click on a link with one
of the commonly used browsers (IE6 and Firefox), you get a download
window -- not exactly a good user experience.

With Roller 3.0, we're adding styled feeds. That means that, when you
click on a feed URL with your browser, you'll see a nice friendly HTML
page that tells you how to subscribe to the feed and lists the feed's
latest entries -- see the attached image for an example.

How it's done

When a feed request comes in from a browser (we use user-agent and
accepts headers to determine this), serve the feed with content type
"text/html" so that the browser will load it. All feeds now include an
XSL style-sheet that transforms the feed into the HTML you see in the
browser. And by the way, with IE7, which has it's own built-in feed
styler, the style-sheet is ignored.

When a newsfeed reader accesses the same URL, it gets the feed XML
(served with the right content-type application/atom+xml or
application/rss+xml) and the stylesheet is ignored.

The question

The question is this: should styled-feeds be optional or always on
and, if it's optional should styled feeds default to on or off?

My opinion is that they should be optional and they should default to
ON because good user experience should be the default.

- Dave

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