Safari 1.3 and feed URIs

The feed URI scheme (aka: ‘feed:// protocol’) should make it easy to subscribe to RSS news feeds with one-click. Nick Bradbury (author of FeedDemon) explains:

[…] let’s face it: subscribing to feeds is a huge pain right now and it’s causing far too much confusion. Feed reading has left the phase where only techies do it, so relying on orange XML and RSS buttons that spew XML when clicked just doesn’t cut it.

The feed protocol aims to simplify this mess so that clicking on a feed:// link enables quick subscription via the user’s feed reader. I’m hoping more applications - and more web sites - support this protocol so that we can put the days of subscribing by URL copy/pasting behind us.

This has become a fairly well supported mechanism (FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, NewsGator, Shrook, RSS Bandit, NewzCrawler, Sharpreader amongst others support the feed URI scheme). Now, this depends on the browser telling your RSS reader “Hey, here’s a feed for you… now do something with it!”.

Safari v1.2 ‘played nice’ and passed the URI of the feed to your RSS reader, the feed was subscribed-to, and it was all tickety-boo. It seems that Safari v1.3 (released on Friday with the 10.3.9 System upgrade) stops doing this, and nags you to upgrade to Tiger (which hasn’t been released yet).

The worst thing is that this doesn’t seem like just a regression. Dealing with feed:// links is a special case, someone sat there and composed this ‘Error’ message — knowing that the old behaviour had changed, and presumably had it translated into the 14 languages in which Safari ships. This pretty much sucks.