Styled RSS

Thursday 6 November 2003This is over 19 years old. Be careful.

Dave Shea at Mezzoblue wrote today about Plugging the RSS Usability Hole, where he finally gave a good reason for styling RSS feeds: so that unsuspecting users who click an RSS link see something intelligible. It’s good idea, so I did it on this site. I also wrote a page to help explain RSS while I was at it.

If you haven’t heard of this idea yet: the RSS feed includes an XSLT stylesheet reference, so if it is loaded into a browser, the XSLT will transform the XML gibberish into pleasantly laid out readable HTML. RSS readers ignore the stylesheet reference, so they continue to read the XML directly as before.


I wish rss was styled anyway. I tend to identify things by how they look, and unless I click through to the original posts, all posts look the same in my rss reader. It's difficult to remember the personality behind the words without seeing the style of the site.

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