Apple Bug Friday! 48

2007-03-09 12:48:01 UTC

I missed a couple of weeks of ABF, so I’m going to run the missed Fridays’ bugs today in addition to today’s.

This bug is Feed button does not use the standard feed icon. It was filed on 2007-02-16 at 12:27 PST.


Summary:

Safari should use the standard feed icon used in both IE 7 and Firefox.

Steps to Reproduce:

  1. Make sure the Address Bar is visible. If it is not, show it by pressing ⇧⌘\ or by choosing “Show Address Bar” from the View menu.
  2. Visit any website that specifies a syndication (RSS, RSS, or Atom) feed using a LINK element.

Expected Results:

Safari adds a feed button to the Address Bar, indicated using the standard feed icon used in both IE 7 and Firefox.

Actual Results:

Safari adds a feed button to the Address Bar, indicated using the text “RSS” in white on a blue rounded-rectangle background.

Regression:

None. This has been Safari’s feed icon for as long as Safari has been able to process syndication feeds.

Notes:

Identifying the feed as “RSS” when it is, in fact, Atom is misleading (especially as Safari will even choose Atom over RSS when both are present. Though they are used for the same purpose, Atom shares no common heritage with either format called RSS. In addition, the two (three if you count Aaron Swartz’s RSS 3) have no common heritage with each other; this makes “RSS” a vague term that ought to be deprecated. The word “Syndication” being too long to be a suitable replacement, Safari should simply use the feed icon already agreed-upon by Microsoft and Mozilla.

2 Responses to “Apple Bug Friday! 48”

  1. Colin Says:

    That isn’t a bug. Last time I checked there was no standards body deciding the icon that should be used with RSS. If I recall (I could be wrong) Apple started using the RSS icon presently in place before Firefox created the current one and Microsoft decided to adopt it. IMHO it’s a horrible icon because it’s vastly confusing straight off the bat. It’s supposed to represent feeds and yet the first thing I think of when I see it is wireless which is entirely misleading. And I am not alone in this opinion many people in OSNews, Slashdot, etc posted comments of the same nature.

    As for the Atom part of your bug, technically this is correct. However I doubt the majority of the public cares and Apple would rather abstract them from having to know there are multiple types of feeds. The fact that Apple is trying to give the masses a great feed tool should be good enough. Remember this isn’t designed for Power Users it’s designed for the mass public who couldn’t give a crap about what standard is used for a feed.

    In short your bug isn’t a bug… it’s a complaint
    The Mozilla/IE feed icon isn’t a standard
    Theres no reason to switch the icon for the near future

    IMHO i think we need a new icon all together because personally im of the opinion that all of the above are crap at the moment, however Apples icon actually says what it is whereas mozilla’s icon is deceptive

  2. Jesper Says:

    When the feed is an Atom feed, Apple’s icon does not say what it is. Furthermore, the ‘masses’ that are using feeds will soon be shifting from the reasonably early adopters towards those using either IE7 or Firefox, if it hasn’t already.

    The feed icon is standardized, free for the taking, small, and easily recognizable. The two largest browsers in the world, the biggest feed readers in the world and the most easily accessible feed applications for the masses are already using it. The biggest feed producers are adopting it at a rapid pace. That it may be seen as representing wireless the first ten seconds you see it is a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.

    A neutral standard that doesn’t look like crap and that doesn’t refer to the technology by details of its implementation is finally emerging with major backing from all sides. Apple, the provider that has always focused on the ‘for the rest of us’ angle, is going to look very silly if they stick to naming it ‘RSS’ when everyone else are saying ‘feeds’ and using the icon. And if the icon is not a de facto standard by now already, it’s only a matter of time. Being able to call the technology what everyone else is calling it is a very strong reason.

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