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Renaming RSS

Perhaps this is a bit old, but apparently there has been a minor commotion over the fact that RSS feeds are being called ‘web feeds’ in Microsoft’s IE 7 browser.

To me, it seems like an utterly inane thing to worry about – sort of like arguing over whether it should be called the “WWW” or the “web” or the “net”. If the technology is the same, who cares?

(In fact, I’d argue that ‘web feeds’ is a far more apt name than Google’s recent renaming of RSS as ‘web clips‘)

  • August 22nd, 2005 1:03 pm



… but then there’s the fact that Safari calls them RSS whether they’re RSS or Atom.

But yes, who cares?


Indeed. No one got their pants in a twist when Firefox called RSS “Live Bookmarks.” This is a tempest in a teapot.


Sure, but why not use the already existing name(s), instead of inventing your own? Much less confusing.


Agreed. As long as they aren’t trying to make some new proprietary format (I think a lot of people have the misunderstanding that this is what they are doing) then they can call it whatever they want.

Well, firstly, “RSS” is a poor name to begin with. The BBC recently reported that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans knows what it refers to. Second, the word “feed” is pretty well established anyways – NewsFire, for example, has been using “feed” forever and no one has ever found it confusing.


I started writing a comment, but when it was finished I realised you’re pretty much right after all. Deleted it and wrote this instead. :)

“RSS” and “Atom” are indeed bad names for the general public. I don’t like how Safari calls this stuff “RSS” even though it supports Atom. Then again, some people say Atom belongs to the RSS category even though it isn’t really RSS. Ugh!