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If I go to a site like http://blogs.msdn.com/ashleyf/ with Firefox, it has a little RSS icon on the address bar that you can use to subscribe to the feed. Something like Google Chrome doesn't have that icon. How does Firefox know what to subscribe to? Right now the only way I can subscribe to these sites is to just open them in Firefox, since I use Chrome as my main browser.

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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you click the RSS icon, it offers you two choices (for the page you linked to) which are -not coincidentally- the same as the titles those offered in the <head> of the page:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Code Monkey Have Fun (RSS 2.0)" href="http://blogs.msdn.com/ashleyf/rss.xml"  />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Code Monkey Have Fun (Atom 1.0)" href="http://blogs.msdn.com/ashleyf/atom.xml"  />

I assume then, that Firefox takes note of these <link>s while Chrome does not (or does it in another -less obvious or intuitive- way).

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any clues on how Chrome does do it? would be annoying to view source and copy the link out myself –  user9430 Sep 27 '09 at 22:50
    
I actually don't think Chrome supports RSS auto-discovery. –  David Pearce Sep 28 '09 at 9:58
    
@unknown (yahoo), I haven't got a clue. I'm on 'buntu, so there isn't -as far as I'm aware- yet a version of Chrome available for me to play with (and at work I'm on Win, with IE only -I'm a hobbyist, not a pro). –  David Thomas Sep 28 '09 at 20:11
    
google.com/chrome/intl/en/… no? –  Jody Apr 22 '11 at 12:00
    
@Jody, indeed so; but look at the date I wrote that last comment. Nowadays, I use Chromium almost exclusively. :) –  David Thomas Apr 22 '11 at 14:01
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Because it is specified in a link tag:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Feed of recent questions" href="/feeds">

The process is called RSS Autodiscovery. More on it here.

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Well, I used fidler, and when I deleted this line -

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Feed for question 'How does firefox know what the RSS link for a site is?'" href="/feeds/question/47636">

The button went from this page, so I guess this is what controls it!

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See John T's comment. –  Nathaniel Sep 27 '09 at 23:03
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Chrome handle it with an extension: RSS Subscription Extension

I suppose Google wants to keep Chrome minimal and offer extensions to enhance functionality.

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If you got to the source for that page, you'll see these lines up near the top:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Code Monkey Have Fun (RSS 2.0)" href="http://blogs.msdn.com/ashleyf/rss.xml"  />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Code Monkey Have Fun (Atom 1.0)" href="http://blogs.msdn.com/ashleyf/atom.xml"  />

The browser picks up on the link type and offers to subscribe you. I'm surprised to hear that Chrome doesn't recognize these. (Perhaps that's platform specific?)

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