Those of you who subscribe to news feeds (usually identified by buttons with words like “RSS” and “XML“) will start to notice that the old, familiar icons indicating the location of links to those feeds are changing. In an unusual show of cross-platform co-operation, Microsoft and the folks on the Mozilla teams discussed and agreed on a standard icon for feeds going forward. According to the Microsoft Team RSS Blog:
I’m excited to announce that we’re adopting the icon used in Firefox. John and Chris were very enthusiastic about allowing us (and anyone in the community) to use their icon. This isn’t the first time that we’ve worked with the Mozilla team to exchange ideas and encourage consistency between browsers, and we’re sure it won’t be the last.
We’ll be using the icon in the IE7 command bar whenever a page has a feed associated with it, and we’ll also use it in other places in the browser whenever we need a visual to represent RSS and feeds. Look for more details on the look and feel of IE7 when we post the public pre-release build next year.
Apparently the team working on the Outlook 12 will also be incorporating this new icon into Outlook itself.
already uses the new icon in the location bar and if you use Apple’s Safari, you can download this little app which installs the new icon to replace the default blue “RSS” icon courtesy of Mac Specialist. I found that the package installs best when you click on the link from within Safari.
I came across this new ‘development’ earlier today and it didn’t strike me as a significant development in the industry. Perhaps it is more meaningful because of how it came about – two major competitors working together to make things a little easier for us all.
There is even a website that has been set up to promote the use of this new icon. Matt Brett, the proprietor of the Feed Icons website has created variations of the standard orange icon with different sizes and colours. You can even download a package with the various sizes for free.