Google Chrome’s RSS Support Problem... and How To Fix It (sort of)

Google Chrome’s RSS Support Problem... and How To Fix It (sort of)

By Jesse PenningtonJan 27 /2012

Many people have been enjoying the blazing fast Google Chrome browser. However, web developers are justified in having a few complaints. Chrome lacks support for RSS feeds. Until Google Chrome comes out with a built-in update the below is a good method for resolving the issue.

A Day in the Life of a Developer

So there you are, working on a new website blog, everything looking great and working. . . until you click your RSS subscribe link in Google Chrome. What follows is an unformatted, unreadable page of raw data that is completely useless to the typical end user. But what gives? You just clicked it in Firefox and everything came up fine. Check it in Safari; looks good. Wait, it even looks good in Internet Explorer!? How is this possible? How can a browser of Google’s caliber have such a glaring issue?

Words of Wisdom from a Google Engineer

Well, it turns out Chrome's RSS subscription extension was supposed to be bundled with the browser, but it is no longer included because not many people subscribe to feeds and the orange icon would've been distracting. A Google Chrome engineer offered a more detailed explanation:

"We originally intended to include RSS support by default as a native feature of Google Chrome (and we still might in the future) but we decided instead to implement this as an extension. This decision was made based on our philosophy of trying to limit ourselves to adding only the UI features that a vast majority of users need and allow each user to customize the browsers to fit their needs with Extensions. Given that most people are not familiar with and don't consume RSS feeds, we thought that RSS support would be a better fit as an extension, at least to begin with."


So there you have it fellow developers. When your clients point out that their RSS feed looks broken on Google you can utter one of the sweetest phrases to a developer’s ear: “It’s not my fault.”

Here is a link to the extension you can install on your individual Google browser to fix the problem.

Image: @WaltWinchel

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