BB would have no interest in the much-vaunted Mozilla Firefox…if it weren’t for the Live Bookmarks feature, and particularly the Sage extension that makes use of this to provide a full RSS feed browser. Otherwise, we’d rather avoid dumbed-down, reduced featureset applications in favour of old-fashioned (but powerful) Mozilla (or Seamonkey as the project is now). As it is, we’re currently running two slightly different browsers for different purposes and trying to keep them in sync manually. Fortunately, RSS extensions for the latter are starting to come online, although none yet match the capabilities of Sage.
- Habari Xenu
- This oddly-named extension bases itself on Aggre8, which was a monolithic XUL-based feed reader that required Java. Fortunately, HX has no such requirement. It is, as this point, mostly usable although the interface isn’t quite as nice as Sage; for example, it lacks the headline review pane that also allows you to mark all items as read (only links you’ve actually clicked are differentiated in the feed pane). In fact, it seems generally to exhibit a few oddities in tracking read and unread feeds. It also seems to have trouble displaying images in Atom feeds, which makes it inconvenient for Photoblog feeds. Note that at time of writing, HX hasn’t been updated in some time.
- I haven’t tried this one, although it’s apparently more popular (in download terms) than HX. It looks slick, but I can’t see a way to view the complete article summaries/contents for a feed instead of just the headlines (i.e. for reviewing feeds rather than being alerted to new items).
- The mighty Multizilla everything-and-the-kitchen-sink extension now includes an RSS reader for Seamonkey. It’s been added as a sidebar plugin, which feels logically like the right place for such a feature (other extensions take note). However, currently it lacks crucial OPML import/export functions although we’re sure they’re coming, as almost everything always is with Multizilla; the impression remains of author HJ slogging his guts out against insurmountable odds to deliver an infinitely long wishlist. [Note: HJ adds that the feed reader has been part of Multizilla since September 2005.]
- Added, 2007-03-29: NewsFox has been successfully modified to work with Seamonkey (ignore the home page that suggests it’s Firefox-only). NewsFox has a pleasant interface and an OPML import/export feature. Unfortunately, once again there’s no option to view all the article summaries for a feed on one page, and it appears to become sluggish if it hangs while refreshing the feed list. But it’s a strong contender and well worth a look.