Web News Wranglers

Browser Support: Built-In RSS--IE 7 Beta 2 vs. Firefox (With Sage) vs. Opera

Feeds are integrated with your favorites in the IE 7 beta (above). The Sage plug-in for Firefox (left) also organizes feeds in a sidebar, while Opera's built-in RSS support (below) feels more like an e-mail client.
Feeds are integrated with your favorites in the IE 7 beta (above). The Sage plug-in for Firefox (left) also organizes feeds in a sidebar, while Opera's built-in RSS support (below) feels more like an e-mail client.
Among Web browsers, Opera has long been ahead of the curve in supporting RSS feeds natively: It easily adds new feeds and notifies you of new items. But Opera's horizontally divided two-pane display looks a bit bland and lacks inline image support.

Firefox's Sage plug-in is a little rough around the edges. Adding a Feedburner subscription requires cutting and pasting a URL, for example, and while Sage can treat a favorites folder as if it were a set of feeds, that works only with one folder. But once your feeds are setup, pressing <Alt>-S displays the sidebar and an attractive two-column view showing each story and images in its own box.

It's been a long time coming, but the native support in IE 7 Beta 2 works quite well. Feeds are integrated with favorites, and though the feed-by-feed, single column look may not be the most efficient, it's more eye pleasing than Sage's or Opera's. You can search each feed and reorder stories by date, title, or author. If its feed detection improves, IE 7 could win over newsies and newbies alike.

Edge: Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2

Top RSS Readers (chart)

Ryan Singel is a freelance writer based in San Francisco.

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