HotFox: RSS superpowers for Firefox

A few weeks ago, I ran across an old article about XUL, a XML variant developed by Mozilla for use in the Firefox interface. They killed it a few years ago in favor of HTML, once again leaving behind their tried-and-tested solutions in their ever-lasting chase to be as cool and hot as Google and its Chromium project. So, to try it out anyway, I installed Pale Moon, a Firefox fork that has kept the traditional XUL interface in its former glory.

Part of said traditional interface was a subscribe button that popped up in the toolbar while visiting some sites. When clicked, it showed a list of all web feeds that the site exposed. By selecting one of them, or by simply visiting the feed URL, you got this fancy feed preview with an option to subscribe to it with your favorite RSS reader.

Why exactly did “modern” browsers remove this? When I visit an RSS feed in contemporary Firefox, I get this monstrosity:

A bunch of confusing XML. Ew, that looks disgusting.
A bunch of confusing XML. Ew, that looks disgusting.

Why doesn’t the browser give me the ability to subscribe to a feed (anymore)? Why is it left for developers to figure out, when it should obviously be the browser’s job?

In an attempt to right this wrong once and for all, I built HotFox, a browser extension. It does two things:

A pretty rendered RSS feed with suybscribe button. Phew, that's better.
A pretty rendered RSS feed with suybscribe button. Phew, that’s better.

It’s available in the Mozilla Add-ons store, if you’d like to try it:

Download


FAQ
Why the name?
Fire is hot; idk it just sounded cool. There’s not really a reason.
Why build a new extension when it already exists?
Because this seemed like a fun project to learn something about developing browser extensions.
Will there be a Chrome version?
No. I don’t use Chrome myself; I don’t like Google’s attitude.
But kudos to them—they got it built in.
Where can I get it?
On the Mozilla Add-ons store.