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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

RSS Icon: Let's Stay with Orange

Is Microsoft going soft in its old age? Last month, it actually embraced a standard without trying to "extend" it. Saints be praised!

In December the Evil Empire announced its intention to adopt the Firefox RSS icon to symbolize RSS web feeds in the next version of Internet Exploder. MSFT might even use the icon in Windows Vista and other forthcoming apps.

If you aren't familiar with the newly standardized icon, it's the orange rounded box icon with the white arcs near the upper-right hand corner of this page.

Yes, it's a shocking bit of news, but a welcome bit of news at that. Many observers like me believe mass adoption of RSS will follow shortly after the launch of IE 7 sometime later this year. And that's a desperately needed, good thing.With the rapid explosion of content on the Web, it's imperative that we harness technology to help us find and consume the content we are interested in, lest we drown in it first.

There are even sites popping up that are helping spread the word to website publishers everywhere by offering ready-made icons free for downloading in any number of sizes to suite your purposes. Unfortunately, one site in particular and possibly others, are offering original art files for download that allow anyone to easily modify the icon to match different color schemes.

That means you might start seeing RSS icons in blue, purple or red, and not just the standard orange and white. Now, call me crazy, but I always thought that standards were meant to make things consistent, not confuse them further.

So I say to all you icon evangelizers, let's stick with orange, shall we?

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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