A recent entry on Mozilla’s bug tracking website [email protected] indicates that Mozilla plans to cut RSS feed reader and Live Bookmarks support from the organization’s Firefox web browser.
“After careful consideration of various options (which also included doing nothing, or investing heavily in updating the code), we’ve decided to go ahead and remove builtin feed support from Firefox.”
Mozilla’s current plan aims for a removal of both features in Firefox 63 or Firefox 64, out October or December 2018. The change won’t affect the current Firefox 60 ESR version but the next Firefox ESR after Firefox 60 ESR won’t support both features anymore as well.
We published an overview of Live Bookmarks in 2014, but Firefox supported the feature for much longer. Live Bookmarks allowed Firefox users to subscribe to a site’s RSS feed so that new articles would be displayed in a bookmarks folder in the web browser.
Feed Reader support on the other hand displays a special subscribe page when users loaded Feed URLs directly in the browser.
It included options to subscribe to the feed using Live Bookmarks or external applications, and it displayed the parsed feed on the page.
Why is Mozilla making the change?
Mozilla analyzed usage of the functionality, the technical implementation and state, maintenance costs, and state of traditional RSS feed usage on the web.
The organization discovered that Live Bookmarks and RSS feed reader support “had an outsized maintenance and security impact relative to their usage”. Improving these features and test scenarios would “have cost significant time and effort”, and current usage of “these features doesn’t justify such an investment”.
Live bookmarks and feed viewer are not “offering features users want” according to Mozilla. The organization refers to live bookmarks not supporting any states like read and does not really work well with sync. Furthermore, both features are not supported on Android or iOS, and podcasts are not supported either.