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IE7, Longhorn, and RSS

There has been a flurry of talk on the web this week following Microsoft’s announcement, stating that RSS capabilities will be part of Longhorn and IE7.

One of the official announcements was made on the IE Blog’s Site. There was also a follow-up post on the same site.

There now exists a blog for the people working on the RSS feature: Longhorn Team RSS Blog.

In my eyes, this could be a good thing. Several other browsers (Mozilla, FireFox, Safari) have RSS autodiscovery features, where they automatically check for RSS feeds for any page visited, and allow you to create a “live bookmark” that gets updated along with the site. Internet Explorer, like in many other situations (security, standards support, features, etc) is the odd one out. Having the ability to automatically check for a site’s RSS feeds would be a great feature for IE7.

Additionally, making RSS intrinsically available in IE7 and Longhorn would give it (RSS) a lot more exposure, and encourage it’s use as a format for quickly distributing news and updates.

But there are potential security issues raising their heads as well. I don’t think it would be necessary to integrate this capability into Longhorn; having that ability in a web browser is one thing, having it in an operating system is quite another. It cold be possible Longhorn’s built-in RSS reader would open another avenue for virus writers to dump viruses on readers’ computers along with the latest news…not good. Emphasis mine:

For example, the primary mechanism behind podcast, RSS enclosure, can be used to deliver worms and worse to the desktops. If there are any vulnerabilities in iPod (or any MP3 player hooked up to podcast sync client) codec, then podcasting is a good way to deliver overflow inducing content.
Don Park

It is inevitable, without a doubt. When Longhorn comes out, attackers will pounce on every new thing to see if Microsoft did it correctly. You can bet RSS integration will be one of those things attackers will want to exploit

So while there is the expectation for this to be a good thing, it also has the potential to also be a bad thing, due to the possible security issues. But I hope that these features are done right, so it doesn’t become another annoyance for computer users. And again, if done right, this could be a boon for RSS as a new net standard.

Me, I think I’ll just wait and see.




Comments closed




August 15, 2005 @ 11:45 am

Yeah, if there are any security holes in their RSS implementation, someone is going to find it.

I’ve actually gotten the chance to see/use Longhorn a little bit and I’m not impressed. It appears to be a lot of useless eye candy, granted the version out now is lacking “lots of end user features” but even so.

Btw, I like the new look of your site/blog.


Grant Palin

August 15, 2005 @ 5:37 pm

There does seem to be quite a tendency for new software to get cracked or exploited pretty quickly these days…I remember that Windows XP’s anti-piracy measures were circumvented almost as soon as the OS was released – if not before! It’s just crazy.

I subscribe to quite a few blogs, and so was doing a fair bit of reading the initial reviews of both Longhorn and IE7, and that both were disappointing for beta-level releases (apparently beta releases are supposed to be more or less feature-complete, and are just being distributed to fix bugs).

My impression especially with Longhorn is that there’s not much in there that hasn’t been done already, and a lot of the “original”, “new”, and “innovative” features are being released seperately…Crazy, really. So far, I’m not impressed either, especially with the higher hardware requirements – you’d think they’d learn to do more with less! I imagine I’ll be sticking with Windows XP for several years to come.

As for this site, thanks for the compliment. I’ve got a local copy of WordPress running on my own computer, and am tinkering with it, and learning about all the functionality that WP provides out-of-the-box for you. Quite nice. I’m actually beginning work on a new design for the site, so I might be able to participate in the CSS Reboot in November.

By the way, how did you happen to come to the site? I’m guessing through the link in my signature at CodingForums – is that it?



August 16, 2005 @ 3:12 pm

Yeah, a beta version should be feature complete more or less, I think they should have released as an Alpha version. But I think now days all these terms, Alpha, Beta, etc. have kinda gotten blurred and the actual meaning has been lost.

Actually, I used to try and read your blog every once in a while, then I stopped for a while but now I’ve added your RSS feed into Firefox along with all the other blogs I read. The reason I came back to it recently is that I was bored and searching Google for myself and I found an old link that brought me here. Ya know on my site I added a while ago an account management page for when your logged in and you can put your URL in there so whenever you comment on my stuff it makes your name a link back to your URL, always good for the ol’ Google ranking. So you might want to do that next time you’re on it.

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