It’s just data

Feed Icon

Rogers Cadenhead: I’ve adopted the icon on Workbench this afternoon, because I think it could spark greater adoption of syndication with the general public

To date, I’ve avoided the garish orange icon because quite frankly, I always thought it was ugly.  I prefer a less graphic intensive page.

Until recently, I’ve allowed myself two images: 119 byte one blue and white pinstripe at the top of the page, and a 1420 byte Atom icon as I both support the effort and it matches my color scheme.

Once Firefox 1.5 makes it into the default Ubuntu install, I may look into replacing both with SVG or Canvas, along with the poorly pixelated curves on my post titles.

Anyway, I thought I would look into the syndication icon.  As I do with most things, I approached this with an eye towards standards and an ability to work with Firefox.  It seemed to make sense to use CSS and data: URIs to minimize the change to each page, and to minimize the number of requests to the server.

Even so, the orange still seemed to scream out “look at me!”, “look at me!”.  I know that some say “the feed icon is recognizable enough that it doesn’t need to be restricted to one colour.”, but I don’t want to go there.

So I progressively selected smaller and smaller versions until I found I could tolerate the result.

At which point, I started to think about degrading gracefully for backlevel browsers.  As always, these days that means IE.  The requirements are for a PNG with a transparent background, CSS2, and data URIs.

That’s when it hit me.  I had defaced my page (OK, admittedly strong words for a page that doesn’t look all that great to begin with), but the defacing would generally be only seen by people who were running browsers that already support autodiscovery.


So while all this may end up getting backed out, I decided to do something productive.  Like adopting the feed icon as the favicon for the Feed Validator.