Mozilla isn’t saying RSS is dead, but they’ve removed RSS/atom feeds and live bookmarks support from Firefox version 64 to minimize security, performance and maintenance costs and cites low usage as one of the reasons. Firefox 64 scheduled to release in December 2018 that automatically export live bookmarks (if the user has created any prior to updating), to desktop in OPML format and to suggest alternatives for feed readers in a support page when they update to version 64.
Firefox 64 removes RSS feeds and live bookmarks support
For uninitiated, Firefox browser supports web feeds, which allows any user to subscribe to and keep up with the news from their favorite sites. RSS button still exists in Firefox 62 stable, but it been made hard to find, moved to customize panel sometime back as RSS usage stared to decrease then. Firefox lets you subscribe to site feeds via RSS button and receive the updates via live bookmarks and Firefox with built-in feed reader does show feed preview before subscribing to the sites that support feeds.
Firefox desktop front-end engineer, Gijs Kruitbosch in a blog post says “After considering maintenance, performance and security costs of feed preview and subscription features in Firefox, we’ve concluded that it is no longer sustainable to keep feed support in the core of the product.”
Mozilla to suggest users to use Feed Reader clients and Web Extensions for RSS needs.
” While we still believe in RSS and support the goals of open, interoperable formats on the web, we strongly believe that best way to meet the needs of RSS and its users is via Web Extensions”. The company suggests pocket, Reader Mode and Firefox 60 ESR as other alternatives to consider.
Note: When Firefox ESR 60 goes unsupported, the company will remove built-in feed reader and live bookmarks features from ESR 60 in October 2019.
With this change, Mozilla removes following from Firefox product
- Built-in feed preview feature
- Subscription UI
- Live Bookmarks
What happens to existing live bookmarks?
When you update from Firefox 63 to 64.
- Your existing live bookmarks will be exported to this OPML file on desktop: Firefox feeds backup.opml file, so that they can be imported using other feed readers into Firefox browser.
- Live bookmarks will be converted to regular bookmarks
- A support page opens and explains what happened to your live bookmarks and offers feed reader replacements.