‘Tis indeed the season of goodwill. Yea, verily even amongst competing browser manufacturers.
A whole back, the Microsoft RSS team asked for feedback on some proposed icons to indicate the presence of an RSS feed. Some of the designs looked pretty nice but, as many people pointed out, did we really need yet another icon?
The guys at Microsoft listened. They’ve decided to use the same icon as Firefox:
"We’ll be using the icon in the IE7 command bar whenever a page has a feed associated with it, and we’ll also use it in other places in the browser whenever we need a visual to represent RSS and feeds."
The guys at Mozilla were more than happy to share the icon. This effectively creates a de-facto semiotic standard for RSS-detecting browsers. It’ll be interesting to see whether Safari will follow through.
In the meantime, web designers looking to customise the icon for use on their own sites can check out Feed Icons - a grassroots effort to promote the standardised icon that offers downloadable Photoshop and Illustrator files.
It’s a win-win situation all ‘round. Everybody’s happy… except maybe Dave Winer.