Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Solving the Firefox feed display problem

I recently developed part of a website to show the company's latest news items on the front page. This used an xml file which is fomatted as an RSS 2.0 feed. The system admins can log into the management console and add new items to the news feed, which would then be transformed into html by an XSL stylesheet and displayed in an iframe.

Firefox however, would ignore the XSL and display the feed in it's standard format (example).

It turns out that when firefox parses xml for display, if it finds an rss or atom tag within the first 512 bytes, it automatically uses it's own format to display the feed within the browser. So if you don't want this behaviour, simply add a comment large enough to pad out the stuff before the feed tag to > 512 bytes:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="../XSLT/rss2html_news.xsl"
<!--This feed contains the company news information. It is
transformed to the News section using XSL. This Comment, being
longer than 512 bytes, is also intended as a work around to the
default RSS display behaviour of Firefox. ABCABCABCABCABCABCABC
<rss version="2.0">

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