As previously reported, Mozilla is removing support for Atom and RSS Feeds subscriptions and live bookmarks starting in Firefox 64. For those who wish to use RSS feeds going forward in Firefox, you will need to install an addon that adds this feature to the browser.
In a blog post by Firefox contributor Gijs Kruitbosch, it’s explained that due to the maintenance, performance and security costs, it is not cost or time effective to continue maintaining these features.
“After considering the maintenance, performance and security costs of the 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,” stated Kruitbosch in a blog post. “While we still believe in RSS and support the goals of open, interoperable formats on the Web, we strongly believe that the best way to meet the needs of RSS and its users is via WebExtensions.”
Feeds and live bookmarks are being removed because they do not work efficiently or contain features that one would expect from them. For example, the RSS feed subscriptions do not work correctly with podcasts, have problems with synch, and do not work on any of Mozilla’s mobile browsers.
For live bookmarks, Kruitbosch says the problem is that this feature uses a very old and slow way of accessing the bookmark database and it would take too much effort to bring it up to the expected speeds of Quantum.
If you use feature, what should you do?
As Firefox 64 is not expected to ship until December 2018, users have some time to switch to a new RSS feed application or to install an extension that supports RSS feeds.
When these features are removed, Kruitbosch has stated that they will automatically export any live bookmarks to an OPML on the desktop,which can then be used by other readers.
Examples of Firefox RSS feed extensions include Awesome RSS, Simple RSS Reader (SRR), and Feeder.