The Times really doesn't get RSS

I don’t want to be picky… actually, who am I kidding, I live for picky. But I don’t really understand why The Times (of London) feels the need to reinvent the industry-standard RSS icon.

Actually, it seems symptomatic of a general not-getting-it: they haven’t thought to include auto-detection of feeds in the appropriate places, and their feeds themselves are not compliant with the standards. The feeds don’t declare themselves as XML in the first line – and since there’s no character set specified, it fails the classic UK site test: can it do pound signs? (It can’t. And surely they checked that? Don’t headlines in the business feed typically include a pound sign?) Plus there’s no such language code as ‘en-uk’; rightly or wrongly it’s officially ‘en-gb’.

Nor do they make reference to the market-leading methods of consuming RSS: their list (Feedreader, Newsgator, NetNewsWire) looks like it hasn’t been dusted down in a couple of years. No reference to IE, Firefox, Outlook 2007, Bloglines, Google Reader, My Yahoo,, netvibes, etc etc etc.

Some of this is so basic that it shocks me.