Netscape Screws Up Their Portal

Sometimes a company’s “me, me, me” view is so tunnel visioned as to be amazing. Today Netscape introduced a new version of their my.netscape.com portal (you’ll note I didn’t even bother making it a link so you could go there, it’s not worth the effort). One of their big improvements was to remove a feature that made it the best of the existing portals before. It could display RSS channels from all over the web. In fact, Netscape and my.netscape.com was one of the reasons that RSS was popular everywhere. If you provided an RSS channel for your website you could go list it with Netscape and their portal users could add all your news headlines to their portal page on an equal footing with news from sources like Reuters and Salon if your info was just as important to them.
Unfortunately in the process of removing this useful feature for the “new and improved” version of my.netscape.com they also removed the DTD file (the file describing the layout of an RSS file) that had been referred to by literally thousands of RSS files across the network. It was a file reference that Netscape told you to use in your RSS file as part of the spec they distributed. And when they deleted that DTD file they broke RSS files across the network. My own GameDev.net RSS channel no longer will parse in HotSheet because the DTD it referred to doesn’t exist anymore. After all, if Netscape isn’t going to be supporting RSS anymore then nobody else will be either, right? Uh, no, that would be wrong.
A demonstration of how self absorbed Netscape can be that is every bit as sad as some I’ve seen from Microsoft.

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