Official BBC News RSS feeds are up

Written by Adrian Holovaty on June 24, 2003

Kevin Hinde, head of technical development for BBC News Interactive, writes to tell me about the BBC's new RSS feeds. He says the site now has feeds for every news index, and sports will be following soon.

I've made a bookmarklet that gives you the RSS feed for a particular page or section front on the BBC News Web site. If you're at the Business | Your Money page, for instance, clicking the bookmarklet will take you to the Business | Your Money RSS feed. I was able to pull this off because the BBC uses standardized URLs for its feeds and its pages.

I opted to make a bookmarklet instead of listing the feeds because some sections, such as 2003 summer music festivals, aren't necessarily permanent, and I'm sure new sections (and, hence, feeds) will be added with some frequency.

The bookmarklet works like any other -- just drag it to your bookmark list and click it at your leisure. Here it is:

Get BBC RSS feed for this page

I've tested it only on MozillaFirebird for Linux. Bug fixes welcome.


Posted by Andy Smith on June 25, 2003, at 1:41 p.m.:

This is a nice tool but I think the BBC already provides a more reliable way of doing the same thing. The pages with RSS feeds have a <link> element in the <head> with rel="alternate" and type="rss" pointing to the feed. In the old Mozilla browser (not sure if it's in Firebird), if you have the site navigation bar visible the RSS feed will appear as More -> Other versions -> rss, but you could also write a bookmarklet to extract it if you prefer. This would still work if the BBC change their URLs (unless they remove the links of course).

Posted by Adrian on June 25, 2003, at 5:30 p.m.:

Andy: Thanks for the heads-up on the BBC's use of the <link> element. I agree -- that's a much more reliable way of identifying a page's RSS feed for Mozilla-based browsers. Good stuff.

Posted by anonymous on October 14, 2003, at 2:06 a.m.:

Could you provide an example of the above mentioned bookmarklet on

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