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How To View RSS Feed In XML Format With Firefox

Similar to IE7, Firefox 2.x built-in Feed Reader that understand RSS and Atom protocol.

By default, both IE7 and Firefox are set to render the XML format of RSS / ATOM feed in human readable form.
Although the default reader works well for majority users, developers might sometimes expect turn it off to inspect the underlying XML structure of a Feed.

Turn off IE7 Feed Reading View, i.e. disable the feed preview option to view or display the underlying XML code structure of a RSS or ATOM feed.

IE7 comes with an option to turn off or disable Feed preview function. However, Firefox 2.x doesn’t have such explicit option to do so!

Though, Moggylaceous posted a simply hack or trick to disable the Feed preview function in Firefox 2.x too.

All you need to do is edit the FeedConverter.js, a JavaScript file that comes with Firefox installation.

In my Windows Vista Ultimate, this FeedConverter.js is located at this path
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\components\FeedConverter.js

Open the FeedConverter.js, search for this block of code and remark it to become comment (refer to the screenshot below for reference)
if (result.doc && (!this._sniffed || (result.doc.title && (result.doc.link || result.doc.id)))) {

and add a new line, i.e. if (0) {, as a replacement to the remarked block of code.

Simple hack to turn off Firefox 2.x Feed preview option.
For Windows Vista, saving the FeedConverter.js file might be rejected with an error message that similar to “Please check whether if this file is opened in another program.”

In this case, you might wonder what other application using FeedConverter.js file while there is no active Firefox is running.

Well, it’s not because of Firefox, but this is likely due to Windows Vista UAC security feature! I’ve successfully save the change by using Notepad++ that was executed in an elevated Command Prompt window!

Once the changes are saved, restart Firefox to get it renders the underlying structure of a Feed. (Though, this hack doesn’t work with ATOM feed).

Firefox turn off Feed preview to show underlying XML structure of a Feed.

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  1. Walker 18-04-08@15:22

    @matt, I modified this post as a reply to your email.
    Thank you pointing out my poor English.

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  4. Ryan Hickman 07-06-09@02:58

    Any ideas as to why Notepad++ requires elevated permissions to save the file?

    I am a Web Developer that often uses WinSCP + Notepad++ and I have been running into this notice quite a lot. I never thought to set it to elevate each time it runs (via Notepad++.exe properties), but I find it insecure to do so.

    What other application could be opening these files?!

  5. Walker 07-06-09@09:55

    I don’t have this elevated permission problem except when saving a files into a directory that trigger Consent UI, for example when saving changes to hosts file inside System32 folder.

  6. Soylent 29-10-09@06:57

    Why not just use view-source in the address bar?


  7. The Bler 02-01-10@15:32

    A feed validation service will show you the contents of an RSS feed from any browser.


  8. Joel 09-07-10@05:08

    line 242 in my version, I changed to:

    if (result.doc && result.uri.spec.indexOf(“DOMAIN_TO_IGNORE”) == -1) {

  9. Amnon 20-05-12@05:58

    @Soylent, the view source screen doesn’t support firebug

  10. kyuubi1_11 05-07-12@17:19

    hi, im really want this feature due to rest / atom api development. But can’t find this file (using FF13). Is there any other way to do it or does someone know where this settings moved to?

  11. Eve 13-10-13@10:57

    I like the valuable info you provide for your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at once more here frequently. I’m somewhat certain I’ll be informed plenty of new stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the next!

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