[thelist] RSS Readers with authentication?

Paul Cowan evolt at funkwit.com
Tue Feb 24 14:01:03 CST 2004

Hassan Schroeder wrote:
>> Does anyone know of RSS readers (for Win/Mac/Linux) that support
>> password-protected feeds? This is for an extranet-type use, and it
>> seems like a reasonable feature to me :-) but so far nada found...

NewzCrawler will, I believe, handle this fine. I think most of the others
that I've used will too.. just put the password in the now-deprecated-by-IE
format of http://user:pass@somewhere.com/somefeed.rss

Then the head lemur wrote:
> Why on earth would you want to restrict an RSS feed?
> What a weird idea. If the stuff is so precious use VPN.

Nonsense. "Here's an RSS feed of all the new articles in our 
subscribers-only $2000-a-year technical journal". "Here's an RSS feed for 
the admins of all our new mailing list members, with their email addresses, 
so you can send them a welcome message when they join". "Here's an RSS feed 
of the new photos of my kids, for my family to look at".

For any of those reasons (and yeah, they're stupid, but c'mon, it's early), 
I think password-protected RSS is a fine idea. Why let the public access an 
RSS feed for a site that's password-protected anyway? "Here's some new 
information you're not allowed to read"?

> But to futz up a specification whose existence is about publication is a
> crazy idea.

The RSS specification remains unfutzed. RSS is just plain text. The most 
common transport mechanism for RSS is HTTP though, and HTTP contains 
perfectly adequate (well... maybe) provisions for password-securing 



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