IE7 gives you a really quite nice view of an Atom feed. Take a look at the one for this blog, for example. You can filter by category, sort by date or title or author, and search for particular words or phrases. Pretty neat.
But it’s only a partial implementation. I’ve been having to create some Atom feeds recently, and getting them to display nicely in IE7 has proven a bit tricky. I couldn’t find any documentation about this with a quick google, so thought I’d blog it for future reference.
The main things are:
Do not use a prefix for the Atom namespace. IE7’s Atom support is not namespace aware. (I gather this is a problem in a lot of Atom readers. Sigh.)
If you don’t embed the content in the entry then it will display the summary; to get a clickable link to the content, you must provide a
<link> element whose
href attribute points to that content. The
<link> element mustn’t have any other attributes on it, so don’t add
type="application/xhtml+xml". Having a
<content> will not give you a link.
If you want to support viewing the feed in IE6 as well, you need to provide a stylesheet to transform it into something nice. As long as the feed is served as XML, IE6 will interpret an
<?xml-stylesheet?> PI correctly, and both IE7 and Firefox will ignore it (which is probably what you want, since both Firefox and IE7 have decent native rendering of Atom).