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“JavaScript RSS Viewer puts little or long customizable RSS boxes anywhere you put HTML; build your own slashbox hell or heaven, it’s feedarific!”
Abbe Normal
Reduced availability due to temporary violation of quota limit.
You should install your own JSONP proxy and support the project with your donation.
(Your IP is going to be blocked if you are hitting the server too hard.)

JavaScript RSS Box Viewer 3.4

This viewer can display RSS feeds of version 0.91, 0.92, 1.0 and 2.0 as well as even the good old legacy format Scripting News 2. (Sorry, no Atom.)

It provides a simple way to embed such RSS boxes in any valid HTML document via an automagically generated JavaScript tag — for free!

Just enter the URL of any compatible RSS feed, modify the layout settings as you like and push the Reload button. When finished, copy the HTML code into your own web page – and voilà!

The code behind this is written in JavaScript and runs completely in your browser*. You can get the source code together with all the other necessary files from the SVN repository.

* A proxy server is needed for cross-origin requests.

Change Log

2012-12-30 Added simple code to modify the width attribute of iframe, object and embed elements to make them fit in the box. Also: bumped version. A happy new year 2013, everbody!

2012-10-26 Added section about Creative Commons License, below. In other words: you can now legally run my code on your own server. (You even could remove the tiny reference to this page in the footer of the box.) However, I would like to ask you for two things if you want to do so:

  • Use your own JSONP proxy – especially, when you expect a high load on your server.
  • Please support the service with a donation.

2012-08-01 Added two new, experimental features – and thus, increased version to 3.3:

  • The height of the inner box content can now be defined by a pixel value. If the height is less than the space needed by the desired amount of items you can vertically scroll the content. A value of -1 enables the default behavior and automatically sets the height according to the displaying items.
  • The so-called “headless” mode removes the titlebar and the frame from the box. This way the box can be used more flexibly in special situations. However, this feature somehow undermines an RSS feed’s authority so I count on your fairness to give credit where credit is due!

2012-07-16 Slightly modified output of the HTML code to be usable with both, unsecured and secured (HTTPS) web servers. You can update already embedded code easily by removing the http: part from the src attribute of the <script> element: <script src='http://p3k.org/rss…'> becomes <script src='//p3k.org/rss…'>.


  • Fixed IE bug (“innerHTML is null or not an object”) caused by using jQuery’s html() method instead of text() when parsing a <content:encoded> element.
  • Changed priority of elements: only check for <content:encoded> if <description> is not available.


  • Implemented small routine to resize images contained in the feed content to fit in the box.
  • Added support for new HTML5 form input types and their validation.

2012-05-31 Gone βeta! – with three tiny additons:

  • Added <noscript> element for browsers providing no JavaScript engine.
  • Added option to call the configurator with a URL in the query string.
  • Added a link to the W3C feed validator to the contents of a box displaying an RSS error.

2012-05-19 Apologies for the RSS Boxes not showing up on your pages during the last few days. I made a stupid mistake that caused only the setup page to render correctly – and I did not check any embedded script. Bummer!

At least now everything should be back to normal. (I hope this incident did not sabotage the Flattr button I added in the meantime… nudge, nudge, wink, wink!)

Anyway, thanks for your understanding.

2012-05-16 I think I did not mention, yet, that the current incarnation of the code is totally disconnected from the version as of 2009. Each is using their own codebase, the legacy code was not modified at all and thus, it is not affected by any recent changes. You can check which version you are using by looking at the script URL. If it contains the string “proxy.r” you get the “classic” RSS Box rendering. The modernized version calls “index.js”. Nevertheless, you cannot setup boxes with the old URL anymore.


  • Added support for <content:encoded> element.
  • Implemented Memcache usage in AppEngine code.
  • Beautified this page by using the Google’s Droid Serif font.

2012-04-26 Amazing! A new version! After more than two years hiatus I completely rewrote the codebase and framework:

  • Removed dependency to Rebol using a small JSONP proxy at Google’s AppEngine.
  • Rewrote XML parsing, replacing native methods with jQuery ones.
  • Cleaned up HTML output for the RSS Box, replacing tables with divs. Note: You might need to add !important to your custom RSS Box stylesheet definitions.
  • Replaced fugly colorpicker in configurator with the MiniColors jQuery plugin.
  • Added link color setting and style attributes for correctly applying color settings.
  • Added corner radius setting. Note: does not work in IE8 and earlier versions.
  • Added font size to the font face setting.
  • Removed align setting from configurator (still works in script tags generated with earlier versions).

2009-12-13 Switched output of this page to HTML5 and made some adaptations in the HTML code and CSS stylesheet. Updated version string to 2.1, finally!

2009-09-28 Some minor changes after a while:

  • Refactored date parsing to show actual build dates more reliably
  • Refactored caching routine (only in online version)
  • Updated version string to 2.1b, approaching another final version.

2008-02-19 Seems there were some changes in the air as I did not plan another update but here comes version 2.1 bringing to you:

  • Full client-side processing (only the raw feed data is fetched from the server).
  • User-friendlier interface with color pickers, status and error display as well as instant feedback on any change in setup.
  • And finally (drumroll!) Unicode support at least at this installation of the viewer. (Ie. the downloaded version still will output ASCII only.)

2008-02-03 Made some more improvements especially regarding the error handling and output. From now on it should be much clearer what’s wrong with a very RSS Box. Since there’s now a lot more of client-side JavaScript code involved I tested the script in four major browsers that are available to me: Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 2.0, Opera 9.25 and Safari 3.

2008-02-01 Completely revised server- and client-side code. XML rendering is now done in the browser which speeds up things and decreases the load on the server. Furthermore, the list of referrers is now loaded on demand via AJAX and thus not rendered with every request. Finally, I retouched the setup form interface and cleaned up both HTML and CSS.

2006-12-20 I am very glad that my old little script is gaining even more attention after all these years… Thank you very much indeed! Since there are coming in more and more of the same requests and I am really not able to handle them (apologies!), here is some advice for everyone:

  1. Use cascading style sheets (CSS) to change font sizes (and to generally define your layout).
  2. Beware of opening links in a new window. It’s offensive to your readers.

A happy end for 2006!

2006-06-13 Did some minor bug fixing again (amongst others replacing single quotes with &apos; and not &quot; entities). Furthermore (and finally), I removed the “RC” (as in “Release Candidate”) from the document title…

2006-06-12 Gary informed me that longer feed URLs cause trouble and the feed box will not be displayed. That’s in fact a bug, but unfortunately one that cannot be fixed so easily. My suggestion is to shorten such URLs at one of the websites around that provide such a service, e.g. tinyurl.com.

2006-04-23 Switched the source repository from CVS to Subversion (SVN).

2006-04-20 Andrew Pam brought up a serious issue that probably might have affected some more people already: the viewer does not support UTF-8 (or Unicode, resp.) Unfortunately, this is “built-in” into the underlying scripting language (aka Rebol). I’m sorry to cancel those tickets… :(

2006-04-13 Fixed a bug reported by Mando Gomez that caused feeds using the <guid> element being displayed without item links… Don’t forget to check out Mando’s excellent website mandolux!

2006-04-12 Obviously Sam Ruby changed his feed format from scriptingNews to Atom; which renders my example link above pretty useless… So far I don’t know about any other scriptingNews feed, do you?

2006-02-20 I hope nobody minds the little line I added at the bottom of each RSS box… Of course, it’s not totally altruistic, but probably some people will find it informative. However, if you want to prevent it from being displayed simply add .rssbox-promo {display: none;} to your stylesheet.

2006-01-11 New server, new troubles: I moved the viewer to a newly setup Ubuntu machine. Of course, I forgot to set some permission flags and owners, thus, preventing the script from working. However, I think everything is fixed and working again.

2005-11-16 Just testing Google’s AdSense for a while. Since this page generates most of my traffic I wanted to see myself what a banner can do here. Hope you don’t mind.

2004-12-16 Bugfix: Sometimes the logfile which is used to generate the list of sites using this script gets corrupted. This affected the whole setup page to return an error and thus, it needed to be caught. (You will see a “currently out of order” message then.)

2004-04-26 Last efforts to officially release the code to the open source community. There have been some bugs in the (image) rendering framework which I fixed so far. I now include a dynamically rendered list of sites using (or pointing to) this script to give some examples for the curious at heart (me included). Finally, there’s a README file with a short installation guide to make the script run on your own server.

2004-01-28 When something goes wrong (most of the time this might be a wrong URL, ie. a 404 as result) an “error” box will be displayed to signal the failure. Increased version up to 1.0 and labeled it as release candidate (RC).

2004-01-26 Retouched the code in a very last effort to make the script running stand-alone (with Rebol but without PHP, that is). Everything needed is now in CVS SVN so everybody can download from there. Potentially, a few minor bug fixes might follow short-term. Uh, and the HTML code is valid XHTML 1.0 now.

2003-12-12 The mirror at http://publish.curry.com/rss/ is not working for quite a long time. I tried to contact Adam Curry but so far without success.

2003-03-30 Moved to new server with new domain forever.p3k.org.

2003-03-25 Updated Rebol to version 2.5.5. End of Rebol’s “DNS zombies” in the process list. Finally.

2002-02-19 Added a very nice quote from Abbe Normal on top right of this document.

2001-11-17 If you want a more compact view of the RSS box you can get it now using the corresponding checkbox. If it is enabled the descriptions of each item will not be displayed – given that the item title is defined (otherwise there would not be much to see). Additionally, the channel image (if defined) will not be displayed. Thanks jsyeo@compuserve.com for the suggestions!

2001-09-21 Since today the textinput tag is supported. It creates an appropriate form at the end of the box. Moreover, two bugs were fixed: one caused unnecessary information in the query string of the generated JavaScript tag. The other affected the display of the date’s time zone. Time zones now are generally displayed in GMT except where another time zone acronym is defined.

2001-09-04 Added icons for enclosure and source; added XML button checkbox to enable output of the quasi-standard orange button linking to the XML source (ideaby adam@curry.com).

2001-09-03 It’s now possible to refine the style of the whole box using the newly implemented css classes rssbox-title, rssbox-content, rssbox-item-title and rssbox-ttem-content (idea by rdavies@orientpacific.com).

2001-08-24 Added a form input for limiting the item display. The number determines how many items will be shown in the box (seven is the default value). Good for often updated channels.

2001-08-15 Detected a strange bug that prevented the viewer at curry.com loading http://p3k.org/rss.xml while http://www.p3k.org/rss.xml was no problem at all. Upgrading the Rebol installation to the current version solved theproblem, however the cause remains unclear…

2001-08-08 Fixed a small bug that corrupted channel URLs containing a query (as reported by kika@sloleht.ee). Configured server redirect from http://piefke.helma.at/rss.

2001-08-05 Thanks to Adam Curry, the viewer is now mirrored at http://publish.curry.com/rss.

2001-07-30 Added link to source code; added example links for all supported formats.

2001-05-30 Fixed a little bug reported by fredi@email.ee that caused diacritic characters to be displayed as entity codes.

Missing Features

  • Support for PICS rating
  • Multiple enclosures (RSS 0.93)
  • Atom support

Future Development

I have ceased actively developing this viewer but sometimes I get enthusiastic and fiddle around with the code. Of course it will be available here as is.

For questions and comments feel free to contact me (Tobi) via e-mail: mail+rss@p3k.org.


JavaScript RSS Box Viewer by Tobi Schäfer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Austria License.

Based on a work at https://p3k.org/source/svn/rss-box/trunk/.

Creative Commons License

Thank you, p3k organisation!