Open Bug 308436 Opened 15 years ago Updated 10 months ago

[Feature request] Offline RSS/save feeds


(MailNews Core :: Feed Reader, enhancement)

Not set


(Not tracked)


(Reporter: blega, Unassigned)



User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.10) Gecko/20050716 Firefox/1.0.6
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.10) Gecko/20050716 Firefox/1.0.6

A killer feature for the rss would be to be able to save feed HTML page as RDF

I usally read my rss feeds while commuting, offline, and sometimes the summry is
too laconic. I need to go online. 
If Thunderbird was able to download/save the page, it would be great. 

By the way, if thunderbird was able to download images/resources linked in the
feed message summary, it would be good. 

Keep up the good work guys!

Reproducible: Always
Can't drap and rop folder too. Though it's supported for feeds.

Severity: normal → enhancement
*** Bug 310282 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I'm not quite sure if RDF is the appropriate way to go about it (not my field of expertise, sorry), but this is clearly a valid and useful idea - there is a huuuge gap in the market for offline RSS browsing, and one that Tb clearly has the potential to plug. I would see this working in a similar manner to IMAP folders - when you go offline, the data contained in the RSS items are downloaded to the users profile (?), and accessed from there, rather than via a request to the internet.

To flesh out a bit more how this works, I will make the distinction between article summaries, and the entire webpage. Article summaries are often just text, sometimes with graphics / videos etc embedded also. Tb also gives you the option to load the entire web page instead the article summary, and what you basically get is to view the page via a browser. These different distinctions can cause problems, but should be able to be got around via user-defined options eg an "RSS offline options" tab, containing

* Cache RSS messages for offline viewing?
  - Cache images/video contained in article summaries?
  - Cache webpages linked from within article summaries?
  - Cache entire webpages (instead of summaries)?
  - Limit offline cache to ----- kb

You could also have an option to download links within the entire webpage, although one could image that it might be easy to accidenly download the entire internet with this option! Ugh! 

But clearly, if this is well thoughtout and implemented, it should be of great use to many people, especially those of us on the move.

I'm not sure about RDF, too. But from what I heard it sounds appropriate. 
Anyway, it's up to the developer/architect. 

I heard that there is a single file TML page format named MHTML (Mime HTML) which is normalized by IETF. This is the format used by IE when saving a page (file/save as).
More at

By the way, there are two extensions that does actually the trick for firefox : 
  - MHT archiver
  - and Scrapbook

These two extensions save pages for offline browsing. 
Maybe their authors would agree to help/share some code. Who knows, it's opensource after all.

I'm familar with MAFF (mozilla archive file format - the MHT archiver that you link to below), and have been using it for sometime - its nice, but it still has a way to go yet, and I'm not quite sure how appropriate it is as a base for this type of thing.

However, scrapbook was a revelation to me. In particular, the archived webpages (which, incidently, are saved in an RDF based filesystem) are really true to the original, far more so than even Firefox itself. Although the front-end and intended use are ultimately different, this extension clearly provides the engine required to do the hard work for the offline archiving of RSS messages. I don't know enough to be able to judge how hard it would be to transfer it from FF to Tb, but I have a suspicion that it could be quite simple. And if it were, everything else required to make it work would just be window dressing.

A good starting point from which to build an extension maybe?
IMO, this is the one big feature missing in Tb rss.  Comments in #3 are very good, and Scrapbook does many of them, quite a good product, but for Fx.  This post on the Scrapbook site seems to indicate there is a succesful attempt at integrating it into Tb and the author seems interested.  I think that Fx shouldn't be required to view the saved feeds/pages and, but both Fx and Tb sharing the 'collection' is huge value.
This offline RSS feature is indeed a MASSSIVE gap in the market, especially since all newspapers are now producing RSS feeds of their online content - which is identical to the paper editions and supplemented in real time.

All RSS readers download the feed, which include the summary text and a link to the main article.

If Tb was able to auto-download the article that a summary 'links to' then the benefit for on-the-move readers is massive.

HTTrack type functionality like - get images, only 1 link deep, get just body etc. would also be good.

The points about re-using existing functions for Ffx are the way to go here, to speed up inclusion of this feature.
changing the summary to make it easier to find and make it more accurate.  I think people don't care *how* the feeds are stored for offline use, so long as they can be.

Might be two bugs, making feeds available for offline use, or being able to save certain posts as mail?
Summary: [Feature request] Being able to save feed message page as rdf resource or mail → [Feature request] Offline RSS/save feeds
Duplicate of this bug: 350875
Consolidating requested specifics from duplicate bug 350875:

- add config option to pre-load web page in a background thread after arrival
-- would be nice if it were also an 'action' under message filters to mark only
a subset of messages for for pre-caching
- would need button on message viewer pane with the ability to refresh a cached
- option to cache web page on visit (that were not marked for pre-caching)
- might be nice to apply message filters to the cached html content as well?
Duplicate of this bug: 371117
Assignee: mscott → nobody
+1 I consider this essential for the offline capabilities of TB. (Which is maybe essential for using a desktop app)
*adding  wanted tb3 ?, changin to all os and trunk.

As for some comments here, some posts are saved (text part), depending on the kind of feed, while others are not at all (php and alike?) For example -does retain text [it also shows not formatted] not at all [shows as full web page ..]

talkin about second one kind, you can save by save as file as eml, which gets you the actual content in a simple html without pics and also stripped of rest of web page .
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3?
OS: Windows XP → All
Hardware: PC → All
Version: unspecified → Trunk
Confirming RFE. Marking wanted‑thunderbird3- though. (wanted‑thunderbird3- doesn't mean we wouldn't take a patch!)
Ever confirmed: true
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3? → wanted-thunderbird3-
Component: RSS → Feed Reader
Product: Thunderbird → MailNews Core
Has there been any progress on this recently? I'd love to see this feature available for exactly the reasons outlined in the first comment. Anyone able to take up the charge?
There has been massive demand for this ever since 2004:

+1 for
"download images/resources linked in the feed message"
"get images, only 1 link deep"
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