Re: Microsoft Edge Internet Explorer mode conflict with NVDA

Scott Salzman

I don't have a solution, but I think I have an explanation for what is happening "under the hood", when different browsers treat RSS feeds differently. 


HTML (HyperText Markup Language) evolved along with web browsers for the specific purpose of coding web pages so that they can be read in various ways, including via screen readers or visually.  XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a generic markup language and is mostly used to store data, and to transmit that data, like when you follow a link to an RSS feed.  Since XML is a generic markup language, in order to present an XML document in a way that's convenient to read, it has to be used with an XSLT stylesheet (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations).  XSLT stylesheets are used to transform XML files into other formats, like into HTML for example, which would make them easier and more efficient to read.  So, you could imagine an XSLT stylesheet that would take all those tags or fields in an RSS feed, and map them to things like headings, links, etc.  That could be a good reading experience.


When you read an XML file, like an RSS feed, in Firefox, Firefox appears to apply a very basic XSLT stylesheet to it.  So when I read the Fictional RSS feed in Firefox, some of the XML tags get transformed into buttons, and I can navigate with some very basic efficiency using NVDA.  But I wouldn't say that this gives the RSS feed much of a structure that I can easily understand.


When you read an XML file in Chrome, Chrome doesn't appear to apply any XSLT stylesheet to it, which would explain why reading an RSS feed using Chrome is like reading a plain text file, with no real structure that a screen reader like NVDA can use.  I don't have Internet Explorer on my laptop, but if you have a better reading experience with it than with Chrome, then it's almost certain that Internet Explorer is also applying an XSLT stylesheet to XML files.


Unfortunately, I don't know how to view, modify, or install XSLT stylesheets in web browsers, but maybe this will give someone an idea about how to improve the experience of reading an XML file directly in a web browser.


I hope at least the explanation was helpful in some way.





From: <> On Behalf Of Louise Pfau via
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Microsoft Edge Internet Explorer mode conflict with NVDA


Hi.  I was able to use Internet Explorer to read the feed correctly, as well as the other ones that use xml.  I didn't know if Internet Explorer would still work after its end-of-life date.  I'll try removing the trailing text like "rss" or "feed" as suggested in an earlier message in this thread.  A couple of the websites I use don't date the podcast episodes on the regular page, so I like the feeds in those cases.



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