Reddit RSS Chrome extension

July 10, 2014

In the earlier days of web development, before the widespread adoption of APIs, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) was a prevalent method for accessing and distributing content. RSS provided a standardized web feed in XML format, enabling users to easily read and retrieve data from various sources.

During this time, I embarked on a fascinating project that leveraged the power of RSS to connect with Reddit. The objective was to create a chrome extension capable of fetching and displaying the latest content from a specific subreddit. This endeavor presented an exciting challenge as I delved into the intricacies of RSS feeds and their integration with web applications.

The project involved designing a system that could efficiently parse the XML data provided by Reddit's RSS feed, extracting relevant information such as post titles, links, and timestamps. Subsequently, this data was dynamically presented within a user-friendly interface embedded as a Chrome extension.

Unfortunately I have not kept the source code nor any screenshot for this Chrome extension.

A Chrome extension is basically a web page with some javascript code and a manifest.json file. You can fetch data from an external server using AJAX requests.

// Function to fetch Reddit RSS feed data
async function fetchRedditData(subreddit) {
  const rssUrl = `${subreddit}/.rss`;
  try {
    const response = await fetch(rssUrl);
    const xmlData = await response.text();
    // Parse XML data (you might want to use a library for more robust parsing)
    const parser = new DOMParser();
    const xmlDoc = parser.parseFromString(xmlData, "text/xml");
    // Extract relevant information from the XML document
    const items = xmlDoc.querySelectorAll('item');
    const redditData = Array.from(items).map(item => ({
      title: item.querySelector('title').textContent,
      link: item.querySelector('link').textContent,
      pubDate: item.querySelector('pubDate').textContent
    return redditData;
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error fetching Reddit data:', error);
    throw error;

Chrome extensions offer a wide range of capabilities, allowing developers to create powerful and feature-rich additions to the Chrome browser. Here are some special things you can do with Chrome extensions:

  • Inject custom JavaScript code into web pages, allowing you to interact with and modify the content of the page. Browser Action and Page Action:
  • Use browser actions or page actions to add icons to the Chrome toolbar. These icons can trigger actions, popups, or other functionality when clicked.
  • Maintain persistent background scripts or pages that continue to run even when the extension's popup is closed. This is useful for handling events, managing state, or performing tasks in the background. Interact with Tabs and Windows:
  • Access and manipulate browser tabs and windows, allowing you to open, close, or modify them as needed.
  • Define specific permissions in the manifest.json file to request access to various browser features and APIs. For example, you might request access to storage, bookmarks, browsing history, etc.
  • Use the Chrome Storage API to store and retrieve data, allowing your extension to persistently save user preferences or other information.
  • Add custom context menu items that appear when users right-click on a webpage. This enables users to perform specific actions on selected content.
  • Intercept and modify network requests, allowing you to modify or block content before it reaches the web page. OAuth2 for Authentication:
  • Communicate with native applications installed on the user's computer, enabling more complex interactions and integrations.
  • Monitor and modify network requests, enabling functionalities like ad blocking or content filtering.
  • Etc.