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What is RSS?

     
4:19 pm on Jun 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't know. I've not been in web development for long, and I am still learning (eagerly) most the basics, and I was curious as to what an RSS feed was, and what it is in general.

Iíve seen it everywhere, even my forum has it Ė but I donít understand it.

4:22 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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RSS is a method that allows you to distribute your information either to rssreaders of even to other websites.

An RSS feed is almpst like a page, but it contains nothing more than the "raw" info, no design etc.

The feed can then be used within an rss reader to extract the info and display it.

Mack.

4:28 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What does RSS stand for?

What is an RSS reader - is this similar to blogging, minus the layout?

4:41 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication

The easiest way to describe an RSS reader would be to compare it to email. Lets say you subscribe to a newsletter, they send you email whenever the newsletter is released...with an RSS reader you subscribe to a newsletter, but keep checking the publishers site to see if it is new or updated. You can unsubscribe at anytime and do not get your inbox filled up with stuff you no longer want.

Blog software usually provides some sort of RSS feed, atom or xml which can be read by rss readers. It is the content of the site without the style/layout.

[edited by: werty at 4:44 pm (utc) on June 30, 2005]

4:42 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Oh right, basicaly, very similar to a blogging system then?

If not, why? It sounds it.

5:36 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well the blogging system is used to publish the feeds, the reader is used to read them.
5:38 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Now I am really confused - the reader is a inanimate, right?
5:49 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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the reader would be eiter a software application or a script that reads the feed and renders content based on it.

Mack.

6:05 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Good if you read lots of blogs or sites that provide a RSS feed, save you actually visiting the site. Download a RSS reader and have a go. [google.co.uk...]
10:37 pm on June 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Okay, thank you - I have downloaded an RSS read file, and the .exe, but before I install them, I'm going to look into them more.

I've actualy taken my time to look for some RSS feeds, and it wasn't hard. It's just a document tree - almost like viewing a source code, I noticed.


<rss version="2.0">

<channel>
<title>blog of ####</title>
<description>Latest blog entries on #### for ####</description>
<language>en-us</language>
<link>http://www.####.com/</link>
</channel>
</rss>

Now I am sort of getting the message - I'll install the RSS reader now, and report back.

Reporting Back:

Okay, so I have installed it, and tried to add that blog above to the feeds, the url is as follows.

[####.com...]

Is that correct - or do I have to mess with the URL?

I think I know what's going to happen; is it going to translate the RSS to make it readable as a document, just like a browser would html and other web programming languages?

12:34 am on July 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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yep the reader is designed to "read" the rss and convert it to a human readable format.

what it does is read the tags... each tag has an <open> and a </close> everyting between the tags is an rss element.

<item>
<part>this is a part</part>
<part2>this is the 2nd part</part2>
<part3>this is the third part</part3>
</item>

when readable it will be shown as...


this is a part
this is the 2nd part
this is the third part

The <item></item> contains all the elements of the "item"... within a feed you may have many different items such as article 1 article 2 etc etc.

The <tag>'s contain information. each tag with the same name is related.. different content but same informaion if you know what i mean...

<item>
<part>story1</part>
<part2>this is story 1</part2>
<part3>this is some text from story 1</part3>
</item>
<item>
<part>story2</part>
<part2>this is story 2</part2>
<part3>this is some text from story 2</part3>
</item>
<item>
<part>story3</part>
<part2>this is story 3</part2>
<part3>this is some text from story 3</part3>
</item>

Mack.

9:39 am on July 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Ah yes - that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for your help everyone, I think I fully understand now. =D

I appritiate you sparing your time to attempt to, and evetualy teach me about RSS.

1:39 pm on July 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A good idea is to look at this excellent tutorial from a government bod.

[rssgov.com...]