HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 8
Web Syndication
The amount of up-to-date information shared on the Internet is constantly growing. Web syndication provides news
feed channels in order to publish a summary of recently updated web site contents, latest news, or forum posts. These
web feeds make it possible for users to stay informed without browsing web sites. Moreover, the same feed can also be
shared among multiple web sites. Although the two popular web syndication formats, RSS and Atom, have relatively
easy vocabularies, news feed channels are desired to conform to strict standards, first of all XML.
In this chapter, you will learn how to create standard-compliant news feed channels manually and update them
frequently while maintaining standard compliance. You will be familiarized with the pros and cons of the two major
rivals, RSS and Atom. Moreover, you will learn about the data formats used for news feed elements, along with the
default and legal property values. You will also become familiar with the required channel and item elements, as well
as the ones that should be provided to maximize interoperability.
News Feeds
Web syndication makes web site components available to multiple sites without logging in or downloading irrelevant
components of other sites. The phrase often refers to web news feeds ( news channels ) that provide an up-to-date
summary of recently added contents and the latest changes of web sites. Most commonly news feeds are used for the
latest news, news headlines, blog entries, and forum posts.
The first technologies for web syndication appeared in 1997, including the Channel Definition Format [1],
Meta Content Framework [2], and scriptingNews [3]. The first version of Really Simple Syndication ( RSS ), which
later became the most widely used news feed format, was published by Netscape in 1999 [4]. The first part of the
specification of Atom , the other popular news feed, was introduced in 2005.
Since feed readers and aggregators run on a variety of software platforms and devices including, but not limited
to, web browsers, Windows news feed reader gadgets, Microsoft Outlook, and news feed readers on smartphones,
interoperability is vital.
Really Simple Syndication
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is the most widely used web syndication format. Since RSS is an XML application, it
can be extended through XML namespaces. Beyond its conventional use of representing news and press releases, RSS
also has special applications such as providing up-to-date exchange rates for banks [5].
The typical file extensions for RSS are .rss and .xml . The Internet media type associated with RSS is
application/rss+xml , which is not standardized yet [6].
RSS describes lightweight syndication channels with the properties title , link , description , channel , and item .
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