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RSS and Podcasting. Martyn A George. Feb 2007. Outline. What is RSS Feed Representation Feed Recognition Aggregators Internet Explorer 7 Finding Feeds Podcasting. What is RSS. Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary or RDF Site Summary

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Rss and podcasting l.jpg

RSS and Podcasting

Martyn A George

Feb 2007


Outline l.jpg
Outline

What is RSS

Feed Representation

Feed Recognition

Aggregators

  • Internet Explorer 7

    Finding Feeds

    Podcasting


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What is RSS

Really Simple Syndication

or Rich Site Summary

or RDF Site Summary

...... depending on your point of view

  • a set of web feed formats used to share online content

  • various formats exist but the most popular are RSS 2.0 and Atom


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Feed Representation

  • RSS web feeds are represented using XML

  • a feed contains metadata describing the content provider and one or more content items

  • Example XML elements (RSS 2.0):

    <channel> - provider website title, URL, and description

    <item> - title, summary, and URL of a referenced content item


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Sample Feed – RSS 2.0

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<rss version="2.0">

<channel>

<title>Ocelot</title>

<link>http://www.ocelot.edu/</link>

<description>The fascinating lives of ocelots</description>

<language>en-us</language>

<pubDate>Fri, 09 Mar 2007 07:00:00 GMT</pubDate>

<item>

<title>A Herbivore as Prey</title>

<link>http://www.ocelot.edu/articles/2007/item030.asp</link>

<description>Have you ever wondered what would happen to a lone, injured

herbivore in the path of a hungry, wandering ocelot? Find out in this

fascinating article that reveals the hunting habits of ocelots.

</description>

<pubDate>Fri, 09 Mar 2007 12:41:20 GMT</pubDate>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>


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Sample Feed - Atom

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<feed xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">

<title>Ocelot</title>

<link href="http://www.ocelot.edu/</"/>

<updated>2007-03-09T07:00:00Z</updated>

<author>

<name>Bill Smith</name>

</author>

<id>urn:uuid:80b53d72-d499-12d9-f91C-0003af07112c</id>

<entry>

<title>A Herbivore as Prey</title>

<link href="http://www.ocelot.edu/articles/2007/item030.asp"/>

<id>urn:uuid:23aab570-abcd-3a43-cdac-79ea211ae113</id>

<updated>2007-03-09T21:30:02Z</updated>

<summary>Have you ever wondered what would happen to a lone, injured

herbivore in the path of a hungry, wandering ocelot? Find out in this fascinating

article that reveals the hunting habits of ocelots.

</summary>

</entry>

</feed>


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Recognising RSS Feeds on the Web

web pages denote RSS feeds with buttons (links) similar to these:

the method used to subscribe to a feed with these buttons depends upon the aggregator in use


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Aggregators

  • aggregators retrieve syndicated web content

  • content from all sources is presented as a consolidated view within the aggregator

  • new content is periodically retrieved by the aggregator at predefined intervals

  • aggregators can reside on a desktop computer or on a remote website

  • modern web browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer embed feed aggregation


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Aggregators – Internet Explorer 7

  • remember that RSS feeds are simply XML files

    • earlier browsers simply displayed the XML

    • some recent browsers including IE7 have aggregator functionality and display the XML as a human readable web page

  • IE7 has additional aggregator features:

    • an icon indicates feed presence in page

    • a feeds list similar to ‘favorites’ is provided

    • feeds can be subscribed to using similar techniques as when adding favorites

    • Con: IE7 doesn’t support feeds that reference DTDs due to potential security issues


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Finding RSS Feeds

  • Many RSS feed directories are available on the web

  • Most offer browse by topic and an RSS search engine

  • Some sample directories:

    2RSS.Com

    syndic8.com

    Yahoo News

    Microsoft Feeds Directory


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Podcasting

  • named after the Apple iPod

  • podcasts are RSS feeds but distributed files are typically audio or video

  • podcatchers (aggregators) automatically download recent episodes of subscribed programs

  • Content can be automatically synchronised to portable devices for offline enjoyment

  • iTunes is a popular podcatcher which works with iPods (or standalone)


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