Thursday, October 28, 2004

RSS

During a recent trip for work I bought a Linux Journal to read on the plane. An article Resources for Syndication with RSS was helpful for me to understand what is going on. It is a little technical, but anyone who has hand jammed some html should be able to follow it with a little patience. After reading the article I had some observations.

1. RSS was created to make the world wide web machine readable. Being machine readable makes it possible for the machines (computers) to do some repetitive tasks for the people. Like for instance, go to the bookmarks of your favorite site to check out what's new. In essence, when a person writes a webpage or a blog with RSS he or she is writing two pages; one for human consumption and one for computer consumption.

2. The technology has not settled down into a groove yet. It's a little early in the life of the technology to get set on a particular variant. If you enjoyed the Windows versus Apple debate you will probably be disappointed for the lack of fire in the issues. If you came out of the browser wars, Netscape versus Explorer, thinking that there should more web browsers not less in the end, this may turn out to be something that ratchets up consumer/user choices.

3. I want to use all of the variants so that anyone can view or use the syndication of my blog.

4. It is essential that some server run code to create a RSS feed, so who ever hosts the blog has got to enable the service on their server or let another server somewhere else create the feed. In short, you and I are dependent upon sysads somewhere to help us out to create the feeds. (Of course those of you with your own servers, you know who you are, you "are that sysad".)
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