RSS and Atom: Understanding and Implementing Content Feeds and Syndication


RSS and Atom: Understanding and Implementing Content Feeds and Syndication
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  • Clear explanation of feed formats and choices
  • Intro and reference for content professionals and developers
  • In depth guide to Feed XML vocabulary

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 280 pages [ 191mm x 135mm ]
Release Date : November 2005
ISBN : 1904811574
ISBN 13 : 9781904811572
Author(s) : Heinz Wittenbrink
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Web Development, BPEL, Content Management (CMS), Free eBooks, Web Services
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Heinz Wittenbrink

Heinz Wittenbrink was born in 1956 in Mülheim (Ruhr region). He studied literature and philosophy and worked as an editor and then a senior editor for the Bertelsmann Group. He was responsible for several CD ROMs with encyclopedic content, and later, for the development of the first free German encyclopedic website http://www.wissen.de. In 2000 he moved to a Munich-based web agency, and in 2002, founded his own company for online publishing. Since 2004 he has been a professor for web publishing at the University for Applied Sciences in Graz/Austria. He has written books and online teaching material on XML, HTML and CSS. Heinz used RSS for the first time when he developed a news service for a major German magazine publisher. He sees the ease of use and the extensibility of modern syndication formats as their major advantages. He is convinced that RSS and its successors will soon develop from syndication formats used in special contexts (news publishing, weblogs, and so on) to general formats for publishing and archiving online content.

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Sample chapters

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What you will learn from this book

The book will give you:

  • An understanding of why content syndication matters, and what are the driving forces behind the technology
  • A good grounding in how RSS and other formats have evolved
  • A detailed knowledge of the XML structure of each format
  • The knowledge to conceive, design and implement your own content syndication services

 

In Detail

RSS and Atom are the most widely used of many content syndication formats that have developed over the last few years to address the need to distribute and receive streams of content from websites and applications. Sites syndicate content for a broad variety of reasons, from replacing email as a medium for outbound contact to updating satellite sites. Each format has evolved to meet the changing needs of its driving community. All the common formats use a specific XML vocabulary to structure a stream of content in an easily consumable format.

The book starts by analyzing the need to distribute content that RSS emerged to meet. It outlines in development of the various formats as way of understanding how the technology map of today came about. The current status of the leading formats is summarized succinctly.

Then RSS is examined in detail. The XML vocabulary and document structure is examined and explained clearly. Each element is illustrated with carefully chosen examples. The changes through RSS 0.9x to 2.0 are covered in depth as are extensions and modules such as BitTorrent, EasyNews and others.

The book then goes on to examine the richness and complexity of RSS 1.0 and 1.1, again covering both how design decisions were made, then covering the XML structure in depth. The same in depth treatment is then given to Atom, comparing and contrasting the formats where appropriate.

This is a concise yet comprehensive guide to feeds and syndication for content professionals, web developers and marketing teams who want to understand what RSS and content syndication is, how it works, what it can for them, and how they can get it up and running. The feed formats and vocabularies are covered in depth, and the book does require some familiarity with XML, but no scripting or development expertise is necessary.

Read Chapter 1: What are Newsfeeds? [PDF - 436KB]

Approach

The style of the book is succinct and precise. The information is densely packed but well structured, making it both readable as an introduction and overview, but also highly functional as a reference. The author is authoritative but friendly in his style, and peppers the text with interesting examples and pertinent URLs.

Who this book is for

This book has been written for content professionals, web developers and marketing teams who want to understand what RSS and content syndication is, how it works, what it can for them, and how they can get it up and running. It assumes a solid knowledge of XML and how the web works, but is not intended to be the exclusive province of the technically minded.

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