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RSS and Atom: Understanding and Implementing Content Feeds and Syndication

Heinz Wittenbrink

A clear and concise guide to strategy, structure, selection with in depth technical coverage of feed formats and XML vocabularies
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Book Details

ISBN 139781904811572
Paperback280 pages

About This Book

  • Clear explanation of feed formats and choices
  • Intro and reference for content professionals and developers
  • In depth guide to Feed XML vocabulary

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.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What are Newsfeeds?
Scenario 1: Weblogs
Scenario 2: Publishing of Metadata
Scenario 3: Aggregating and Archiving of Newsfeeds
Scenario 4: Asynchronous Broadcasting
Content and Metadata
When Do We Talk about Syndication?
1.1 Applications
1.2 Feed-Based Services
1.3 RSS Requirements
1.4 Semantics: The RSS Model
1.5 Syntax: RSS as an XML Format
1.6 Feed Formats and other XML Formats
1.7 The Versions of RSS and Atom: Their Evolution and the Future
Chapter 2: Really Simple Syndication: RSS 2.0 and Its Predecessors
2.1 Overview
2.2 The RSS 2.0 Vocabulary
2.3 RSS 2.0 Elements for Rich Metadata
2.4 Adding Multimedia Data with enclosure
2.5 The Predecessors of RSS 2.0
2.6 Extension Modules
2.7 Aggregation of Feeds and OPML
Chapter 3: RSS for the Semantic Web: RSS 1.0 and RSS 1.1
Use of the Resource Description Format
3.1 RDF Basics
3.2 The Basic Structure of an RSS 1.0 Document
3.3 The Core Vocabulary of RSS 1.0
3.4 Modules for Metadata
3.5 RSS 1.0 Modules
3.6 RSS 1.1
Chapter 4: Atom
4.1 Overview
4.2 The Structure of an Atom Feed
4.3 Extensibility
4.4 Publishing with the Atom Publishing Protocol

What You Will Learn

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.


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