RSS What is RSS?


The acronym RSS stands for a Really Simple Syndication, known as a delivery process that gives access to any online content that has been updated.

Once users subscribe to an RSS feed, the RSS feed reader will automatically notify the users of any website changes.

This way, it will not be necessary for users to search for updated subjects on websites. RSS feeds are often attached to texts, images, and podcasts.

They can also be used with any document that has content changes.

What is an RSS feed?

An RSS feed is the term used for documents that apply the RSS technology.

In order to publish the notifications on updated files, the content creator produces text files with the XML file extension that includes RSS feed to all the links and for each post on web pages.

This way, any users could be aware of all changes on those pages via the RSS reader.

What is an RSS reader?

An RSS reader collects content from multiple XML files, organizes the information, and updates the content in one application.

When an article or document is modified or newly published on web pages linked to the RSS feed, it will fetch the modifications and provide the updated content to your RSS reader.

All the latest changes will be contained on XML files and be accessible to users.

This way, users can quickly see the modifications within the websites that appeal to them instead of page by page.

What is inside a feed?

(Source: https://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/)

A feed includes a serie of items or entries identified by a link.

Each of these items can have a various amount of other metadata associated with it as well.

The most basic metadata for an entry includes a title for the link, and a description of it.

<title>Earth Invaded</title>

<link>http://news.example.com/2004/12/17/invasion</link>

<description>The earth was attacked by an invasion fleet

from halfway across the galaxy; luckily, a fatal

miscalculation of scale resulted in the entire armada

being eaten by a small dog.

</description>

Further more, the feed itself can have metadata associated with it, so that it can be given a title, a description, and other fields (such as publisher and copyright terms).

RSS feed advantages

It can be qualified as a time-saver by:

  • Allowing the users to have a summary of the latest articles at a single glance;
  • Having a better and easier way of selecting contents that are of interest to the user;
  • Not disrupting or confusing unwanted elements;
  • Having access to articles from one central location;

RSS History

In earlier 1999, RSS was introduced by Netscape, an internet browser developer at that time.

They wanted to use an XML format to share news, stories, and information. However, this soon to be revolutionary technology was adopted later, once the internet was more accessible.

In 2002, notorious companies such as The New York Times started to offer RSS feeds on their webpage.

This was a significant movement proving that changes were taking place by easing the internet world.

Later on, major internet browsers such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla Foundations Firefox, and Apple's Safari started to integrate RSS directly into their products.

What is an Atom feed?

The Atom format was developed as an alternative to RSS feed in 2005.

Essentially, an Atom feed has similar characteristics to the RSS feed.

It is an easier way to read and write information on the web, allowing users to keep track of more sites in less time and sharing their thoughts by publishing to the web.