February 16, 2005
New blog for news on RSF development.
Comments work too.
This is great! Now I will be able to watch the blog, see if any of the programs I am working with have been updated, and if yes I will update my RSF! I have to update only when necessary because I use RSF in a corporate environment where only the sysadmin is allowed to install software.
When I wrote the comment above, I did not know yet how webfeeds (Atom/RSS) work. I will explain it for others who may not know. Notice the “Syndicate this blog” section on the right side of this page? That is a reminder that you can avoid doing what I said in my previous comment – check sites for updates. You will have the updates coming to you themselves!
Webfeeds are replacements for newsletters, due to proliferation of spam. Basically you receive information updates from a server without the server knowing anything about you. The content is “pulled” by the subscriber (you), as opposed to “pushed” through email by the provider. The “anonymous broadcast” effect made a stylized drawing of a source emitting radio waves be chosen to represent webfeeds. Look in your lower right corner of your Firefox, Konqueror or IE7 Beta and you will see a little orange icon. No, not the orange “XML” buttons, those are for something else. The little one in the lowermost, rightmost corner, just outside the browser viewport. Not seeing one? You are probably using IE6. Get Firefox now. OK, you clicked on the said button.
If you are using Firefox you have to select which kind of feed to subscribe to. Choose Atom. The content is the same, it is just transmitted over different protocols. Webfeed protocol standards are just a mess. RSS 2.0 is a fork from RSS 0.91, so RSS 1.0 is really a different version than RSS 2.0, not a parent. RSS 2.0 is more feature-rich, but according to Wikipedia it frozen and future work will continue under a different name. Two attempts to make a RSS 3.0 have been aborted. Microsoft has thrown proprietary extensions into the mix. One of the standards bodies of the internet (IETF) started another protocol, Atom. Now it has gotten to version 1.0 – this blog only has 0.3. Still, I would recommend choosing the one supported by a public standards body and run away from the RSS disaster.
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