How is RSS used?


#1

I use my site to share data files with a handful of collaborators in other locations and agencies. I was thinking the other day that it would be slick to be able to alert this group when data has been added or updated. Is that something RSS is used for?

This signature line intentionally blank.


#2

Yes. RSS could be used in this way, although I would suggest Atom is more suited to the task.

si-blog
Max discount on any plan with promocode SCJESSEYTOTAL


#3

Maybe that’s what I’m looking for. Is that how this forum offers up live bookmarks for Firefox with the little orange icons?

I tried the easy instructions for web blogs at http://www.atomenabled.org/ but the atom.php ran with errors in the root of the directory tree I want to set up as live bookmarks. It looks like I also need to create a feed in html. Is that right? Are there tutorials for this step? Where do my link files go?

This signature line intentionally blank.


#4

Both Atom and RSS are XML, and you will need to create and write to an XML document, or generate one on the fly. Each item of the feed will need to have a URL that points to your new material. By subscribing to your newly-created feed using some sort of feed aggregator, your users will be told when the feed (and therefore the material) is updated.

I do it by creating a writing to an XML file in PHP, rather than generating it on the fly. Because the page is static, it doesn’t matter if it gets hammered.

si-blog
Max discount on any plan with promocode SCJESSEYTOTAL


#5

I’m making slow progress understanding this. I assembled a 5 line xml file using rss using a tutorial I found at http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/RSS:Getting_Started. It looks like a tutorial in progress, not completed. Less progress understanding Atom.

Am I going to have a problem if my links or my xml are down in a directory password protected with .htaccess?

My understanding is that I develop a list of links of recent updates with a script, then have the feed read in that link.

This signature line intentionally blank.


#6

[quote]I’m making slow progress understanding this. I assembled a 5 line xml file using rss using a tutorial I found at http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/RSS:Getting_Started. It looks like a tutorial in progress, not completed. Less progress understanding Atom.

Am I going to have a problem if my links or my xml are down in a directory password protected with .htaccess?

My understanding is that I develop a list of links of recent updates with a script, then have the feed read in that link.[/quote]
There should be no need for a tutorial. All you need to do is look at an example document and then use PHP/Perl/Whatever to generate the example, substituting the example data for your own. Study the documentation to make sure you understand how the element is supposed to be used, and the same for the element (it must be a unique identifier, which can be a permanent URL). You should make sure your feed is not in a password-protected directory, but the content its items link to can be.

You can also hand code the feed if you wish, but that can be very time consuming if you are doing updates all the time. I used to do it that way before I switched to a dynamic website a few years ago.

si-blog
Max discount on any plan with promocode SCJESSEYTOTAL


#7

Ok, I got one working with Atom. Thanks for your help and encouragement. Next I need to work on making the feed contents more meaningful. I’d like the link to provide a list of new docs in a directory tree. And I’ll read up on the date element.

Firefox 2.0.0.9 has an RSS editor that I haven’t been able to figure out. All I can get out of it is some XML that Firefox can’t read or make a bookmark from.

This signature line intentionally blank.


#8

If I have a script generate the xml with the most recent content as the links, do I have the script generate the xml and have it sitting there for the users to hit, or is the live bookmark pointed at the php or other script file, so it runs the script real time?

This signature line intentionally blank.


#9

I use PHP to generate a static XML file each time I update my blog. Since my two feeds (I use RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0) are my most-visited documents, I do it this way to protect against a flood of hits. If you are not anticipating heavy traffic, you might as well just generate the page dynamically with a script.

si-blog
Max discount on any plan with promocode SCJESSEYTOTAL