RSS formerly known as Rich Site Summery now stands
for Really Simple Syndiction.
RSS is an XML-based format for content distribution
especially for delivering updates to websites for things
such as headlines or video feeds in a standardized
format. It it most frequently used on news-based sites
due to the constant changing of events and web
Versions of RSS
There are several diﬀerent versions of RSS falling into
two branches. The ﬁrst being RDF and the other being
2.* The RDF branch includes:
RSS 0.90 was the original Netscape RSS version. This RSS was called RDF Site
Summary, but was based on an early working draft of the RDF standard, and was
not compatible with the ﬁnal RDF Recommendation.
RSS 1.0 is an open format by the RSS-DEV Working Group, again standing for
RDF Site Summary. RSS 1.0 is an RDF format like RSS 0.90, but not fully
compatible with it, since 1.0 is based on the ﬁnal RDF 1.0 Recommendation.
RSS 1.1 is also an open format and is intended to update and replace RSS 1.0. The
speciﬁcation is an independent draft not supported or endorsed in any way by the
RSS-Dev Working Group or any other organization.
The RSS 2.* branch includes:
RSS 0.91 is the simpliﬁed RSS version released by Netscape, and also the version
number of the simpliﬁed version originally championed by Dave Winer from
Userland Software. The Netscape version was now called Rich Site Summary; this
was no longer an RDF format, but was relatively easy to use.
RSS 0.92 through 0.94 are expansions of the RSS 0.91 format, which are mostly
compatible with each other and with Winer's version of RSS 0.91, but are not
compatible with RSS 0.90.
RSS 2.0.1 has the internal version number 2.0. RSS 2.0.1 was proclaimed to be
"frozen", but still updated shortly after release without changing the version
number. RSS now stood for Rea"y Simple Syndication. The major change in this
version is an explicit extension mechanism using XML namespaces.
Beneﬁts of RSS
RSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the
web. They beneﬁt readers who want to subscribe to
timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate
feeds from many sites into one place. It allows you to
easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content
from the sites you are interested in. You save time by
not needing to visit each site individually. You ensure
your privacy, by not needing to join each site's email
newsletter. The number of sites oﬀering RSS feeds is
growing rapidly and includes big names like Yahoo
What RSS Looks Like
<description>XML.com features a rich mix of information and services for the XML community.</description>
<title>Normalizing XML, Part 2</title>
<description>In this second and ﬁnal look at applying relational normalization techniques to W3C XML Schema data modeling, Will Provost discusses when
not to normalize, the scope of uniqueness and the fourth and ﬁfth normal forms.</description>
<title>The .NET Schema Object Model</title>
<description>Priya Lakshminarayanan describes in detail the use of the .NET Schema Object Model for programmatic manipulation of W3C XML Schemas.</
<title>SVG's Past and Promising Future</title>
<description>In this month's SVG column, Antoine Quint looks back at SVG's journey through 2002 and looks forward to 2003.</description>
Hosting and Some Down
Sides to RSS
Many marketers want to know how many subscribers they have, which items in
their feeds attract the most interest, or how many click-throughs are generated as a
result of an RSS feed.
The most common method to track the number of feed accesses or individuals
accessing a feed is to use a 3rd party feed host. Companies like FeedBurner
essentially track feeds based on accesses. The downside to using a 3rd party like
Feedburner, is that the url is a FeedBurner url and any PageRank or popularity
associated with the url will beneﬁt the feed host rather than the feed creator.
Additionally, no distinction is made between unique views or syndicate feeds.
Apple Startpage even has a RSS button to go straight
to Hot News.