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Chip News with RSS

August 5, 2009

In Chip News we are using RSS feeds for Educational, Employment & Entertainment News.

RSS is a text-based format, a type of XML. You should know that only because often RSS files are often labeled as XML. RSS version 1.0 is also RDF (whatever), which, again, is important only because an RSS file may be labeled as RDF.

RSS files (which are also called RSS feeds or channels) simply contain a list of items. Usually, each item contains a title, summary, and a link to a URL (e.g. a web page). Other information, such as the date, creators name, etc., may also be available.

The most common use for RSS files is for news and other reverse-chronologically ordered websites like blogs. For example, this Chip News site contain RSS feed readers that has find a changes log, which is also available in RSS format. An items description may contain all of a news article, blog post, etc., or just an extract or summary. The items link will usually point to the full content (although it may also point to what the content itself links to).

When a website has an RSS feed, it is said to be syndicated. There are various other syndication formats besides RSS (such as Atom), but RSS is by far the most widely used and supported today. RSS files do not have a common file extension, although they frequently end in one of .xml, .rss, or .rdf (note that other extensions may be used also). The term scraping refers to creating an RSS feed for a website that doesnt provide one itself (i.e. scraping the text off of the page). That is, scraped feeds are not created by the same people who created the content within the feed. Scraped RSS feeds may stop working if the page changes its layout.

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