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RSS and Atom in Action: Web 2.0 Building Blocks by Dave Johnson

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Chapter 4. Newsfeed formats

A little history lesson on newsfeed formats will help you understand the choices you have and the direction that newsfeed technology is headed.

One of the first challenges developers face when building applications with RSS and Atom is making sense of the many slightly different XML newsfeed formats. The most popular newsfeed format is RSS, but RSS is not really a single format. RSS is a family of informally developed and competing formats that has forked into two opposing camps, which can’t even agree on what the letters RSS stand for. In this chapter, we’ll help you through this confusion by explaining the history of RSS, the RSS fork, and the details of the most widely used RSS formats.

We’ll also explain that, ...

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