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Description of Book

Hemant Agarwal
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Joined: Nov 21, 2005
Posts: 138
What is RSS? What is an ATOM Feed? What is the difference between the two technologies? What is your book all about? Please give me the description of what your book is all about
Bruce Jin
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Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 672
Good question.

I read Amazon Editorial Reviews Book Description but still not clear on these questions.

RSS and Atom in Action is organized into two parts. The first part introduces the blog technologies of news feed formats and publishing protocols-the building blocks. The second part shows how to put to those blocks together to assemble interesting and useful blog applications. In keeping with the behind Manning's "In Action" series, this book shows the reader, through numerous examples in Java and C#, how to parse Atom and RSS format newsfeeds, how to generate valid newsfeeds and serve them efficiently, and how to automate blogging via web services based on the new Atom protocol and the older MetaWeblog API. The book also shows how to develop a complete blog client library that readers can use in their own applications. The second half of the book is devoted to a dozen blog apps-small but immediately useful example applications such as a community aggregator, a file distribution newsfeed, a blog cross-poster, an email-to-blog gateway, Ant tasks for blogging softwarebuilds, and more.

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David M. Johnson

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 10
Good questions.

1. What is RSS?

Generally speaking RSS/Atom is set of competing XML formats for representing periodically updated resources on the web; things like weblogs, news sites, forums, bug reports, wiki changes, auction bids, podcasts, etc.

2. What is an ATOM Feed?

Still speaking generally, an RSS/Atom feed is an XML file available at a fixed URL on the web and updated periodically. To monitor a feed, you simply poll the URL.

A feed has some metadata (title, icon, update-time, etc.) and contains entries (also known as items) where an entry is essentially a timestamped chunk of data with some metadata (title, author, update time, publish time, category, etc.).

3. What is the difference between the two technologies?

Unfortunately, there are not just two technologies. There are two distinct forks of RSS: the "simple" fork (0.92, 0.93, 2.0, etc.) and the RDF fork (1.0) -- all in all about 10 differerent incompatible versions of RSS. All of the RSS specs are fairly loose and as a result, open to differernt interpretations. Items in an RSS feed typically carry escaped HTML, but each entry can also have an attachment -- i.e. a podcast.

Then there's Atom, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard syndication format. IETF is the same standards group the governs specs like HTTP, SMTP and IRC -- as a result the spec (RFC-4287) is well-written, carefully worded and very tight.

Atom is a little differernt from RSS because 1) it requires each entry to have a unique ID and 2) it requires feed publishers to precisely specify the type of content in each entry. An entry's <content> element can carry text, escaped HTML, XHTML or any MIME content-type (incuding binary data) -- so an entry can really carry any type of data. Because of these (and other) things, Atom is much more friendly to developers and for applications other than blogging (i.e. feeds that carry data other than escaped HTML).

4. What is your book all about?

The book explores use cases for blogging and feed technology, explains blogs and wiki servers, covers RSS and Atom formats in depth and explains how to use standard web services (XML-RPC based MetaWeblog API and the Atom protocol) to publish to the web. You'll learn how to parse, generate and serve feeds. Examples are in Java and C#.
Bruce Jin
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Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 672
Thanks David.
It sounds like a book worth reading. I will get one (either buy or win it).
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Description of Book
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