Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

RSS Reaches Out for New Networks

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the nth-dimensional-creature dept.

The Internet 100

loid_void writes "The software and services used to read XML-based news feeds are continuing to branch out as the syndication method gains popularity on the Web." From the article: "More and more companies are starting to use internal content distributed in the form of RSS...Having this content delivered internally in a secure manner is really kind of the sweet spot for [enterprises] right now."

cancel ×

100 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Secure? RSS? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12323880)

There's nothing inherently secure about RSS vs. any other format.

Re:Secure? RSS? (2, Insightful)

odyrithm (461343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12323902)

I'm pretty sure thats the point.. anyone can access the feeds - there just a web page like any else just xml instead of html.

SIGNED RSS (2, Interesting)

Corpus_Callosum (617295) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325366)

There is a need for signed RSS for a number of reasons:

* It will be no-time before we start to see fake articles and whatnot directing us to fake merchants and fake bank sites trying to phish us and other nonsense
* Without signed articles / Signed RSS, there is no-way, other than finding and verifying the original content source, to ensure that a feed is authentic

Really? Re:SIGNED RSS (1)

richyoung (721218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12337611)

Am I missing something? As I understand it, RSS is fundamentally immune to phishing-type attacks because it must be requested from the server, ("pull") rather than being passively received like email ("push"). AFAICT, the only ways to receive fraudulent RSS feed items are to a) sign up for a fraudulent RSS feed, or b) receive feeds from a server that gets cracked. If this is true, then it seems that the need for signed RSS is pretty minimal.

Re:Secure? RSS? (1)

RichM (754883) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325753)

The ./ post said this:
More and more companies are starting to use internal content distributed in the form of RSS.

It's obvious that they are talking about a LAN here...

Re:Secure? RSS? (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12326616)

Yup, I've been thinking about doing something like this at the college I work for. Closest events in the calendar, any "broadcast" info, etc. Many at the college use Mozilla, so making it the home page (or call it from the shortcut so tehy can have their own home page) for the browser or that page that is oh-so-annoying in part of the mail/news window. I typically disable it in the prefs, but if it was info that actually pertained to me/my job/etc then I'd probably keep it.

dates! (5, Insightful)

odyrithm (461343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12323886)

I was just working on a simple php script to pull rss feeds but found most sites only give title, link and description details for the items... why no date? seems nuts. /. does provide a date however, the loverly people.

Re:dates! (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324149)

You just got me in trouble with slashdot!

I grabbed the it rss feed from the bottom of this page, then went back to the main page and grabbed the main one (to see the content I am seeing on the main front page) and I got told off :(

Re:dates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324167)

Slashdot's current RSS dates go from 2005-04-23 to ... 2005-04-23.

As you can see RSS doesn't store every story since the first slashdot story, only the current ones. Everything is recent, so there's no need for a date.

And since the expiration scheme is arbitrary, I don't see how RSS can be reliably used to communicate internal memos within a company, but that's another matter.

WEl... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12323895)

FIRST POST!

RSSGov. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12323900)

""The software and services used to read XML-based news feeds are continuing to branch out as the syndication method gains popularity on the Web.""

The best use I've seen is for keeping up with what our government is doing.

YEAH! (0, Redundant)

Palal (836081) | more than 9 years ago | (#12323901)

Good for them :). I have nothing else to say.

Old news (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12323905)

April 22, 2005

This stuff is soooooo yesterday.

Re:Old news (1)

cicho (45472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325209)

Only old Koreans use RSS anymore. Everybody knows that.

Buzzword Bingo (3, Interesting)

Flexible Typhoon (836555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12323911)

Ah. RSS [google.com] . The buzzword of the day.

There are things RSS is good for. Like news syndication.

There are things that RSS is NOT good for. Like, sending and receiving email or most forms of office communications.

RSS is not the panacea

Re:Buzzword Bingo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324014)

I don't even think it's good for new syndication. I mean, I just don't get it. RSS is nothing more than a HTML-like structure with less information than normally found in an HTML page. What's the difference? I mean, we could've just used HTML (with a simple, standard format), there is no need for RSS, it doesn't give anything. All it does is make things more complex by adding yet another "standard."

Re:Buzzword Bingo (3, Insightful)

pohl (872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324112)

The lightbulb didn't come one for me until I tried a really nice RSS reader. It's provides a way to skim large amounts of information looking for nuggets in a very small amount of time. (In my case, it was NetNewsWire [ranchero.com] ). In my opinion the RSS phenomenon is an example of information-consumers re-routing around bogosity, such as poorly designed sites and intrusive advertisements. You could either take control over how you consume information, or you can be a gullet with an upwardly-open maw at the end of a conveyor. Your choice.

Buzzword Bingo-Selfcontrol. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324181)

"You could either take control over how you consume information, or you can be a gullet with an upwardly-open maw at the end of a conveyor. "

Considering RSS fits into the same part of the "transportation" equation as HTML. The above isn't saying that much. Control is what you make it out to be.

"In my opinion the RSS phenomenon is an example of information-consumers re-routing around bogosity, such as poorly designed sites and intrusive advertisements."

As long as one end of that pipe is controlled by someone else. The extent of your freedom will not be entirly in your hands.

Re:Buzzword Bingo-Selfcontrol. (1)

pohl (872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325690)

Considering RSS fits into the same part of the "transportation" equation as HTML. The above isn't saying that much. Control is what you make it out to be.

The semantic differences between the two make all of the difference. RSS is entirely data, wherease HTML is a mix of data and presentation (not necessarily, but as practiced). The bogosity comes when someone uses HTML's presentation features to force bogosity in your face.

Re:Buzzword Bingo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324780)

That's exactly what the parent was talking about. A "simple" HTML page would be exactly equivalent to an RSS feed.

RSS does nothing more than force removal of images and other crap normally put on pages. You could accomplish the same thing with HTML.

Re:Buzzword Bingo (1)

doctorfaustus (103662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325612)

I agree. RSS is just an arbitary standard. It IS fine for syndication of headlines, but then again, so is a text file -- remember the old textmode.txt files for syndicating headlines?

I should say that at least RSS was fine for syndicating headlines, in it's 0.91 incarnation, but now, as it "progresses" RSS is becoming increasingly lame as it becomes more and more complex because some fools think it should take the place of html, and so they've added the ability to carry, yes, html, so they can download whole web pages rather than just headlines and links. The folks who have pushed this are mostly owners of RSS Reader software, which they sell, and which they somehow think are substitutes for browsers.

Re:Buzzword Bingo (1)

doctorfaustus (103662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325641)

OK, I guess I wrote that too fast, screwed it up a bit. My point is that many think RSS can somehow be a superior substitute for html. But in order to make it such, they have to add such layers of complexity that even html is far superior in terms of economy and ease of creation...

Re:Buzzword Bingo (5, Insightful)

pohl (872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324067)

There are things that RSS is NOT good for. Like, sending and receiving email or most forms of office communications.

I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your analysis, there, Flexible.

The point here is not that RSS should be used for sending and receiving email. Rather, the point is that email leads to lots of problems in office communications...too much valuable knowledge ends up scattered in various inboxes, unavailable to the organization as a whole. Or even worse than that, you end up with a bajillion revisions of miscellaneous documents flying around as attachments.

A much better idea would be to deprecate email as it is currently used, and actually capture intra-office communication in some issue-tracking system, wiki, or other appropriate system.

Where I work we started doing this with JIRA [atlassian.com] and Confluence [atlassian.com] , both of which offer RSS feeds so that you can stay up-to-date on the changes within those systems. The combination is powerful, and I recommend it without hesitation.

Re:Buzzword Bingo (1)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324146)

If you have problems with different version of documents in your organization perhaps you should use a version control system like CVS or Subversion

Re:Buzzword Bingo (1)

pohl (872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324228)

If you have problems with different version of documents in your organization perhaps you should use a version control system like CVS or Subversion

Baby steps, Taladar. That's the way to make progress. It's much easier to get an organization to swallow the idea of capturing communication if you sneak up on them. Issue-tracking systems and wikis can be set up with email gateways so that many people don't know that they're using them. It's much easier than trying to convince management that everybody in the organization needs to be trained on a version-control system.

Even if you were to succeed in getting everybody to put their Word documents into CVS or SVN (a task that neither was really intended for) you will find that you're still in the situation where all of this valuable knowledge is trapped within Word documents...ugh.

I'd rather kill both birds with one stone, thank you.

Re:Buzzword Bingo (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325652)

email leads to lots of problems in office communications...too much valuable knowledge ends up scattered in various inboxes, unavailable to the organization as a whole.


If you're that concerned about how scattered your email is, you should look into Google Search with Mozilla hooks. With one search you can find files, chat (Trillian), web history, and email. Now you really don't have to care where you file your email away. Document versioning is a whole different story and you should be using a centralized Word file depot (versioning is a feature of Word!), or a CVS repository of an open format - whatever fits. Why advocate a complete tear-down and rebuild of the whole world-wide email when there are tools that will fit you nicely? Besides, in any organization there is a lot of email that is not for everyone's eyes, so you'd better have security in mind. A personal solution fits that person. It is entirely possible that a more organized person has their email organized where they can find it. Now, if you are talking about announcements in public feeds and permission-secured feeds for within groups and departments, then there are certainly places where that applies.


My only knock on the tools you recommend are that they are Java based.



Re:Buzzword Bingo (2, Informative)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12330075)

A much better idea would be to deprecate email as it is currently used, and actually capture intra-office communication in some issue-tracking system, wiki, or other appropriate system.

It'd be much cooler if you were named Clarke, so I could say "welcome to 2001" all sarcastic-like; now all I have to work with is Gateway, and nobody would get it anyway. But, sure, capturing e-mail is nothing new, and good lord, we've been tracking our communications as threads on a private NNTP server for almost 20 years now. Also, there's been automatic majordomo browsing since Gopher, and back in the days of BlueWave ...

I tend to agree with Flexible. Yes, RSS can be productively used as a way to keep people abreast of changes, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. We have both a bugzilla deployment with email notification and a mediawiki deployment with RSS notification; because they're both gathered by Thunderbird, you'd think they'd be transparent to me, and that RSS would be at least as good as email. This turns out not to be the case: it's very frequent for us to need to discuss issues that come out of project controol and/or bug control, so even what's going around in RSS eventually gets pushed around email anyway, and then it's a giant pain in the ass to find anything. (Google mail would partially ameliorate that due to its search mechanism, but there's no reason for the problem to exist in the first place.)

It's my opinion that you're addressing the wrong question. What's important isn't whether RSS is good enough to use; there are tons of things that are good enough to use. The question should be whether RSS offers any compelling benefits over the existing mechanisms, and to that I suggest that the answer is a resounding "no."

Where I work we started doing this with JIRA and Confluence, both of which offer RSS feeds so that you can stay up-to-date on the changes within those systems. The combination is powerful, and I recommend it without hesitation.

What about it is better than the existing email notification mechanisms, and what justifies moving to something other than the existing well understood mechanisms, causing problems in sorting, especially when RSS is a pull-only mechanism?

Be sure to look into Jot [jot.com] , which has a lot of code dedicated to supporting this sort of stuff, including the relatively odd notion of sending email to a page. Email is just as flexible as RSS; it's just not new, shiny, and buzzwordic. What benefit do you suggest RSS provides?

Mod this troll down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324208)

Google redirect to the "Roswell Screaming Spaceman" picture instead of the RSS we're talking about.

Re:Buzzword Bingo (1)

globalar (669767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324288)

"RSS is not the panacea"

*Duh!* That's why there's XML!

RSS Feeds and Wireless Internet Blogging (3, Interesting)

evdo-hsdpa-bob (878313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12323923)

I gotta tell ya... my evdo-coverage.com website took off after i started blogging. Thank GOODNESS or what ever the MIS equivalent is.. :) for RSS... As far as news... Turner and CNN had it right.. people want to know whats up. 24hours of world news changed the world.

now... how about 24 hours of specialized news for EVERY industry... carve our your niche now... theres room for everyone... by the way.. if anyone as a wireless internet related blog... i'd love to syndicate you at http://wirelessinternetcoverage.com [wirelessin...verage.com] ... let me know.. we'll be putting a news section on the site

Re:RSS Feeds and Wireless Internet Blogging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12329066)

...

Authentication for RSS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12323945)

Having this content delivered internally in a secure manner is really kind of the sweet spot for [enterprises] right now.
I'll bite. How do they make it secure?

In particular, I have a LAMP application that stores both public and private data. We make RSS feeds of public data available to all, but would like to also have private date available on RSS after a user authenticates in some way. How are others handling authentication? Just leave it up to Apache?

produces

Authentication for RSS-HTTPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324059)

The same way you'd handle any stateless protocol.

Now for something more fun.

Give me ten unique uses RSS can be put to?

Valueable RSS Feed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12323952)

When is this site going to have one?

http://sam.zoy.org/fun/goatse/

Re:Valueable RSS Feed (1)

Junichiro Koizumi (803690) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325937)

When they start providing valueable [sic.] content.

safari (3, Interesting)

izzo nizzo (731042) | more than 9 years ago | (#12323988)

I'm psyched that safari will now inform me of when new stories are broken - so I don't have to check the sites myself. This seems like it will save me a lot of time; unless I end up subscribing to rss feeds from hundreds of sites.

Re:safari (2, Informative)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324082)

Opera [opera.com] does this already.

Re:safari (1)

Construct X (582731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324498)

I was just going to say. *wink wink nudge nudge*

Re:safari (1)

Various Assortments (781521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12328976)

Now kiss each other.

Re:safari (1)

Chiisu (462604) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324627)

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/internet_uti lities/minews.html

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/internet_u ti lities/rssmenu.html

Of course Opera and Firefox have it already, but like you I prefer Safari; and not just RSS, Safari 2 will be even faster :D

All sorts of crasy stuff (4, Insightful)

zkn (704992) | more than 9 years ago | (#12323991)

People are also starting to podcast all sorts of crasy stuff, like videos. Making vLogPodcasts. (And screwing up my playlists with videofiles).

RSS is just another great way of distributing news. Expecially podcasting it with simple programs you just keep running so then down anything new when it arives.

Internally in companies I can see the usage as a "message of the day" sort of thing where anything everyone needs to se is posted. Instead of cluttering up peoples inboxes it's all gathered a centrel spot and people can update by browsing the RSS feed.

Re:All sorts of crasy stuff (1)

The Darkness (33231) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324385)


Internally in companies I can see the usage as a "message of the day" sort of thing where anything everyone needs to se is posted. Instead of cluttering up peoples inboxes it's all gathered a centrel spot and people can update by browsing the RSS feed.


I prefer E-Mail for this. For pack-rats it allows a paper trail. Having a central feed makes it too easy to re-write history.

Re:All sorts of crasy stuff (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324573)

Having a central feed makes it too easy to re-write history.

That depends on how much content is in the feed. The ones that just send a title and a link (boring!) can be, but many have most of the text and can be archived.

Of course, if there was a distributed system like NNTP, it would be even harder for a central system to control the flow.

Re:All sorts of crasy stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324696)

Internally in companies I can see the usage as a "message of the day" sort of thing where anything everyone needs to se is posted.

You are all fired,

signed

the boss

So.. (-1, Flamebait)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12323995)

So now the "mainstream" are catching on how long untill we see spy/mal-ware using it? Sooner or later some dickhead is going to figure out a way to abuse it. Hell all they'd have to do is set a script hidden away to run it automatically whenever it's "deleted" and then no matter how many times you delete the damn stuff through your favourite spyware remover it'll come back.

Re:So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324213)

How to abuse it...

I think the best way to abuse RSS is to hack somebody's site only instead of website defacement, throw an ad or something like that into the RSS file. Basically, it provides an easy way to spam all of the RSS feed subscribers.

But I don't think you can put executable code into RSS, so that limits the danger a lot.

Original quote was slightly different (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324003)

The original quote used the word "assholes" instead of the inserted "enterprises."

OT: Family Guy leaked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324044)

The first episode of the new season of Family Guy, which doesn't start until May 1, was leaked onto the internet: http://www.filecloud.com/files/file.php?user_file_ id=20472

Re:OT: Family Guy leaked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324077)

They finally took the file down.

File's not down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324223)

The file's not down, try this link: here [filecloud.com]

I Say They're... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324057)

"...Some people call it a pen drive or a jump drive. Others call it a thumb drive, a keychain drive, or even a memory stick...."

I call them a sneaker net. Its file transfer speed may not be anything to brag about but sometimes it is the only protocol to get the job done.

The real question is... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324060)

How many people, like myself, found out about this story because of Slashdot's RSS feed?

Re:The real question is... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325311)

"How many people, like myself, found out about this story because of Slashdot's RSS feed?"

I have a little app called side-bar that shows me stuff throughout the day. It frequently downloads RSS feeds and comics and displays them. I don't imagine it'll be the biggest hit ever, but it's kinda nice to glance over and see new headlines etc. That's the nice thing about RSS, it's a standard so I can keep adding stuff to it.

Hey, then we could create a server (3, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324072)

Which would automatically gather all of the RSS feeds into a single location we could then just subscribe to that one server and pick all the feeds we like...

Hang on, where have I heard of this before?

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (2, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324194)

Those who do not understand Usenet are doomed to reimplement it, poorly.

RSS is irrepairably broken, as is any other polling distribution system.

Broken "Models" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324274)

"RSS is irrepairably broken, as is any other polling distribution system."

Well that explains Mailing Lists, and that Dial-a-Weather thingie.

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (1, Interesting)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324324)

So, where's your non-broken push distribution system (e-mail might work for transport?) with appropiate browser plugins?

Oh, didn't make one? Then cut the whining.

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324371)

Yeah, that's right, how *dare* people complain about things and not fix them themselves. I mean, Jesus, it's not like you have to get a *degree* or anything to write software. Or it's not like it's *hard* to design a good piece of software without *any* kind of formal training.

Here's a better idea.

Go fuck yourself.

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324542)

The irony is that someone's going to splat an news server onto another port, start dumping RSS feeds into a group heirarchy and charge muppets a fortune for it. I can just see it now.

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (2, Interesting)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324636)

And then Google will pick up those news groups and provide a RSS feed .. round and round it goes!

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12325929)

You forgot $$ PROFIT $$$

*Napolian Dynomite Voice*
Idiots!!

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12330144)

Do remember that FidoNET, from July of 84, is a year and change older than Usenet, which properly starts during UUN's Great Renaming in 1986, and that some geezers still think it's better designed.

(Before anyone flips out that UUN was from 1979, please remember that the debate is over network architecture, and that UUN used UUX/UUCP; NNTP, which is the architecture to which parent refers, is first proposed in February of 1986 [faqs.org] , and doesn't see wide-spread use until late 87/early 88.)

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (1)

samael (12612) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324644)

I do.

Check out:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/andrewducke r/frie nds/synpeople

it's a bunch of RSS/Atom feeds read in by Livejournal and presented to me on one page.

S'dead handy. And I can do this with any RSS feed, anywhere on the interweb.

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (1)

Takeel (155086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324648)

Which would automatically gather all of the RSS feeds into a single location we could then just subscribe to that one server and pick all the feeds we like...

Hang on, where have I heard of this before?


Yep, you have a point here. I don't get this RSS fever that's overwhelming the masses lately. It's not like RSS is particularly new in execution or concept.

Hey, everyone! Guess what? I just discovered this sweet technology. It's like the web, but there's no images...so it's much faster! It's called Gopher!

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (1)

Ozan (176854) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325729)

Which would automatically gather all of the RSS feeds into a single location we could then just subscribe to that one server and pick all the feeds we like...

Hang on, where have I heard of this before?


I know what you are up to, but anyway: RSS aggregator web service [bloglines.com]

This really saves me some time and is comfortable like I wouldn't believe.

Re:Hey, then we could create a server (1)

jacobito (95519) | more than 9 years ago | (#12326335)

Unsurprisingly, a simple Google search [google.com] would have revealed that you're not the first person to have thought of this.

That's kinda weird... (4, Funny)

Geniusagar (860932) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324083)

I got news about RSS in an RSS feed from Slashdot...
Next I'll be getting an RSS feed about RSS talking about RSS talking about RSS talking about RSS...(infinite loop)

I thanPk You for your time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324088)

Shouts To th3 reasons w4y anyone

Um, Uno Momento (2, Informative)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324097)

Goddammit, I'm confused - what exactly makes RSS different from any of these other standards out there for passing off documents? I mean, I realize it makes a good feed and such, but really, there's nothing involved that screams make-or-break. The same with XML, and all of these other buzzword bullshit standards. Can someone actually give me a purpose to use RSS for anything other than circulating feeds?

Re:Um, Uno Momento (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324122)

Securing the future of the buzzword industry isn't a good enough reason for you?

Um, Uno Momento-Universal BS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324139)

" Goddammit, I'm confused - what exactly makes RSS different from any of these other standards out there for passing off documents? I mean, I realize it makes a good feed and such, but really, there's nothing involved that screams make-or-break."

Well the nice thing about RSS is that it doesn't take anything away from the Internet.

"The same with XML, and all of these other buzzword bullshit standards."

Better a standard people can agree on, rather than a multitude of proprietary standards, no one can agree on. e.g. DVD burner standards.

"Can someone actually give me a purpose to use RSS for anything other than circulating feeds?"

Keep watching this space.

Re:Um, Uno Momento-Universal BS. (1)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324230)

Buh what? Are you seriously proposing that recordable optical discs are less rigorously standardized than Internet markup schemes? I direct you to the DVD Forum [dvdforum.org] which employs rather a lot of scientists and engineers in the pursuit of their standardization duties. By comparison the RSS community is a bunch of cavemen with stick drawings.

Re:Um, Uno Momento (2, Informative)

wootest (694923) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325211)

Let's see. If you were given the assignment to "parse a web page for data", what would you do? Hell, let's make that "parse anything for data". The first thing you'd do is that you'd find out some tell-tale signs of where information starts and ends. This could be different on different sets of data, or it could be consistent; on a web page, it'll almost certainly be inconsistent between these pages. So what RSS (and Atom, another similar but more extensive format with the same goal that falls under the same buzzword) is is simply an easy format to deliver serial data in. It's not designed to be "portable" like PDF if that's what you're alluding, and it's certainly not designed to be readable from a text editor. It's designed to be easy to parse while containing as much data as possible about each entry in the feed and the feed itself. This is the technology side.

The application side of it all is that you get notified when your feeds change, because most applications continuously check on these feeds and work out what entries are new or updated since last time. These applications also make it a lot easier to be effective, since the process of checking of serial postings on multiple web pages gets streamlined by reading their feeds instead. This isn't for everyone either, but it's heaven in an executable for those who want to stay on top of things, which includes a lot of people.

Re:Um, Uno Momento (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12330204)

Let's see. If you were given the assignment to "parse a web page for data", what would you do? Hell, let's make that "parse anything for data". The first thing you'd do is that you'd find out some tell-tale signs of where information starts and ends. This could be different on different sets of data, or it could be consistent; on a web page, it'll almost certainly be inconsistent between these pages.

Um, sorry, those are what XHTML, OWL and RDF are for. RSS does not arise to combat this.

So what RSS (and Atom, another similar but more extensive format with the same goal that falls under the same buzzword) is is simply an easy format to deliver serial data in.

RSS is just a content aggregation feed. It's just an automatically provided synopsis, arguably something news sites have been doing since day one with the front page headlines and first paragraphs, and something newspapers have been doing for two hundred years with the first column and "continued on page A7." You make it out to be this thing about the extremely general topic of serial delivery, but it isn't; it's just a new content notifier, no different than Usenet, FidoNET, email, archie, wais, prospero or bluewave.

RSS is in fact extremely badly suited to serial delivery; there is no description of any sequence other than time, so you can't tell which things are followed by which other things - the very basis of seriality - when there's more than one thing being pushed out of the feed. Moreover, there's a huge amount of descriptive material such as title and superficial textual content which have nothing to do with seriality. It's just a content aggregator, nothing more.

All RSS is is a standard such mechanism so that uniform readers for content aggregation may arise. It's, as other slashdotters keep pointing out, just a badly reinvented fido/usenet.

Re:Um, Uno Momento (2, Informative)

wootest (694923) | more than 9 years ago | (#12330455)

My major point wasn't arguing that RSS is the shit for parsing data but that it's easy and popular enough to re-use while being widely supported for delivering serial data. Why did I say "serial data"? Because that's what it's being used for. Why did I say that it's useful for notification? Because that's what it's being used for.

Very few things inside of any RSS spec dictate that any RSS feed must be fetched periodically (there are some more or less standard elements to specify when or how often the feed may be fetched, for instance), or that it must be used for any of notification or reading the syndicated articles in particular. RSS feeds themselves are just convenient containers of data, easily parsed. (And yes, I know that parsing invalid RSS feeds of various origins is a science in itself.)

You're completely right that it has no built-in sense of if part x is related to part y, it simply doesn't need to. The need to point these things out are not yet apparent and useful; the loose connections that can be worked out using timestamps and categories/subjects work for now.

The fact that you bring up Usenet and email makes me believe that you've completely missed the point. RSS feed reading/aggregation for me means being able to read stuff from lots of different sources; Usenet and email are both primarily means of discussion. Content notification via email is just a side gig. Usenet and email gives you the ability to participate in the discussion because that's what it was designed to do, RSS doesn't because it wasn't. There's no shortage of exotic usages of RSS feeds out there, like Gmail's Atom feed for incoming mail, but it's not the primary usage, at least not for me, and I would be prepared to wager that it's not the primary usage for the majority of other users either.

porn via RSS (3, Informative)

metkat (721321) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324129)

We found a way to use RSS in porn, which I'm amazed noone else is doing yet. I run a BDSM porn site, we provide two RSS feeds for the weekly updates. One is for nonmembers, and links to a preview of each update, the other is for members, linking to the update itself. Since people still have to authenticate to get to the actual content, we don't have to worry about authenticating the members' feed.

This saves hassle for subscribers and browsers, since they don't have to keep checking back to see if we've updated, plus maybe saves a bit of bandwidth for us. Win for everybody.

The site's Two Big Meanies, the nonmembers feed is at http://www.twobigmeanies.com/updates_rss.php [twobigmeanies.com] if anyone's interested.

Re:porn via RSS (1)

metkat (721321) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324145)

fwiw, direct link to the site [twobigmeanies.com]

sorry, should have included that in the original

Re:porn via RSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324617)

I run an adult type member site and I have been doing RSS for ages. I don't bother with seperate feeds though. I think quite a few of the more trendy adult sites do this now. To be honest I have not found it to be too popular and the reason for this is probably that people's RSS bookmarks tend to be newsy mainstream public sites. Porn is something most people keep private and don't want it mixed up with their other feeds. Because of that I don't see it has a huge application for the majority of adult sites as they currently are.

Re:porn via RSS (1)

metkat (721321) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325048)

I haven't seen it on any of the BDSM sites, which is all I really track... I dunno why, seems like a natural.

Re:porn via RSS (2, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324661)

Aha! Now RSS has the main driving force of the Internet behind it.

Re:porn via RSS (1)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 9 years ago | (#12342032)

We found a way to use RSS in porn, which I'm amazed noone else is doing yet.
Fleshbot syndicates [fleshbot.com] its daily content in three feeds: Straight, Gay, and All. Both RSS 2.0 and Atom are supported. I get my daily porn links this way...

Why RSS sucks (1)

Ulrich Hobelmann (861309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324316)

I don't want to duplicate the article, so here's the link [uni-oldenburg.de] .

Re:Why RSS sucks (2, Interesting)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324544)

You compare RSS to Usenet...why? They're not the same thing, and aren't meant to be. Usenet runs on a different protocol; requires a different method of viewing it. And the main point of Usenet is discussion and communication, not content syndication. Its a tool for people to discuss and communicate with each other, and not for content providers to syndicate their content.

You mention that RSS has no means of viewing older content, and again I'd say its not meant for that. It's meant to be used to show what's the latest thing out there on the site, and if archival systems were implemented it'd likely take out the 'simple' from the name.

Here's how I use RSS [khuffie.com] . That site is set as my homepage, and uses the wonderful Magpie RSS [sourceforge.net] PHP script to parse the RSS feeds. Instead of having to check all of those sites to check for updates a few times a day, all I do is go to my homepage (from any browser, not just my machine), and voila! I can instantly keep up to date with my favourite sites!

Re:Why RSS sucks (1)

Ulrich Hobelmann (861309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324797)

Maybe RSS is not meant for viewing older content, but I see no reason why I shouldn't use a uniform interface for all news.

When I'm traveling over the weekend, I don't want to scan all news sites manually, just becaues RSS only provides for the newest 20 articles or so.

An alternative to a static RSS feed that gets updated with every new article would be an RSS feed that you access with a HTTP query with parameter to tell it when you last checked. That way the server could give you a list of all new articles dynamically, even though it'd be slighly less efficient.

RSS *as a format*, instead of RSS as current usage, would be very capable of that, and I'd gladly use it. I don't think it would be any less simple than current RSS.

Re:Why RSS sucks (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325462)

"I don't want to duplicate the article, so here's the link."

The article in that link is bullshit.

a.) It's saying that RSS sucks because the author in particular isn't getting everything he wants. Everybody else in the planet is left out.

b.) An .RSS feed need only be put on the server. The web site wouldn't need to log in to a USENET server and post its news.

c.) Email is only a good solution IF you have a seperate account you can use with it and IF you really feel like registerring with sites to get updates, as opposed to clicking the little RSS button that shows up when you browse to a site.

Re:Why RSS sucks (1)

Ulrich Hobelmann (861309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325635)

(a) It doesn't matter *who* wants the features. What matters is that they aren't there.

(b) The *point* of the article (as opposed to the NNTP example) is that you can get old messages. Indeed some message boards have not only an RSS feeds for new posts, but also an NNTP feed.

If there were apps for NNTP to do what RSS apps do with RSS feeds, then the "logging in to usenet" would be as invisible as "fetching the RSS feed".

(c) If you click on a RSS button, you register with the feed (you tell your RSS app to monitor the feed I suppose). With NNTP you tell your newsreader instead. With email you have your browser auto-enter you mail-address (if your browser has that feature) and click submit.

Of course, as you said, comparing NNTP with RSS isn't really optimal.

An alternative to a static RSS feed that gets updated with every new article would be an RSS feed that you access with a HTTP query with parameter to tell it when you last checked. That way the server could give you a list of all new articles dynamically, even though it'd be slighly less efficient.

It would still use the RSS format (which is really ok), but solve the asynchrony problem.

But why am I even replying to you? Just because one specific person wrote down some criticism (instead of the whole world doing that), the article is bullshit anyway!

Re:Why RSS sucks (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325787)

"(a) It doesn't matter *who* wants the features. What matters is that they aren't there."

I don't mind new features, provided they're optional. However, RSS doesn't SUCK for lack of them. RSS does it's job. It provides a summary of NEWS, not information archives. Imagine being forced to download a bunch of information YOU DON'T WANT just because you want to get updates from the site. Optional? Fine. Whatever.

"With email you have your browser auto-enter you mail-address (if your browser has that feature) and click submit."

Or.. leave RSS like it is because it's more convenient. When you go to a site that has email services, use that.

"But why am I even replying to you?"

Because I made a good point. The article should be called "Why RSS isn't suitable for me".

Re:Why RSS sucks (1)

Ulrich Hobelmann (861309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12326571)

Imagine being forced to download a bunch of information YOU DON'T WANT just because you want to get updates from the site. Optional? Fine. Whatever.


That's why with NNTP you get only the headlines first. If you want you can see the content (like the article description). If you like the description, click the http link in the description and read the article in your browser.

Re:Why RSS sucks (1)

schnubbi (851362) | more than 9 years ago | (#12329210)

If there were apps for NNTP to do what RSS apps do with RSS feeds, then the "logging in to usenet" would be as invisible as "fetching the RSS feed". When using NNTP you would need a NNTP library, for RSS you just need HTTP support. The provider just puts the file on his apache, and the client just needs to send an HTTP request. And no firewall problems whatsoever. Simple. I don't see the "complexity" in XML here. RSS is actually really simple to parse. I don't know the NNTP protocol in detail, but I doubt it's simpler. Well, there is the mess with different syndication formats - but that has nothing to do with the basic concept or XML in general. An alternative to a static RSS feed that gets updated with every new article would be an RSS feed that you access with a HTTP query with parameter to tell it when you last checked. That way the server could give you a list of all new articles dynamically, even though it'd be slighly less efficient. That would be useful, yes. a) Users would not miss items a) It would reduce traffic for providers when people fetch a feed regularily, as the feed would only contain the new items

Austin City Limits (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324327)

Enterprise communication and RSS make a really excellent combination. Feed readers are a dime a dozen or very simple to build. RSS hosting requires little more than a web server which means damn near everyone with a workgroup server or even a retasked don't-touch-this-workstation-or-else server can get in on the act.

Many readers support SSL and HTTP authentication which means connections to private feeds is relatively secure, moreso than most organizations e-mail systems. Having a small RSS reader running in the background is also a lot more efficient most of the time than the "information managers" (Outlook, Entourage, Evolution) most people run. This is doubly true when you've got memos and announcements coming to the same mailbox as your other intraoffice mail. If you're out and about using your cell phone or dial-up service you don't necessarily want to download upteen thousand mail messages, just the latest news items.

sweet spot for enterprises (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324369)

Bullshit. Why is it better than sending out an email to a company-wide alias account? This is another example of useless IT people jump on the bandwagon to abuse a new technology. My solution: fire those IT people because it just indicates they are idle and useless.

No one ever pays attention (2, Insightful)

kiwidefunkt (855968) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324404)

Didn't we just read about how PR begets bullshit news stories [paulgraham.com] ? Case in point: TFA. Really, there's nothing but crap in that article. Taking a step back, it looks like it has a lot to do with Rojo's launch and a bit to do with NewsGator. Of course, we all know the best aggregator is going to be Gmail...once it trickles down. For now, Bloglines [bloglines.com] will suffice. And no, reading/subscribing to hundreds of feeds does not take more time than actually visiting all the sites. What the hell?

Web Security RSS Feed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12324592)

RSS vs. Atom vs. RDF (1)

sergeymen (680083) | more than 9 years ago | (#12324741)

I've always wanted to know the difference between RSS, RDF, and ATOM. Which format is better in your opinion?

Re:RSS vs. Atom vs. RDF (3, Informative)

handslikesnakes (659012) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325994)

RDF [w3.org] (Resource Description Framework) is a meta-language, like XML. Except it's not even really a language, it's a model. Extra confusing because there are different syntaxes available, one of which is XML.

RSS 2.0 [harvard.edu] (Really Simple Syndication, I think) is what most people are talking about when they say RSS these days. Based on the original RSS 0.9x format, some people complain it's underspecified.

RSS 1.0 [resource.org] (RDF Site Summary) is a completely different specification, using the same basic concept & elements but all in the RDF model. Its detractors claim that RDF is too damned confusing (I won't argue there) and make the usual comments about ivory-tower intellectuals.

Atom [atomenabled.org] 's (not an acronym) the new kid, it hasn't actually been released yet but should be coming very soon - within weeks/months. Difficult to say anything about it until it's finalised, but it's got some nice stuff. I particularly like the Atom API. Clean & RESTful, mmm-mmm good. In my opinion (Atom ~= RSS 1.0) > RSS 2.0, but don't take my word for it as I'm fairly new to all this.

bayesian filtering on rss feeds (1)

flok (24996) | more than 9 years ago | (#12325911)

I found a tool for reading rss-feeds with a bayesian filter on it so that you only get to see the items you're interested in. After learning 100-200 items it works pretty wel. The program is called 'sux0r' and can be found here [sourceforge.net] .
For those who like to give it a try, check my site [vanheusden.com] .

Ads (1)

tooth (111958) | more than 9 years ago | (#12326120)

Bet they'll start sticking adverts into RSS feeds soon, something like this:

Something Happened
Another thing Happened
Buy Hot Grits Here!
More News
Cheap Viagra!
Another story

Re:Ads (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12330222)

That started at least two years ago [feedburner.com] .
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?