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Weblog of Freelance Designer Steven Clark

20/2/2005

RSS 2.0 on Linden’s Blog

Filed under: — 8:10 pm

This article only applies to RSS .9x and RSS 2.0.

The RSS ‘thang’ is a must have on any site nowdays if you have any kind of dynamic content and don’t we all know it. Generally all I’ve done in the past is utilise the WordPress feeds though and never really looked into just ‘how’ simple Really Simple Syndication can be to implement by hand. OK there’s the manual update that takes a couple of minutes but hey this is a geeky blog right?! And its nearly always better to do something by hand at least once to understand what it’s really doing down there (excuse the pun).

On Linden Langdon’s blog, Translucent, this week we decided to implement just such a hand made RSS 2.0 feed and submit it to the feed eating world. Basically although I developed the site Linden is responsible for updating and manually validating the content and RSS feed by herself. While the rest of the world (now including me) hooks into automated blogging software some people like to have a nice home brewed personal blog experience including writing content into the page in straight XHTML and manipulating Cascading Style Sheets. Something I liken to the difference between buying a fibreglass dinghy and hand crafting one from good huon pine. The craft in the craft so to speak.

The best and really best way to start looking at making RSS of the .9x or 2.0 variety is the Harvard Law Blog, which might sound counter-intuitive at first. But try not to be disappointed when you see that all these gains are made with such little effort and skill. Really Simple Syndication is really simple.

Unless you want to chase up the RSS 1.0 spec which is based on RDF - but that’s another story.

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