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Beginning RSS and Atom Programming Paperback – May 6 2005


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From the Back Cover

Beginning RSS and Atom Programming

RSS and Atom are specifications that give users the power to subscribe to information they want to receive and give content developers tools to provide continuous subscriptions to willing recipients in a spam-free setting. RSS and Atom are the technical power behind the growing millions of blogs on the Web. Blogs change the Web from a set of static pages or sites requiring programming expertise to update to an ever changing, constantly updated landscape that anyone can contribute to. RSS and Atom syndication provides users an easy way to track new information on as many Web sites as they want. This book offers you insight to understanding the issues facing the user community so you can meet users' needs by writing software and Web sites using RSS and Atom feeds.

As the first book to cover RSS and Atom together, it begins with an introduction to all the current and coming versions of RSS and Atom. You'll go step by step through the process of producing, aggregating, and storing information feeds. When you're finished, you'll be able to produce client software and Web sites that create, manipulate, aggregate, and display information feeds effectively.

What you will learn from this book

  • What developers' tools are available to create and customize feeds
  • The various approaches to storing feed data, from XML to SQL to RDF
  • Why RSS and Atom information feeds must follow the rules of XML syntax
  • How XQuery and XSLT can be powerful tools for selecting and manipulating a portion of an RSS or Atom feed
  • What's required to build a tool to aggregate information from multiple feeds
  • The newest use for RSS — podcasting MP3 audio files to iPods or other MP3 devices

Who this book is for

This book is for beginning programmers who have some programming experience and are looking to add information feeds to their Web sites. No previous programming experience is assumed.

"This book is full of practical advice and tips for consuming, producing, and manipulating information feeds. I only wish I had a book like this when I started writing RSS Bandit."
— Dare Obasanjo, RSS Bandit creator: http://www.rssbandit.org.

About the Author

Danny Ayers is a freelance developer, technical author, and consultant specializing in cutting-edge Web technologies. He has worked with XML since its early days and got drawn into RSS development around four years ago. He is an active member of the Atom Working Group, the Semantic Web Interest Group, and various other Web-related community groups and organizations. He has been a regular blogger for several years, generally posting on technical or feline issues. Originally from Tideswell in the north of England, he now lives in a village near Lucca in Northern Italy with his wife, Caroline, a dog, and a herd of cats.

Andrew Watt is an independent consultant and computer book author with an interest and expertise in various XML technologies. Currently, he is focusing primarily on the use of XML in Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Microsoft InfoPath 2003.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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RSS and Atom are about information. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Nice coverage of the entire RSS technology spectrum... May 8 2005
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The rise of blogging has caused RSS technology to become extremely important in today's computing environment. To more fully understand this subject, I took a look at Beginning RSS and Atom Programming by Danny Ayers and Andrew Wyatt (Wrox/Wiley).

Chapter List:

Part 1 - Understanding the Issues and Taking Control: Managing the Flow of Information - A Crucial Skill; Where Did Information Feeds Start?; The Content Provider Viewpoint; The Content Recipient Viewpoint; Storing, Retrieving, and Exporting Information

Part 2 - The Technologies: Essentials of XML; Atom 0.3; RSS 0.91 and RSS 0.92; RSS 1.0; RSS 1.0 Modules; RDF - The Resource Description Framework; RSS 2.0 - Really Simple Syndication; Looking Forward to Atom 1.0; What Is Atom?

Part 3 - The Tools: Feed Production Using Blogging Tools; Aggregators and Similar Tools; Long-Term Storage of Information; Online Tools; Language-Specific Developer Tools;

Part 4 - The Tasks: Systematic Overview; Modeling Feed Data; Storing Feed Data; Consuming Feeds; Parsing Feeds; Producing Feeds; Queries and Transformations; The Blogging Client; Building Your Own Planet; Building a Desktop Aggregator; Social Syndication; Additional Content; Loose Ends, Loosely Coupled; What Lies Ahead In Information Management

Appendix A - Answers To Exercises; Appendix B - Useful Online Resources; Appendix C - Glossary; Index

This book was actually a whole lot more than I expected... As a blogger, I want to be sure the RSS feed I produce is valid and readable by newsreader clients. I just expect my newsreader to take care of things for me. But instead of just covering *how* to produce an RSS feed, the authors cover the entire spectrum of RSS technology. You get the history of RSS/RDF/Atom as well as some discussion of why they came into being. So for someone who isn't familiar with RSS at all, they'll quickly pick up all the necessary background to understand why this whole thing is critical. Then after covering the formatting of the different RSS standards, they move into consumption issues. While you may not be interested in building your own aggregator, understanding how your feeds will be used leads to a much better solution up front. Add in plenty of code examples, file snippets, and exercises to extend your knowledge, and you have a pretty complete coverage of the topic.

If you're only interested in details on building a feed, this book might not be quite as focused as you'd like. But if you're just getting into RSS from a programming perspective, this would be a good choice to give you an overall understanding.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Choose "Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom" instead March 9 2006
By Jonathan M. Julian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Far too heavy on "tools" rather than "concepts". In a year, the tools all change, but the concepts remain the same. For the same price, choose Ben Hammersley's O'Reilly book. It will be 250 focused pages that will give your the perfect lay of the syndication landscape. This Wrox book rambles on for 720 pages!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Needs Focus. Oct. 16 2008
By Shan Sundaram - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book focuses a LOT on the tools that manipulate RSS. Theory Theory Theory. Not direct to the point. Just pages and pages of flab. I would suggest to look elsewhere.


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