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An introduction to RSS news feeds
By James Lewin - 2004-04-05 Page:  1 2 3 4 5 6

Now start working with RSS files

There are several ways to start working with RSS files. Because RSS files are so simple, they can be created easily using any text or XML editor. Also, there are sites with Web forms that let you create a custom RSS file online. Finally, you will also want to try creating RSS files automatically. Open-source tools for Java, PHP, and Perl can help you get started (see Resources for some examples).

Once you have created a simple RSS file, you will want to validate it. You can do this at Netscape's site, listed below in the Resources section. Post the RSS file on a publicly accessible area of your Web site, go to Netscape's site, submit your URL, and the validator will test your file for compatibility.

Publishing your RSS file

Once you have a valid RSS file available on your Web site, you can syndicate your content. You can do this in a publish and subscribe fashion -- you publish the information, and anyone who wants to can subscribe -- or you can submit your URL to content aggregators such as Moreover or Userland. Aggregators take content from a variety of sites and publish it in feeds. While your site's information could be mixed in with content from a variety of other suppliers, aggregators can help you dramatically extend the reach of your distribution.

You can also use RSS files for private distribution on intranets or extranets. Their simplicity makes RSS files a good way to publish information to a variety of systems.

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First published by IBM developerWorks

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Article copyright and all rights retained by the author.