Friday, September 09, 2005
What is RSS?
Here is a great video that introduces RSS.
Now for the terms. Let's review the terms.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the presentation language of the web. It is the language that communicates with human readers. It is the language of websites and webpages.
XML - (Extensible Markup Language) is the language of the web that is used to communicate with computers. It is used to allow for the easy interchange of documents on the World Wide Web.
RSS is one of the dialects of XML.
There are various flavors of RSS. One flavor is different enough to have another name - ATOM.
Web Feeds - some people prefer the more generic term "web feeds" or just "feeds" to describe RSS and all of its flavors. Products like FeedDemon and FeedBurner capture this terminology.
Microsoft supposedly is debating whether to use the term "web feeds" or "RSS" for the new version of Windows.
Confused? Lots of people are. But we know the internet is chaotic and it will get sorted out over time.
Just know that "RSS" and "RSS Feed" and "Web Feed" and "Feed" usually mean the same thing. That some people also use the term "XML" to identify a Web Feed.
I use the terms "RSS" or "RSS Feed" because those are the most popular terms at this point in time.
- XML files are for document exchange.
- Web feeds are a subset of XML Files.
- Web feeds include all the flavors of RSS, including ATOM.
That is enough introduction - the next topic is how to get started using RSS. The best way to understand RSS is to use it.