[thelist] XML SMI RSS: TLA huh?

David Dorward evolt at david.us-lot.org
Thu Nov 20 04:31:49 CST 2003

On Thursday, Nov 20, 2003, at 09:46 Europe/London, John Dobson wrote:
> I am looking into a secure information delivery service to 
> subscribers, that has the push benefits of email, but with a greater 
> guarantee of delivery and a significant speed increase.

> I thought that xml stood as a good basis for the raw information, but 
> have little experience of how xml can be delivered and the various 
> advantages and possibilities of the different methods.

XML is just text, you can deliver it in the same way as any other text.

> I have seen a lot about RSS feeds but didn't know how they are created

Typically they are generated by the content management system running 
the site. Some people write them by hand.

<http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/12/18/dive-into-xml.html> might help.

RSS feeds are typically accessed by the user running a client that 
polls the server periodically looking for an updated feed file.

You could have your client perform such a poll over https with a 
username and password if you want security.

> I also seem to have a problem viewing xml files in IE6, everytime I 
> attempted to open an xml page RealOne would burst into life (until I 
> uninstalled it!), and I would be prompted to save an SMI file.  So 
> what's all that about ??!!

Probably SMIL <http://www.w3.org/AudioVideo/>, IIRC RealOne can handle 
it and probably stole all XML formats as a result.

Delivering raw XML to the browser is rarely a good idea, it should 
usually be transformed in to a different format first. I've been doing 
some work on content negotiation with various XML feeds (And MSIE is 
driving me up the wall because of it), given the amount of things I 
want to do its likely to be some time before anything useful comes to 
light on that subject from me though.
David Dorward

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