What Is RSS

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RSS In Human Speak RSS In Technical Terms

What can I do with this? How do I use it? Do I really need it? Can't I do without it?

RSS is a thing by which you can know when a page has changed - e.g. new content was added or something was deleted or someone wrote a comment, etc.

RSS is especially useful in blogs and forums because it can notify you as soon as someone has replied to a post of yours.

And how exactly do I get to know when something has changed in a page?

First of all you need to have a type of program called "RSS reader". "Ough - so I'd have to download something, then install it, then adjust settings and so on…!?" - Yes. :) The good news is that you need to do it only once and that once you do it, you'd never regret the effort.

Once you have chosen a specific "RSS reader" ("how do I choose which?" - will get to this later), downloaded it, installed it, adjusted its settings, you can go to a web page you would like to monitor for changes.

If the web page was made to support RSS this tiny orange icon feed-icon-14x14.png should appear next to the web address. Maybe you have already seen it but paid no attention to it.

When you click on it what happens is that "you get subscribed to the RSS feed of the page". This means that the address of the page has already entered into your RSS reader and the reader can track it and notify you when there is something new. Notification happens according to the options of your particicular reader - usually a small pop-up window, sound alert, animation in the icon in the system tray, etc.

Note that you must set your RSS reader to be the reader by default. (Somewhere in the "Options"/ "Settings" menu). Otherwise clicking the orange icon will subscribe you in the browser's built-in RSS readers and most browsers do not have good RSS readers.

So where do I find good readers?

The Wikidot Community maintains a list of recommended RSS readers - take a look at it.

-When it comes to computers things are easier done than said…

"Oughhh. Isn't all described above too complicated? I don't think I have time for it", you may say. Well, if you really need to keep on track with news, changes in certain web pages or replies to your posts, then RSS is the most efficient way for you to stay updated. And choosing a program, installing it, managing the settings is not like moving a mountain after all. Described in text the whole thing seems long, tedious, complicated and even dangerous for your computer. :) But actually doing it is easy. Just unlike most other things in life which are easier said than done… :)


What does the abbreviation "RSS" mean?

- read here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3223484.stm


How exactly does it work?

- to get the general idea:
http://www.wizard-creek.com/rss/tutorial/rss-how-does-it-work.htm
http://silverpop.com/rssdirect/about_rssdirect/rss_tech.html

- detailed technical explanation:
http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/12/18/dive-into-xml.html
http://www.webreference.com/authoring/languages/xml/rss/intro





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