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updated by rck, 2006-04-23

You can see those little orange icons all over the web now. RSS is everywhere, people love the really simple syndication. I must admit, I like it also. Google Desktop's Web Clips made me want it in its unobstrusive yet useful way.

So I enhanced phpwsrssfeeds to support forums as well as comments, added a couple of icons on and am very happy with the result.
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What is RSS?

RSS is an abbreviation. It stands for really simply syndication and that's also a nice way of explaining what it does. Instead of representing a whole web page with all kind of CSS formatting and JavaScript, RSS is a very pure format. It contains a lot of meta data, which enables to syndicate feeds as you like them.

In other words: RSS enables you to visit a web site without visiting it yourself. You can leave this task to your RSS reader, who checks the web site every now and then and shows you the new stuff. This also works for multiple sites at the same time, and this is where it starts to become interesting.

Looking at RSS feeds

What does it take to look at a RSS feed or even at many of them at the same time? If you are using FireFox as a browser, you have everything built in. See this icon in your address bar: ? It shows you that there's a RSS feed attached to the page.

To see what's in it, just click on the icon in the address bar. If there is more than one feed, you can select the feed you are interested in. If there's only one, FireFox will ask you to give your new "Live Bookmark" a place to stay. "Live Bookmark" means: RSS feed are treated like a dynamicly changing list of bookmarks. Instead of permanently choosing the titles of your bookmarks, you get a folder that fetches the titles from the RSS feed.

If you're using FireFox but would like to have something more sophisticated, just try out the Sage extension for FireFox. It gives you a very nice and snappy RSS reader right within FireFox.

My current favourite is a different application though. It is called Google Desktop and has a built-in RSS reader since the current version 2. It is called "Web Clips" here and fills automatically with all the feeds from sites you often visit.
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What is RSS?
The 5 new feeds

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  • Google desktop

    Posted on 2006-01-27 23:44:13 By eva2005[1]

    As PC dummy I have installed the google desktop and now I can imagine the importance of this "tool". Only one side shows you what's going on and what's new.

    • Re: Google desktop

      Posted on 2006-01-28 00:05:18 By rck[110]

      Yes, that's the main benefit. One list, many sources of information. And you can customize your information sources. It's like eating a la carte in a restaurant, except it's about information and doesn't cost.

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