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Mstation Book Reviews
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Mon, 30 May 2005

RSS and Atom Feeds

Ben Hammersley, Developing Feeds with RSS and Atom, O'Reilly

This is very topical for us at Mstation as we've been working on getting podcasts going. Podcasts depend on RSS 2.0 and its added tag of "enclosure" to make it happen and right now we're having to manually output rss as our server is missing a vital Perl library to make the thing happen automagically.

Researching the whole thing has been interesting as we started with the word "podcasting" and then dove further and further down until we got to the crucial aspect -- enclosures. I guess if we were to mention another current buzzword that connects with this subject, we could also say "blogs". So, this book is extremely relevant to things a lot of people are doing. It's also relevant to things that people are thinking of doing in this interesting world -- one such mentioned in the book involves grabbing weather information in text format and then converting the text to speech and issuing it as a podcast. Pretty cool.

This book is a reasonable bible for what's happening at the moment although in our special interest area there wasn't a mention of the vital enclosure tag, but there is tons of other information on the specs of RSS and Atom and generating feeds and generally mucking around with them.

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