Tag Archives: What’s

RSS, XLM, and Atom: What’s the difference?

You are browsing a blog site one day, and then you saw this orange button that says “RSS”. You then checked a news site, and then saw an orange button that says “XML”. Then you saw some more sites that have RSS links. Now, you wonder, what are these things all about?

These things never had to be a mystery. What follows are basic information regarding RSS, XML and Atom.

What is an XML?

– General Definition

XML stands for Extensive Markup Language. It is the standard markup language used to define various types of data. It is created to enable data sharing among various systems patched by the Internet. The language format is formalized, to allow modification and validation of files regardless of prior knowledge of the document form.

– XML Features

Before the birth of the XML files sharing files among different programs and platforms was difficult because of the use of binary system in encoding.

In an XML file, characters (the fundamental unit) are sequenced in an allowed serial pattern.

Word processors also made XML maintenance and authoring easier, since it will be dealing with characters, not bits.

– Uses of XML

1. XML is used to represent a lot of data, especially lists, records and trees- the basic forms of data structures.

2. It can also be used to communicate human languages that are written because of the Unicode support.

3. The XML format is also employed in data processing and storage.

– Pros and Cons

The XML format is a universally accepted format. It also does not depend on a specific platform for it to execute. It also employs a hierarchical code structure that is compatible with most of the document formats.

However, XML is limited by bandwidth. In the case of PDA and cellular phone technology that uses XML, files are compressed.

Now, what then is RSS?

– General Definition

RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, is a set of web feed formats that use XML to deliver information.

– What are the uses of RSS feeds?

RSS feeds are used to give updates to users regarding site contents without having to actually check the site. This can be done by delivering the full content of the update, or by sending a link, or by defining the metadata that composes the file.

A lot of sites like web logs, pod casts and news sites use RSS feeds.

– What are the benefits of RSS feeds?

The information that can be seen in RSS feeds is simpler than the source web site. That is why it is easier for users to view the important items.

Other files can also be automatically be downloaded without human intervention. Programs called aggregators can scan web sites and publish lists of updates in behalf of their user.

– RSS formats

The standard RSS formats are:

1. RSS 1 or RDF which includes the following versions: RSS 0.90 and 1.0

2. RSS 2 which includes RSS 0.91, 0.92-0.94 and 2.0.1

How about Atom?

Issues were raised regarding the RSS 2.0 format and its incompatibility problems. That is why a third standard of syndication was born.

The atom format started in June of 2003. It was adopted by the Internet Engineering task Force or IETF. This format was made to solve the shortcomings of the RSS versions that were released.

RFC 4287 states the proposition of Atom’s standardization.

– Strengths

Atom supporters claim that the strength of Atom relies on:

1. Use of standard features of XML;

2. The presence of a payload container capable of handling various content types.

With Atom, owners can actually monitor more sites in lesser time.

– Uses of Atom

Atom, like any other syndication formats, is used on sites that update periodically. These items include web logging, advertisement, marketing, news and bug reports.

– Atom and RSS: What’s the deal?

Atom included features that are not present or mandatory in RSS such as:

– XML schema

– auto discovery

– XML name space

– unique global ID

– payload container

– separate content and summary entities

– openness to modification and standardization

Now that you know the definitions of XML, RSS and Atom, you will never have to wonder why these things are places in certain websites.

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What’s Hot and What’s Not on Blog Services

Although podcasting has definitely surpassed the popularity and usefulness of blogging nowadays, that certainly doesn’t mean blogging is a dying art. Not at all! If you take the time to browse around the Internet, you’ll see the members of popular blog hosting communities are still rapidly growing. If you’re not yet part of this crowd, you better jump on the bandwagon soon to experience the same fun and excitement.

Pressing the Keys at WordPress – http://www.wordpress.com

There are a lot of things to look forward to at WordPress besides the wonderful fact that it’s free to use whether for business or personal purposes. Newbies and advanced users alike will enjoy blogging at WordPress with the many features available for use such as entry previews, blog categories, and blog rolls.

Thumbs-Ups: You can add plug-ins and customize your blog layout. WordPress also provides constant updates for their users.

Thumbs-Down: A bit of software knowledge is, however, required for users to properly install WordPress. If you have enabled commenting in your site, don’t be surprised to find that more than a few spammers are developing a habit of dropping by your site.

Fire up at FeedBurner – http://www.feedburner.com

Do you think your blog is worth broadcasting? If so, you should consider moving from your old blog community to FeedBurner. In this website, they won’t just help you create content, they’ll spread around the word about your blog as well.

Thumbs-Ups: With the standard free package, FeedBurner allows you to set up the configuration for your blog for easy posting and even use an RSS subscription button to automatically update the readers of your blog. The website also lets you know the average number of visits your blog has per day with the FeedBurner hit counter and other traffic statistics. You can earn money on the sideline from blogging at FeedBurner because the website permits you to use Google Ads in your blog.

Thumbs-Down: Unfortunately, the template editing section of FeedBurner is not that easy to master.

Everything in One at Multiply – http://multiply.com

If you wish to blog, upload photos, videos, music files, write reviews, and post your social calendar online in just one website, all you have to do is sign up for an account at Multiply.

Thumbs-Ups: Photo uploading is virtually unlimited, and images can be classified by albums, and given captions. Skin choices are provided to give your blogs more color and life. The URL is pretty easy to memorize – username.multiply.com. Lastly, RSS feeds are allowed.

Thumbs-Down: On writing reviews, Multiply doesn’t give users much freedom on customizing content by font type or color. Layouts can be edited…but only if you have CSS knowledge and even with that, customizing is still somewhat limited. Smiley list is pitifully inadequate.

Live and Write Freely at LiveJournal – http://www.livejournal.com

With a hip nickname such as “LJ”, LiveJournal is a website that’s especially suitable for the fun-loving crowd that’s always on the go.

Thumbs-Ups: Bonds forged online are strengthened by LJ’s email notifications for commenting. Thus, if someone comments in your blog, an email will be sent to inform you about it. Likewise, an email will be sent to you if your comment on someone else’s LJ receives a reply – whether it’s from the blog owner or another blogger doesn’t matter.

Thumbs-Down: LJ however is less easy to customize than other blogs. Some features that are already offered free by other blog hosting sites are on the other hand available only for LJ members with paid accounts.

Be In Vogue at Xanga – http://www.xanga.com

Teenagers seem to be absolutely enamored with Xanga. If you desire a blogging process that’s easy and stylish at the same time, Xanga is definitely the blog hosting site you’re looking for.

Thumbs-Ups: Besides having community-based blogging to look forward to, each post you make will allow you to inform your readers what you’re presently reading, watching, or playing. You can also upload photos, music, and write categorized reviews. A guest book is automatically offered to users.

Thumbs-Downs: Although Xanga allows users to make use of RSS feeds; it would take them some time to properly integrate it in their blogs. The customize layout options is sadly limited, the URL provided for members is a mouthful, and commenting is exclusive for Xanga members only.

So, what do you think? Which blog hosting site do you plan to choose? Wherever you end up blogging, we wish you well! Blog on!