World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Web feed

Article Id: WHEBN0000717016
Reproduction Date:

Title: Web feed  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Atom (standard), Feed icon, FeedBurner, History of web syndication technology, Glossary of blogging
Collection: Change Detection and Notification, Web Syndication, Xml-Based Standards
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Web feed

Common web feed icon
User interface of a feed reader

A web feed (or news feed) is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it. Making a collection of web feeds accessible in one spot is known as aggregation, which is performed by a news aggregator. A web feed is also sometimes referred to as a syndicated feed.

A typical scenario of web feed use is: a content provider publishes a feed link on their site which end users can register with an aggregator program (also called a feed reader or a news reader) running on their own machines; doing this is usually as simple as dragging the link from the web browser to the aggregator. When instructed, the aggregator asks all the servers in its feed list if they have new content; if so, the aggregator either makes a note of the new content or downloads it. Aggregators can be scheduled to check for new content periodically. Web feeds are an example of pull technology, although they may appear to push content to the user.

The kinds of content delivered by a web feed are typically HTML (webpage content) or links to webpages and other kinds of digital media. Often when websites provide web feeds to notify users of content updates, they only include summaries in the web feed rather than the full content itself.

Web feeds are operated by many news websites, weblogs, schools, and podcasters.

Contents

  • Benefits 1
  • Scraping 2
  • Technical definition 3
    • Confusion between web feed and RSS 3.1
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Benefits

Web feeds have some advantages compared to receiving frequently published content via an email:

  • Users do not disclose their email address when subscribing to a feed and so are not increasing their exposure to threats associated with email: spam, viruses, phishing, and identity theft.
  • Users do not have to send an unsubscribe request to stop receiving news. They simply remove the feed from their aggregator.
  • The feed items are automatically sorted in that each feed URL has its own sets of entries (unlike an email box where messages must be sorted by user-defined rules and pattern matching).

In its explanation "What is a web feed?", the publishing group of Nature describes two benefits of web feeds:

Scraping

Usually a web feed is made available by the same entity that created the content. Typically the feed comes from the same place as the website. Not all websites, however, provide a feed. Sometimes third parties will read the website and create a feed for it by scraping it. Scraping is controversial since it distributes the content in a manner that was not chosen by the authors.

Technical definition

A web feed is a document (often XML-based) whose discrete content items include web links to the source of the content. News websites and blogs are common sources for web feeds, but feeds are also used to deliver structured information ranging from weather data to top-ten lists of hit tunes to search results. The two main web feed formats are RSS and Atom.

"Publishing a feed" and "syndication" are two of the more common terms used to describe making a feed available for an information source such as a blog. Web feed content, like syndicated print newspaper features or broadcast programs, may be shared and republished by other websites. (For that reason one popular definition of RSS is Really Simple Syndication.)

Feeds are more often subscribed to directly by users with aggregators or feed readers which combine the contents of multiple web feeds for display on a single screen or series of screens. Some modern web browsers incorporate aggregator features. Users typically subscribe to a feed by manually entering the URL of a feed or clicking a link in a web browser.

Web feeds are designed to be machine-readable rather than human-readable, which tends to be a source of confusion when people first encounter web feeds. This means that web feeds can also be used to automatically transfer information from one website to another without any human intervention.

Confusion between web feed and RSS

The term RSS is often used to refer to web feeds or web syndication in general, although not all feed formats are RSS. The Blogspace description of using web feeds in an aggregator, for example, is headlined "RSS info" and "RSS readers" even though its first sentence makes clear the inclusion of the Atom format: "RSS and Atom files provide news updates from a website in a simple form for your computer."[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Home: Nature Webfeeds
  2. ^ Blogspace "RSS readers (RSS info)"

External links

  • Deepak Pujari (31 March 2015). "Read RSS Feed with PHP". 
  • Mark Pilgrim (18 December 2002). "What is RSS?". 
  •  
  •  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.