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13. Subscription and Aggregation with RSS > 13.1. RSS: Quick History

RSS: Quick History

Both a varied history and some controversy surround RSS. Rather than spend time on this in the book, I’ll point you to a Yahoo group’s RSS Development Group message that details much of it (at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rss-dev/message/1136). The concept of a providing data in a defined format in order to support news feeds and data channels didn’t originate with RSS. For instance, the use of RSS—in any format—was predated by Microsoft’s CDF, which I used at one time to provide data channels of my web sites.

RSS originally stood for RDF Site Summary and was a vocabulary of RDF/XML developed at Netscape several years ago for the company’s implementation of channels. The use of RDF in RSS, as well as in earliest implementations of Mozilla, was due to R.V. Guha, an original RDF pioneer. When Netscape’s attention was diverted to other matters — or should we say when AOL decided the support for RSS wasn’t an effective profit center — RSS was left orphaned. This actually had a physical impact, because one result of this abandonment was Netscape pulling the DTD for RSS 0.9/0.91 that people used to use to validate their RSS XML.


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