RSS feeds provide abstracts of frequently updated material on the Web (e.g. news, blogs) in the standardized RSS format. RSS is a Web content syndication format. The acronym ‘RSS’ underwent a number of meanings during its lifetime, but now is generally referring to ‘really simple syndication’. RSS is a dialect of XML that was created in the late 1990s to allow lists of information, known as ‘feeds’, to be published by content producers and subscribed to by readers. The availability of an RSS feed usually is indicated in your browser by an RSS icon . Clicking on the icon will present you with the abstracts of the RSS feed.
Very often, RSS feeds are provided by news agencies or newspapers. For examples of RSS feeds, see
o http://www.nytimes.com/rss (New York Times),
o http://news.yahoo.com/rss (Yahoo!) or
o http://reuters.com/rss (Reuters).
An RSS file is a simple structured list of news items, each consisting of a headline, an abstract and a link to the full article, which are encoded in a way that they can be easily used by programs called feed readers. These programs allow users to read articles or events from any number of aggregated news sites at one time.
In BSCW, RSS feed objects are special folders that store the latest abstracts of an RSS feed as RSS articles. You create an RSS feed object by
• selecting File New RSS feed in the top menu. In section ‘general’ of the action form, fill in the URL of the RSS feed, its name and optional tags, description and rating. If you leave the name field blank, the name is taken from the RSS feed.
• In section ‘Attributes’, you may enter your own attributes for the RSS feed object.
• Hit [OK] to create the RSS feed object.
The newly created RSS feed object will already contain the latest abstracts of the RSS feed chosen. Open the RSS feed to view the RSS articles of the feed. The articles themselves are contained in the descriptions of the RSS articles. Clicking on an RSS article will show the full original article: news, blog entry, video or whatever the feed is about.
If the RSS feed folder is empty, you probably have entered a URL that does not link to a proper RSS feed. The maximal number of RSS articles in an RSS feed is part of your BSCW server configuration. Ask your BSCW administrator.
You may copy individual RSS articles and paste them as URL objects to another place of your folder hierarchy.
The selection of articles in an RSS feed may be updated by
• selecting Redo Search in the action menu of the RSS feed.
As far as viewing options are concerned, RSS feed objects constitute a type of its own: they do not inherit viewing options from other folders nor do their viewing option settings influence other folders.