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How to modify RSS

Thursday, June 11, 2009 by Dave Winer.

From time to time I get requests from developers who want to modify RSS so it can do something that wasn't forseen when the spec was frozen in 2002. Here's what I wrote to a developer who asked about that today (the specifics are xxx'd out). Permalink to this paragraph

Hi xxx -- I think it's a great idea to integrate xxx and RSS. Permalink to this paragraph

However.. I don't know enough about xxx to understand the substance of what you want to do. Permalink to this paragraph

You can add all the information you want to a feed by defining a namespace or by creating a new format called something other than RSS that shares its properties and adds anything you want, or for that matter, changes anything you want. Permalink to this paragraph

RSS 2.0 has been frozen since 2002, and that's absolute. It was necessary to do that to keep it from becoming a moving target. Lots of people had ideas for adapting RSS to their own projects, and that's supported through the two mechanisms I outlined above. Permalink to this paragraph

Dave Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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