Creating RSS files for your Web site (1/5) - exploring XML
Creating RSS files for your Web site
Recently I have received more and more questions about the Rich Site Summary (RSS) format and its use for Web masters. The short answer is that RSS is a great way for any Web site to advertise their content in an always up-to-date fashion. In order to reap the benefits of RSS, you have to master three easy steps:
- Create and maintain RSS files for your web site
- Understand RSS channels
- Understand RSS items and images
- Publish from a full-fledged example
- Look forward to the Outlook
Let's cover the first topic of creating and maintaining an RSS file, while the last two points will be discussed in the next installment of this column.
First we need to delve a bit deeper into the Document Type Definition (DTD) of RSS and explain in more detail than column10 what information is supposed to be going where.
At the top level, a RSS document is a <rss> element, with a mandatory attribute called version. This specifies the version of RSS that the document conforms to. The current mandatory value is "0.91". Subordinate to the <rss> element is a single <channel> element, which contains information about the channel, the so-called meta data, and its contents. In DTD syntax it looks like this:
<!ELEMENT rss (channel)> <!ATTLIST rss version CDATA #REQUIRED> <!-- must be "0.91"> -->
On to the RSS channels.
Created: Jun 18, 2000
Revised: Jun 18, 2000