I need help learning about RSS feeds

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Vaudeville
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I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by Vaudeville » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:39 pm

I'm new to RSS feeds and would like to see how they work. I found a website that has three links to different RSS feeds. I clicked on them and they showed me the RSS feed. I could simply bookmark the page, but I think I would be missing the point???

So what do I do here? I went into Tools/Avant Browser Options/RSS, and I checkmarked all three boxes there. So now what? I don't see any reference material to RSS in the Help files, so I'm stymied here.

I went to Wikipedia and found RSS listed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rss#RSS_1.0
They say I need an RSS reader in order to read RSS data. I'm assuming Avant is an RSS reader?

So anyways, can someone explain to me what RSS is supposed to be and how I can get it to work? I found some RSS feeds on the internet, I just want to get them to "work", whatever that means. I assume it means something different than simply bookmarking the page.

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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by hornakapopolis » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:13 pm

I think it's easier to understand if you think of something like this forum... but instead of covering "assistance" issues, think of a forum that covers general interest topics.

With an RSS reader, or aggregator, it contacts the website in question to see if anything new has been "posted." It then takes the new items and shows you the headline as the title or subject and and then includes a few hundred (sometimes all) words of the new article or post to see if it's something that interests you. If it does, then you can click the link included or click the entire feed to go to the site and read the entire article.

Personally, I think the only time subscribing to a feed is advantageous is when you're dealing with a site that has a lot of articles to weed through. Even in the case of a forum, you're usually notified by e-mail if there's a reply to a thread you're "watching," so there's not a real advantage there.

And as for Avant being a reader... yes, it is. Although, I don't think it's necessarily a good one. I use Thunderbird for any to which I want to subscribe. People have complained for years about Avant not tracking which feeds you've read and which ones you haven't.

One thing I didn't realize when I first started looking at "feeds" was that these podcasts you're always hearing about are essentially feeds, too. The only things I subscribe to are podcasts from NPR radio programs. And since I do it in Thunderbird, they're checked along with my e-mail. Since that's what I use it for, an e-mail client seems better suited for the task. If it was news articles or website blogs, etc. that you were interested in, maybe having your reader in your browser would seem a more logical choice, but it still seems, to me, a poor place for one.

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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by Vaudeville » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:30 pm

Can we take the following webpage as an example of an RSS feed?

http://www.software-dod.com/software-de ... -feeds.htm

I could click on the three RSS links there, and simply add them to my bookmarks, but then I would simply have bookmarks. I may be wrong, but I think the difference between RSS feeds and bookmarks is that RSS feeds somehow notify you of new material. So what exactly is the notification process? Do I receive an email, similar to subsribing to these forums?

Just to try to get my first example under my belt, how do I sign up for these RSS feeds on this webpage, and how will I be notified when they have been updated?

Thanks,
Vaudeville

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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by hornakapopolis » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:39 pm

If you use Avant, you don't want to save them as bookmarks, you want to save them as RSS feeds... and the "save" process is referred to as "subscribing." (Don't forget that you can access your RSS feeds in the sidebar.) I believe that, in Avant, when a new RSS is found, a little notification window pops up in Avant. If you use an e-mail client, it functions like receiving a new e-mail.

Since this is referring more to RSS than Avant itself, I'm moving this from Avant Help to General Discussion.

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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by KY Dave » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:12 pm

Vaudeville wrote:I'm new to RSS feeds and would like to see how they work.
So anyways, can someone explain to me what RSS is supposed to be and how I can get it to work? I found some RSS feeds on the internet, I just want to get them to "work", whatever that means.
Vaudeville
hornakapopolis wrote:And as for Avant being a reader... yes, it is. Although, I don't think it's necessarily a good one.
Hornakopolis is correct, Avant is not a very good feed reader.
Feeds will deliver lots more information from many sites right to your screen without waiting on all the graphics to load and then render. It is a much quicker way to assimilate information than actually browsing to a page for each site.

There is an excellent FREE program called FEEDREADER that is located at the url below...

http://www.feedreader.com/?fromfr

Once you have installed it and have it running here's how it will work...

You find a feed you want to subscribe to and RIGHT CLICK that link and select COPY SHORTCUT.

You then click the FILE, NEW, FEED in FEEDREADER and the info is already in the space for the url. There are some settings you can change or just click OK.

Every few minutes, FEEDREADER will check the feeds you have added and a notification box will popup an alert with information about the fresh feed info.

If you want to read the feed, click the popup, if you want to visit the page, click the link in FEEDREADER and it opens a new tab in Avant.

Unread feeds are in BOLD and feeds you have read are in normal type.

It has a search feature to find anything in all the feeds.

I highly recommend FEEDREADER for reading RSS Feeds.
KY Dave

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Vaudeville
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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by Vaudeville » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:32 am

Can you subscribe to webpages that don't have specific RSS feeds?
For example, maybe something like http://www.usatoday.com.
Would you be able to subscribe to that website even though they
don't have an RSS feed? And you would be notified when the website
changed?

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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by hornakapopolis » Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:02 am

No, a site has to have a feed for it to work. (By the way, USAToday does.)

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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by Vaudeville » Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:45 am

Oh ok, thanks.

Vaudeville

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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by statm1 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:15 pm

Just FYI, the next version of phpBB, 3.2, that is in development is going to have built in feed support like IPB and I think vBulletin does.
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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by André » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:22 pm

I thought the phpBB team was against adding feeds into the core code just like a quick reply.
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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by statm1 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:36 pm

Naa, Their explanation for not including quick reply is because phpBB isnt chat software. But, as far as I know not including RSS was just a time issue.
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Re: I need help learning about RSS feeds

Post by megatrends » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:19 pm

Wow RSS feeds .... good stuff. I could not be able to be online without using it now. After many years of being online it is the easiest way to keep with all of them for the latest updates or what have you.

Also like with blog sites one may have many 'friends" bookmarked and it makes a very quick list of links to check their entries.

One of the best things in a browser in a long time.

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