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How to use RSS Feeds?

 
 
Shawn
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      10-04-2006
Hi,

I want to understand and follow RSS feed because many web pages provide
RSS feed for updated new data(e.g. http://www.weather.gov/rss/). But I
never get how to use it. The link below suppose explains everything and
how to use it.
http://www.firstgov.gov/Topics/Refer...t_Is_RSS.shtml

except:
How Do I Use RSS Feeds?

The first step is to choose an RSS reader. Each reader has a slightly
different way of adding a new feed, also called a "channel." Follow the
directions for your reader but, in most cases, here's how it works:

Click on the link or small XML button near the feed you want. For
example, FirstGov.gov Updates: News and Features. You'll see a page
displaying XML code.
From your web browser's address bar, copy the URL (web address). For
example, the URL you would copy for FirstGov.gov Updates: News and
Features is: http://www.firstgov.gov/rss/updates.xml.
Paste that URL into the "Add New Channel" section of the reader. The RSS
feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.


I don't have special software for viewing it. I have Web browser
Firefox. The link above says that Firefox can do it. But I can't find
"Add New Channel" in Firefox. It only displays the xml source code.

Thank you very much for your help.
 
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Andy Dingley
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      10-04-2006

Shawn wrote:

> I don't have special software for viewing it. I have Web browser
> Firefox. The link above says that Firefox can do it. But I can't find
> "Add New Channel" in Firefox. It only displays the xml source code.


This is pretty easy, although it's less than obvious.

To make Firefox recognise an RSS feed "the easy way" then the HTML must
contain the following <link> (or something like it).

<LINK title="WCATWC Tsunami Events RSS"
href="http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/rss/tsunamirss.xml"
type=application/rss+xml rel=alternate>

There aren't any such links on the pages you cite (nor should there be)
but if you follow the links from the main list on
http://www.weather.gov/rss/

Then you'll find a page such as this, which is specific to one
particular newsfeed
http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/info/tsunamirssabout.html
If you now look at the Firefox address box you'll see a square orange
RSS icon up there. Click on that and you can add a "Live Bookmark" to
it, the crudest sort of RSS reader that Firefox includes by default.

The trouble is that you can only have one link like this per page, so
it's hard to give lists of them -- you have to build the site with a
page for each.

If you use the Firefox Tools | Extensions menu and then look for more
free downloadable extensions, then you'll find RSS extensions for
Firefox that are much friendlier to use and more powerful. These have
their own ways of adding feeds, but there's usually an option to just
paste in the feed's own address.

 
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Shawn
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      10-04-2006
Andy Dingley wrote:

> There aren't any such links on the pages you cite (nor should there be)
> but if you follow the links from the main list on
> http://www.weather.gov/rss/
>
> Then you'll find a page such as this, which is specific to one
> particular newsfeed
> http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/info/tsunamirssabout.html
> If you now look at the Firefox address box you'll see a square orange
> RSS icon up there. Click on that and you can add a "Live Bookmark" to
> it, the crudest sort of RSS reader that Firefox includes by default.
>


Thank you very much. I followed successfully all your instructions. I
did add a "Live Bookmark".

I am still not very clear about the concept "RSS feed" and what it is for.

For example, after adding the live bookmark by clicking the orange icon,
then I opened the web page, it becomes the following:

To: Tsunami warning system participants along the U.S. Atlantic, Eastern
Canadian and Gulf of Mexico coasts
From: NOAA/NWS/West Coast-Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (Experimental
Web Product)
Subject: Tsunami Information Statement issued 10/2/2006 at 8:11PM EDT

At 8:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time on October 2, an earthquake with
preliminary magnitude 4.2 occurred 0 miles southeast of Bar Harbor, Maine.

The magnitude is such that a tsunami WILL NOT be generated. This will be
the only WC/ATWC message issued for this event.

The location and magnitude are based on preliminary information. Further
information will be issued by the United States Geological Survey

Link to Standard Information Statement
Link to XML/CAP Product
//end of web display

My questions is: what is the advantage of RSS feeds? Even a static HTML
web page, I can re-write/update it everytime I need to. For the people
who are interested in reading my web page, they can always come to my
web page, open it and read "new" stuff.

My guess is that, the advantage of new technology RSS feeds is such
that, if I changed something in my web page, then the people who are
interested/"subscribed" my web page will see the new thing. If I didn't
change my web page, they will not be notified. Correct?

BTW, I have found Google Reader being able to accept RSS feeds and of
course have many lists together.

Thank you very much.
 
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Shawn
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      10-04-2006
BTW, is there possible such a way that I can "subscribe" this newsgroup
into my Google Reader? I come back and forth to check if anybody has
replied to my posting. Sometimes none, sometime somebody did. I am
curious if there is a way to setup that if somebody replied to my
posting, I will be notified.

Also, I am very interested in buying used stuff from craiglist:
http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/sss/

Is there a way to setup that if somebody posted a dishwasher for sale, I
will be notified?

Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate it.
 
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Andy Dingley
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      10-04-2006

Shawn wrote:

> I am still not very clear about the concept "RSS feed" and what it is for.


Try using a more commonplace RSS reader rather than Live Bookmakers.
It's very convenient at what it's good for, but it's not the "standard"
way to use RSS feeds.



> My questions is: what is the advantage of RSS feeds? Even a static HTML
> web page, I can re-write/update it everytime I need to. For the people
> who are interested in reading my web page, they can always come to my
> web page, open it and read "new" stuff.


How would they _know_ that it was time to go and read it again?


> My guess is that, the advantage of new technology RSS feeds is such
> that, if I changed something in my web page, then the people who are
> interested/"subscribed" my web page will see the new thing. If I didn't
> change my web page, they will not be notified. Correct?


Assuming that you're writing your "pages" through some sort of blog,
then yes.
Here's one of mine
http://quercus.livejournal.com/data/rss

(ignore the next para unless you really care)
The simplest way to do this is for the RSS reader to poll the server at
timed intervals. Most feeds will list a suggested polling interval to
revisit at. There's also a "cloud" interface which allows the server to
"push" the reader when the content actually is updated, thus notifying
it it's time to poll again.



> BTW, is there possible such a way that I can "subscribe" this newsgroup
> into my Google Reader?


Probably Go to http://groups.google.co.uk/group/comp.text.xml and see
if it gives you a link to any RSS feed (it probably does)

> Is there a way to setup that if somebody posted a dishwasher for sale,


Possibly. That would depend on the site. It's quite common for sites to
implement _lots_ of RSS feeds, including feeds on each small category.
A few sites also allow users to store pre-defined search queries, and
if they do this much it's quite easy to make them visible as RSS too.

 
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Timothy Murphy
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      10-04-2006
Shawn wrote:

> I want to understand and follow RSS feed because many web pages provide
> RSS feed for updated new data(e.g. http://www.weather.gov/rss/).


In this particular case, if firefox is your browser
and you go to http://www.weather.gov/
you will see the RSS symbol in the firefox title bar
(to the right of http://www.weather.gov/).

If you click on this symbol, you will be invited to add this site
as a "live bookmark" to your toolbar.
If you do this you will see it listed at the top of the firefox page,
and if you click on this icon you will get a list of current news items
for this site.

In other words, almost everything is done for you.

--
Timothy Murphy
e-mail (<80k only): tim /at/ birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
 
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