Govt takes up publishing standard

That’s the title of my second NZ Computerworld article, which is in this week’s edition (pg 16). Here’s a PDF copy of it. It’s also available in HTML format on Read/Write Web.

Since it is an article that attempts to bring RSS into a mainstream light, some people who arrive here may not know how to “subscribe” to an RSS feed. My advice is to select a browser-based RSS Aggregator – I recommend Bloglines – and then copy-and-paste the RSS feed URL into it. For example, my RSS feed URL is:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/rss.xml

I’ve noticed recently that Atom (a new RSS format) is making it easier for normal users to subscribe to a feed, by providing a graphical HTML version of the feed. So instead of the user clicking on the Atom URL and being greeting with a screenful of XML code (as is the case with RSS), the user gets a nicely formatted HTML page – which usually has instructions on how to subscribe to the feed. This IMHO could be Atom’s killer app, so I’m following the progress of this feature with interest.

Today I saw for the first time an HTML-styled Atom feed that works in Internet Explorer – a big deal considering 90-95% of people use the Microsoft browser. For an example see this Atom feed by the Creative Generalist blog. A few weeks ago Mark Pilgrim showed off his HTML-styled Atom feed, but at that point it only worked in Mozilla browsers. However I see that it too now works in Internet Explorer. Keep an eye on this new development, because it may be the breakthrough feature Atom needs to gain some ground on the popular RSS 2.0.

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