What is RSS?

I’m sitting in my office today, writing code, trying to create an update of Rubric Builder before I move Landmarks for Schools over to the new web server. It’s occurred to me that this is a Web 2.0 application, a very old one. Teachers come in and add their rubrics. Other teachers can find their rubrics and adapt them to their own uses. It’s collaborative content building.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing this. A nice thing about programming is that I can do it and listen to podcasts at the same time (unlike writing). So I’m listening to this podcast where someone is trying to define what RSS is, and not doing a very good job of it. It’s no wonder why people remain confused by what is essentially a very simple concept.

Then it occurred to me, and tell me if I’m getting this wrong, that more than anything else, RSS is a table of contents. Well, to be precise, its the aggregator that is the table of contents. The difference is that a traditional TOC describes the contents of a static document. An aggregator describes the contents of a document that is growing, i.e., my blog or my bookmarks. As I add this entry to my blog, my table of contents grows, and, thanks to RSS, it shows up on the computers of my readers around the world — all 17 of them.

Does this make any sense, or am I just looking for excuses to get away from my programming.

2¢ Worth!

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.