Not too long ago I gave a talk titled “Using the RSS Platform on Windows: Syndication Goes Mainstream” at Mix06 in Las Vegas. While my talk was at 8:30am on the last day of the conference (and mind you it was in Vegas) it was much better attended then I could have hoped.
During Mix06 attendees had seen and heard quite a bit about the Windows RSS Platform and RSS functionality in IE7. Bill Gates and Dean Hachamovitch talked about both in their keynote speeches. Instead of repeating things, I focused on how to actually make those things work, how web developers can take advantage of feed discovery, sorting and filtering, and lists (part of the Simple List Extensions) today. For those of you that missed it, here are some of the things that I touched on:
Take a look at my slide deck. I talked about the RSS Platform and what it does to prevent feed servers from being melted by RSS traffic. I actually posted about this topic more in-depth last week RSS Platform Download Engine, so I won’t repeat it here.
I also talked about the API and showed a demo of a sample application. The sample application takes the calendar data from individual Mix06 sessions and adds appointments into the user’s Outlook calendar. The session’s calendar data is available in the Mix06 Session RSS feed. Look for the msevents namespace. Each Mix06 attendee was able to create a personalized calendar with sessions of their interest. For example, take a look at mine.
Not only does the sample application “import” sessions as appointments into the Outlook calendar, but it also updates individual appointments if the corresponding sessions change. Imagine running this sample code each time the feed is updated, then the user’s Outlook calendar will stay up to date when the user adds new sessions or when sessions change. In essence I demonstrated how a simple light weight one-way sync of calendar information can be implemented on top of the RSS Platform.
Following, Greg Reinacker (Founder and CTO of NewsGator) joined me on stage to show how we’ve created an ecosystem around RSS to connect to websites, machines, devices, etc. He demoed the integration between the Windows RSS Platform and the NewsGator Online service. NewsGator wrote an application that keeps the Common Feed List in sync with the subscription list in NewsGator Online including the read/unread state of individual items/blog posts. Since NewsGator supports multiple clients and devices he showed how a user can read feeds over the course of a day on a
- PC using IE7
- browser at an internet cafe using NewsGator Online
- Mac using NetNewsWire
- Windows Mobile Smartphone using a new NewsGator mobile client
Greg and his team did a great job and it was a pleasure working with them leading up to the conference.
The overall point of my presentation was to show how publisher’s can easily add RSS to their sites and take advantage of the support that IE7 and the Windows RSS Platform have to offer, as well as to show developers how easy it is to add RSS support to their applications.
I encourage you, as I did the attendees to install IE7 Beta 2 Preview (released on 3/20), and investigate what IE7 and the Windows RSS Platform have to offer for publisher’s and developers. Some useful links for publishers include the Publisher’s Guide as well as additional information on the Simple List Extensions here and here. For developers, we have posted the overview of the platform, a description of different ways developers can integrate with the platform, and some sample code.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with Greg and present to a great and engaging crowd.
– Walter vonKoch