<pre>Author/s : Ben Hammersley Publisher : O'Reilly Category :Other Review by : Michael Morris Rating : 7 horseshoes</pre> Content Syndication with RSS traces the evolution of RSS from its RDF roots to its present somewhat schizophrenic form. The author goes in depth into the specifications from the two groups which have released vastly different versions of RSS. All of the currently used specs: 0.91, 0.92, 1.0 and 2.0 are thoroughly covered. Since the 1.0 spec uses RDF and XML namespaces, those subjects are also covered. The RSS 1.0 common modules are explained in great detail as well. Finally the author describes directories and aggregators, how to create and pull RSS feeds, and using the RSS Publish/Subscribe mechanism using either XML-RPC or SOAP. Like most O'Reilly books, the chapters are concise, which makes an arcane subject like RSS a little easier to endure. I did note several XML syntax errors in the examples, but anyone familiar with XML should have no problem getting past them. The author used PERL examples exclusively for parsing and creating feeds and seemed oblivious to any server side technology other than CGI or SSI. JSP and Servlets would be much better suited than either of those. Unless you are trying to increase web site traffic or are a blogger, this is probably not a book you would want to read. All in all though it covers the subject well.
<pre>Author/s : Ben Hammersley Publisher : O'Reilly Category :Other Review by : Tim Holloway Rating : 6 horseshoes</pre> If you're looking for Java+RSS, this isn't the place. Even XSLT is hardly touched upon. However if you're confused about RSS and the standard that looks different for every source, this is a good book to have. If you're into Perl, though, there are some very useful examples. Although the title carries the letter "RSS" in 144-point letters, the "Content Syndication" aspect is just as important. The book looks at RSS from the point of view of content originators, aggregators (with some very useful stuff on O'Reilly's own Meerkat) and consumers. One problem: there's a reference to the Dublin Core being covered in detail in Chapter 5. If so, I missed it. Nor was there anything in the index to tell me where I might look instead. This is unfortunate, since The Dublin Core /is/ covered in moderate depth in Chapter 7, and, I quite agree with the author that it's a very useful thing. Although it's unfortunate that there's nothing about Java and RSS, a far greater problem for me was the practically non-existent coverage of how to use XSLT to normalize content feeds and to create displayable output, such as the HTML conversion I used on a recent portal project. XSLT can be frustrating sometimes, but RSS routinely mixes default and non-default namespaces, and that's even more frustrating. Fortunately a trip to the JavaRanch's XML/XSL forum got me a quick answer.