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RSS and Atom in Action: Web 2.0 Building Blocks

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RSS and Atom in Action is organized into two parts. The first part introduces the blog technologies of news feed formats and publishing protocols-the building blocks. The second part shows how to put to those blocks together to assemble interesting and useful blog applications. In keeping with the behind Manning's "In Action" series, this book shows the reader, through numerous examples in Java and C#, how to parse Atom and RSS format newsfeeds, how to generate valid newsfeeds and serve them efficiently, and how to automate blogging via web services based on the new Atom protocol and the older MetaWeblog API. The book also shows how to develop a complete blog client library that readers can use in their own applications. The second half of the book is devoted to a dozen blog apps-small but immediately useful example applications such as a community aggregator, a file distribution newsfeed, a blog cross-poster, an email-to-blog gateway, Ant tasks for blogging softwarebuilds, and more.

What is new is the widespread adoption of blog technology—newsfeeds and publishing protocols—on the Web. In the late 1990s, blog software and web portal developers needed standard data formats to make it easy to syndicate content on the Web. Thus, RSS, Atom, and other XML newsfeed formats were born. They needed standard protocols for publishing to and programming the Web. Thus, XML-RPC, SOAP, and web services were born.

This book is about building applications with those blog technologies. For the sake of the cynical developers in the audience, we start with a few use stories that show some truly new ways of collaborating using blog technology. Then, we explain what you need to know about blog technology—and not just RSS and Atom. We also cover blog server architecture, blogging APIs, and web services protocols.

To help you get started, we’ve included what amounts to a blog technology developer’s kit, including a complete blog server, newsfeed parsers, a blog client library and, in part 2, ten immediately useful blog applications, or blog apps, written in Java and C#. The blog server and the ten applications, known as the Blogapps server and Blogapps examples, are both maintained as an open source project at http://blogapps.dev.java.net, where you’re welcome to help maintain and improve them.

About the Author
Dave Johnson started blogging in 2002 using Java-based blogging software that he developed called Roller. Roller now drives the ground-breaking employee blogs at Sun Microsystems, is used by thousands of bloggers on JRoller.com and other sites, and is a successful open source project. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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