RSS was originally created in 1999 by Netscape as a channel description framework for their My Netscape Network. MNN was a portal system that allowed end users to selectively view new content from their choice of content providers. RSS was created as a means of gathering that content. Since its creation, RSS has been updated and expanded to handle a much wider range of content with a far broader range of uses.
Simple Web Syndication with RSS 2.0 (Page 1 of 6 )
Simply put RSS is an XML application for simple web feed syndication and content subscriptions. Okay, maybe thatís not so simple. Letís say you have content on your site that you want to feed, or make available for other sites. This is known as web syndication. Most commonly this takes the form of sharing news headlines, product releases, or some similar timely content. RSS provides a standardized method for web sites to use when creating these feeds.
Based on XML, RSS 2.0 allows you to take bits of content or information and place them into a simple text file. Other web sites or reader programs, also known as news aggregators or news readers, read this text file at a specified interval. If new content is found, the listing is updated and the new content is shown to the end user. Through the use of third party programs, browser plug-ins, or web applications users can effectively subscribe to your content; thus coining the term content subscription.
RSS is a very effective and popular way to broadcast your content. Many newer technologies have emerged based on the idea of RSS; not the least of which is Podcasting, a method of broadcasting media content from your website to mobile users for viewing with iPods or similar handheld devices.
The current version RSS 2.0 was created to improve upon version 0.93 which was RDF based. This version has high modularity and is designed to be much more simple to implement. RSS 2.0 is highly supported by every popular browser and news aggregators. Support for XML based RSS has even been built into many common web languages such as ASP, JSP, and PHP.