Note: In addition to the support bundled with PmWiki, there is an Rss Improved? recipe in the cookbook, which supports RSS 2.0, enclosures/podcasting and improved customizability. - XES?

PmWiki has the ability to output RSSv1 or RSSv2 documents by adding the line


somewhere in your config.php and supplying ?action=rss in the URL to a RSS aggregator (?action=rdf will output RSS v1).

How does it work?

This feature builds on the Wiki Trails idea. The page that is browsed with ?action=rss is treated as a Wiki Trail. The trail page becomes the channel in the RSS document and each item on the trail become items in the RSS output. One can use the RecentChanges? or Main.AllRecentChanges pages as source Wiki Trails, thus providing RSS feeds of new items for each Wiki Group and the entire site. However, note that any WikiTrail will work, thus individuals can create feeds for custom pages.

What is this good for?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. The idea is that certain web pages are analogous to published media such as newspapers (some are more than analogous, they are newspapers :-). Periodically the web page is updated with new content and rather than push the entire content to the reader, the reader can use RSS to get just the headlines and links to the full content. In PmWiki-land, one of the pages that is updated in this fashion is the RecentChanges. Oddly enough it can also be used as a WikiTrail and thus you can get an RSS feed of the RecentChanges?.

What is needed to read rss feeds?

A news aggregator is a piece of software to enable the display of rss feeds. There are some that work as extensions to browsers, and others that work as part of email clients. See Wikipedia:News_aggregator for a list of available software.

What’s the difference between RSSv1 and RSSv2?

Glad you asked! Back when the whole idea of RSS was invented it stood for RDF Site Summary where RDF stands for Resource Description Framework. Basically RDF was a way to describe meta-information about content using XML. The only problem with RSS back then was that it had very little to do with RDF (RDF headers were output, but the rest of the document was different XML than what RDF defined). So, anyway, this idea of RSS evolved for a time and gave birth to RSSv1.

Sometime later Dave Winer decided to redo the RSS spec and gave the acronym a new meaning—Really Simple Syndication. Thus was born RSSv2 which was quite different from RSSv1 but still trying to accomplish the same goals.

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Category?: RSSFeeds

Last edited by Simon.   Page last modified on June 27, 2005

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