Okay, please pardon for a moment while your Moderator takes you on a trip
down Mundane Lane. :-)
I was updating some things on my personal YahooGroups account today and
noticed for the first time that YahooGroups now has RSS newsfeeds for
lists. I never noticed that before, though I've worked with RSS for
other things for years. It occurs to me that I might not be the only one
who didn't notice this yet, so I thought I'd pass along the info.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it is a way for web sites
that are blog-like in content to publish their headlines and "teasers"
of their articles in a structured, computer-readable way. Specifically,
the data is formatted in eXtensible Markup Language, or XML. Don't worry
if you're not a techie geek who knows what XML or RSS means -- the point
is that RSS is a very widely-supported standard that works on just about
any kind of computer or web site.
Here's an example of what the RSS for this list looks like right now:
<title>scanewcomers at Yahoo! Groups</title>
<description>SCA Newcomers - A place for SCA Newcomers</description>
<title>Household introduction on my web site</title>
<pubDate>Sat, 02 Sep 2006 19:58:05 GMT</pubDate>
<author>Iustinos Tekton called Justin</author>
Greetings, all! At the request of several gentles via private mail, I have
combined the several posts I made about "what is a household?" into a single
(... et cetera, for all the other recent messages ...)
*You* may not find the above easy to read, but the news reader software
on your computer finds it *very* understandable. :-)
What does this mean? Several cool things:
1. If you have a newsfeed reader program on your computer, you can choose
to read the SCANewcomers list that way instead of having mail delivered,
or in addition. Each time someone posts a message to the list, it will
be mirrored as a "news article headline" in the newsfeed.
For some operating systems, such as Linux (and maybe Windows or Mac...I
don't run these and don't know), there are actually desktop components
that will embed the latest headlines from an RSS feed into the control
panel of your desktop. If you prefer, there are standalone RSS reader
programs for all modern systems.
Here are a couple of listings of RSS software, some free and some payware:
Some of the software lets you "aggregate" RSS feeds from multiple sources
into your own topic categories.
2. If you have a blog-like web site, your web server may have the capability
to embed RSS headlines into a "block" on your home page. Check with your
web hosting provider to see if their software can do this. Most web content
managers support RSS nowadays. Here are some examples:
Movable Type http://www.movabletype.org/
Also, there are many online blog providers that can support RSS feeds.
The above lists are by no means exhaustive -- not even close.
3. THL Milica (my wife, also on this list) and I happen to be the co-founders
of the SCAtoday.net (http://scatoday.net/)
news site. Our software also
supports RSS news feeds. Now that I know about the RSS feed for *this*
list, I have added it as one of the "supported" feeds in the SCAtoday.net
news aggregator. So if you have a personal account on SCAtoday.net, you
can go into your personal preferences and tell the system that you would
like to have the SCANewcomers list headlines appear on your personalized
SCAtoday.net home page. (Incidentally, SCAtoday.net uses "Drupal", which
is one of the web programs listed in item #2 above.)
There is a delay between when the email message is posted to SCANewcomers
and when the RSS feed updates, and there is also a selectable time interval
for how often the receiving end of RSS updates itself from the sending
end (Yahoo's server). In the case of SCAtoday.net, I've set this interval
to two hours, but if you set up RSS software on your own computer or web
site, you can choose this interval as you wish. Anything faster than once
per hour is probably a waste of resources, because this list only gets a
few messages per day.
For those who are utterly not interested in RSS feeds, I apologize for
wasting your time and bandwidth. But I discovered today that YahooGroups
has this feature, and I thought perhaps that others might have either not
noticed it (like me!) or might not know what it was for, and I thought
Maistor Iustinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable and on a chief dovetailed Or two
keys fesswise reversed sable.
Marche of Alderford (Canton, Ohio) http://4th.com/sca/justin/
PGP Public Key at http://4th.com/keys/justin.pubkey