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One of the changes in beta 3 of RSSBus is that by default all feeds produced use Microsoft's Simple List Extensions.

For anyone who's not familiar with SLE, the cool thing about it is that it can tell the feed reader to treat an RSS feed as a LIST rather than a regular feed. One effect of this in your feed reader is that when you subscribe to a LIST, the reader knows that it shouldn't accumulate all of the items in the RSS feed forever. Instead, it will only maintain whatever is provided in the current feed as a standalone list, no saving of old items necessary.

The RSS Team blog entry about SLE points out a few of real world examples where this is the desirable behavior. View these in IE7 to see the features of SLE come to life.

When someone buys something from your Amazon.com Wish List (perhaps through the AmzWish widget) and that item is subsequently removed from your wish list, there's no reason for it to still be displayed by your feed reader as a part of your wish list feed. Similarly, when Hinder's "Lips of An Angel" is no longer Yahoo's #1 song, your feed reader shouldn't maintain that old #1 ranking, it should show in the list that Hinder has fallen out of the top 10 (one can only hope) and delete that item from its local copy of the list. When you view the list in your feed reader it will still show all 10 items, even if some of them have not changed and have already been "read".

Another great feature of SLE is that it also identifies to the feed reader which elements of items the reader should allow the user to sort the list by. The Amazon Wish List feed suggests to the reader that you can sort the list by price, sales rank, number of reviews, etc. Also SLE lets the reader put items into groups. The Amazon Wish List feed tells the reader that it can sort the feed by product category, ie Books, DVDs, Music, etc. Neat, huh?

For more on the difference between a regular feed and a list, read the "Identifying a List" section of this RSS Team blog entry.

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Posted on Thursday, November 2, 2006 2:22 PM Programming , Software | Back to top


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