Wednesday, June 01, 2005

RSS: As Good for Search as for Syndication?

Having just taken receipt of Beginning RSS and Atom Programming I thought it was about time I actaully scanned over the RSS and Atom definitions again...

One optional tag I had completely forgotten about(if indeed I ever knoew about it...) in the RSS 0.9x and 2.0 definitions is the textinput element. I guess this is partly because all the feed generators I reuse don't bother with it...

Using RSS for syndicating content is one thing, but I find more and more that I am consuming RSS in all sorts of ways, oftentimes preferring the RSS-Web to the HTML web. This is partly due to the fact that it's the information I'm invariably after rather than website advertising.

Discovering the information I want is, of course, one of the major issues - this surely is where the <textinput /> tag comes in... It could very easily be used to reveal the search function on whatever is generating the RSS feed I'm reading.

As far as blogs go, I often keep referring to the same few, well-heeled ones, as well searching blogs in general via the Feedster column on my A9 OpenSearch panel.

So- what I shall look at doing with my RSS feeds, is look at ways of inclduing a search link, via a <textinput /> tag, that produces results in an OpenSearch RSS format.

How would this change the look of my aggregator? If my aggregator allows me to inspect the contents of a single feed, it would make sense for a single search box to be reconciled with the RSS search feed for that particular feed. Where my aggregator is displaying information from several feeds at once, the search box could perhaps fire off a search request to all of them at the same time, and aggregate the results.

There is a lot of potential, I think, for syndicating search information for a feed, well as just the most recent content elements. The potential for a Firefox OpenSearch extension is still also there...

Since originally posting this note, I 've read a couple of other posts today that mention the <textinput /> tag. For example, this post on Russell Beattie's blog talks about using the <textinput /> tag to capture comment feedback. If you subscribe to the feed from his blog in e.g. Bloglines, tyou can even see it in action. tags:


Blogger Danny said...

Consider this a trackback ping:

7:29 PM  

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