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RSS and us

Posted by pelegri on November 9, 2004 at 11:25 PM PST

One of the challenges of a community lead is keeping the community informed of what's happening. Pretty soon you realize that the only way to do this is to somehow channel the efforts of the leads of all the projects that are in the community. And the more automated, the better. Sometime over the summer Java.Net provided all the pieces needed to do this. We now have:

  • RSS feeds automatically generated from the announcement tool for each project
    at Java.Net
  • Multiple buckets in a community home page
  • Buckets that can be filled automatically from a set of RSS feeds
  • RSS feeds generated from designated buckets

We are now using these pieces in the
Java WS & XML Community. All the announcement news from projects in the community
are fed into the Community Announcements bucket that is in the right pane. This bucket will automatically show the most recent 10 announcements.

Each announcement feed is of the form http://myproject.dev.java.net/servlets/ProjectNewsRSS. Our bucket is currently showing news from the community itself (creation of new projects, etc) and news from the JWSDP projects but if you have a project in this community and you are actively using the announcement tool, let me know and I'll add your project to the bucket.

Any bucket in a community home page can be designated as the source for an RSS feed. If you look at the left page for our community you will see that we have two RSS feeds. One for the Community Announcements bucket, and another for the Community News bucket.

The RSS feeds themselves can be read by any RSS reader. I'll confess I didn't know much about the practical details of the technology until recently, so when I went looking for information I decided to capture what I found and the result is the RSS corner. In a typical Wiki fashion, the pages are work in progress, and you are encouraged to contribute to them.

While looking for content for the RSS corner I discovered a number of RSS-related projects at Java.Net. One of them is already in our community: Rome is a very good java library that can consume and produce RSS feeds in all known formats; there are several other projects currently scattered around Java.Net. RSS is here to stay, so I hope that we will be able to generate synergy across all these projects and reuse pieces from the different projects.

I'm a born-again RSS guy... If you know of interesting and/or unusual applications of RSS, could you post pointers as comments to this thread?

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