Talk:Web feed

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Much of this article is not in the encyclopedic style of the rest of Wikipedia. I suggest taking the "technical" definition and moving it to the top of the page. The rest is written in the style one would find in an email explaining things to grandma. 19:33, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

ow do you get a web feed of wikipedia itself?

Try Wikipedia:Syndication


Proposal to Merge Web Syndication into Web feed article[edit]

My feeling is that both of these articles are underdeveloped and are describing the same thing. A decent solution is to merge web syndication into the web feed article. --Ben Houston 15:54, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Why merge web syndication into web feed instead of the other way around? Web feed is far more popular term:

  • "web syndication" - 104,000 Google hits
  • "web feed" - 931,000 Google hits

--Ben Houston 16:07, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Ben that merging these is a good idea. betsythedevine 19:05, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Did ben just suggest something and then argue with himself? Does it really matter that much that they are two seperate articles? If they're linked to each other, why not keep it the way it is? If I'm blogging and I want to write syndication instead of feed, or the other way around, and then link to Wikipedia's definition of it, it's more convenient for me to have the two seperate articles at my disposal.

If they are merged, I think that "Web Syndication" is a better title regardless of its popularity; it's a more accurate term. How many ways can you use the word "syndication" vs. how many ways can you use the word "feed." Besides, if it's under the "Web Syndication" title, it ought to still show up in google.

--jdoolittle 23:07, 17 February 2006 (JST)

Hey jdoolittle. I don't think I contradicted myself -- can you clarify. Both article titles will still work, its just that web syndication will be redirected (with a notice) to the web feed article. Thus you can still link to it as "web syndication" and get the content. We will also still explain web syndication in the article and use that term where appropriate. I guess I am trying to consolidate similar topics so that effort isn't diffused between too many articles. --Ben Houston 15:46, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Hey Ben. I didn't mean that in a hostile way, and I can see that you weren't; I just _assumed_ that your first post indicated that you wanted the "Web Syndication" title over the "Feed" title, and then, in your second post, you clearly state your preference for the "Feed" title over "Web Syndication." I should have made that assumption.
I think that what you're proposing sounds reasonable, and I'd like to thank you for expalinging it further. --jdoolittle 20:38, 20 February 2006 (JST)

these two articles should be merged... (unsigned comment by

For what it's worth, I kind of disagree. As I've seen the terminology, feed (ie, the RSS file or whatnot) is what the web server offers; syndication is the act of offering the feed for users. At least that's how I've heard it most often. So I think it should be merged the other way around! --wwwwolf (barks/growls) 13:23, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Oreilly sells a .pdf called "What Are Syndication Feeds?" by Shelley Powers. I don't know if that is the "official" term or not but it presents a compromise. The term "feed" refers to the way in which the information is distributed. Syndication refers to its format. You can have live news feeds on the web; live radio feeds on the web. Would you consider them to be "web feeds?" Web syndication could refer to any blog or news site. "Syndication Feed" refers specifically to reverse chronological entries that are distributed as feeds.--Blaise Freeman March 6, 2006

These two articles should definitely NOT BE MERGED, there are tons of cases where web content is syndicated but no feeds exist. The goal here should not be to force people into reconsidering what syndication is, or what it is called, based on the convenience of Wikipedia authors. And for the record, Syndication is clearly the parent topic and Feed the child, so if they're merged, Syndication should be the ultimate destination with a "section" on Feeds.--Concerned Citizen April 28, 2006

These two articles should NOT BE MERGED because they do not describe the same exact concept. Web syndication emcompasses the concept of Web feed.

I *OPPOSE* to a merge for reasons stated above. Martijn Hoekstra 08:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

As of present the count is 2-5 *against* a merger. The tag is now 5 months old, so I think I can safely take it down.... Martijn Hoekstra 08:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

So much for reasoning... Well, would any of you people who are *against* a merger help us by writing (metaphorically, I mean) the difference between the two on the article itself? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wiknerd (talkcontribs) 17:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

use of second person[edit]

Shouldn't the "how to use it" section be less second person and more third?


For my money, no. It may offend traditional stylists, but Wikipedia doesn't pretend to be traditional in any other way, so I don't see why it should be traditional in this way without a good reason. In terms of being a "how to" article (and no-one I know says an encyclopaedia can't be (partly) a "how to" guide, the second person singular is the friendliest and most intuitive voice. When reading the article at first, I confess the second person voicing jarred, but then I thought, "hey, I like this". In terms of telling me what I wanted to know about RSS (I knew nothing), the use of second person was really effective. ElectricRay 09:14, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Many to many ?[edit]

I have no (very little) direct knowledge of Web Feeds etc. I manage mailing lists which they have many short comings do work for many people. (Any idea relative useage??) I noted the "benefits" on this page. But my question is to what degree are Web Feeds capable of being used by modestly savvy folks for many to many discussions? Fholson 00:47, 14 February 2007 (UTC) BTW I'm not a big contributor to wikis either - is it customary to add things to the bottom of Talk pages? If not how do you

Web feed capital W?[edit]

Shouldn't the word "" start with a capital throughout the article? It does when you're talking about "the Web" in general (in Wikipedia anyway) and I don't really see a reason to just drop a cap. Retodon8 20:09, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Proposed cleanup of External Links[edit]

Cleanup is needed. I propose to remove everything in External Links that is not a mainstream source of information. The BBC stuff would be kept and the work of well-known people, like Mark Pilgrim. I would look at everything before deleting it. Please let me know if you object to this plan. EdJohnston 03:47, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Since no-one objected, I went ahead and did the cleanup of external links. The two that remain, one by Mark Pilgrim and the other by Dave Shea, are to the web sites of notable figures who have their own Wikipedia articles. I mentioned above that BBC would be kept, but then I noticed that the hidden section-header comment in External Links said not to link to any feed directories, so that ruled out the BBC link as well.
The main problem with the links that I removed was:
  1. The linked sites were mostly self-published or blogs, which are 'normally to be avoided' per WP:EL.
  2. The linked sites usually say nothing beyond what the article already says.
Please discuss here any specific links that you believe should be kept. Thanks, EdJohnston 21:10, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

External Link - A well written article[edit]

Found an interesting article that I think would add to the topic. I had originally thought it might be suitable on the RSS (file format) page, but it seems more useful here. It's a beginners guide, and is well written and geared towards a non-technical audience. It's not a how-to for producing feeds, but focuses on how to use RSS yourself, and seems a useful addition to the topic etc.

Caesar0 17:51, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

The same problem is seen here as with the other external links previously removed (see comments above):
  1. Self-published personal sites are normally to be avoided, per WP:EL
  2. Beginner presentations of material usually cover the same ground that our articles already cover.
If you feel that Calvin van Hoek's exposition is superior to ours, consider improving the existing text of our article. EdJohnston 18:59, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Far too severe approach towards links[edit]

That seems a bit severe. Following that example there would be no external links for any articles because they'd either be assumed irrelevant because the info can be added to the article (but isn't), or because there's assumptions made about the longevity or intent of the website. Doesn't it make sense to treat Wikipedia article links the same way other sites do, namely to extend the impact of the original article? You seem to be arguing to make Wikipedia completely self-contained, which is unrealistic.

It's laudable to monitor external links for spam and for irrelevant content, but your second claim basically says: if the link is any good, then update the Wikipedia article. That's like saying: don't bother letting people find information on Richard Dawkins' recent book The God Delusion, if there's anything relevant in it add it to the Atheism article. It totally misses the point of the potential for rich content, and this surely diminishes Wikipedia's role as a great starting point for research. In that scenario it would be useful to link to sites that broaden the appeal of the article, and help give interested readers a chance to find out more information beyond the scope of whatever they read on here. This is especially relevant for opinion-based articles, which would likely fall beyond the scope of Wikipedia.

In other words, your second point is based squarely on an incorrect assumption: that a single article on this site is the best way to 'capture' a topic. In my experience Wikipedia-type articles are good for 'fact' based articles, but less so for opinion. Are you really arguing that we should make a topic less useful because someone might, at some future date, add to the articles on here?

I'm afraid this is a little myopic for my tastes. But fine, I'll not add the link. Thanks for taking the time to check and update the discussion.

Caesar0 20:47, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

If you disagree with Wikipedia's current policy on external links, you are welcome to start a discussion at Wikipedia_talk:External links. RSS and Web Feeds are both topics where there are literally millions of Google hits. It is hard to see external links as being a scarce and valuable resource in that context. If we were talking about a rare species of butterfly, then helpful links might be genuinely hard to find. EdJohnston 23:24, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not, I was referring to your reasoning, which seems to exclude the idea that even with a popular topic like this there can be merit in providing an array of links that focus on elements beyond the scope of the article. If what you're implying is that Wikipedia should only endeavour to supply some information, with the rest available via commercial search engines, then I guess we see the role of this site differently. Caesar0 16:05, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

What rule do you think we should follow in picking one or two links to include when ten million such links are available? Does each person use their own judgment, or do we have a discussion first? If we have a discussion, how is it to be conducted? Does the person whose web site it is get to add the link themselves? It concerns me that you have added links to a site of Calvin van Hoek to more than one article. Generally it is much better for new editors to add article content rather than links, because it avoids becoming the center of attention for the anti-spam folks. EdJohnston 21:51, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I am new to the terms RSS, syndication and Web feeds. After reading the Wikipedia content on these terms, I was no more enlightened. They are full of tech jargon that assumes a high level of prior knowledge. The article referred to above by "Caesar0" and the video clip referred to below by "Bernd_in_Japan" finally turned on the light. I guess the learning I take away is to always check the discussion page if the article content is incomprehensible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BillgTO (talkcontribs) 19:29, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to add link to a 4 minute video explaining feeds and RSS[edit]

Even though I was exposed to multiple articles on RSS and explanations newsfeeds by collagues, I did not get the point until one showed me how he uses it. Then someone recommended this CC-licensed video. Now I really got it. I propose to add it to external links.RSS in plain English. Bernd in Japan 00:10, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

The video is cute, but it could be more helpful to our readers to summarize the content of the video and add it to the article in text form. It is possible that others may object to adding the external link. There is also the injunction that Wikipedia is not a how-to. -- EdJohnston (talk) 21:14, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Web feed icon[edit]

The Firefox page states that the logo originated there, maybe this could be included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm planing to create a ful article only about the icon and its history. mabdul 0=* 18:34, 11 February 2009 (UTC)