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XML output view showing atom namespace extension.

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Feed document modified with atom namespace extension.

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Extend RSS Feeds with Custom Namespaces.

Issue 3 (Jul 2012)


General


If you already have a feed builder application, you may find it too rigid to allow namespace customisation leaving you the choice of buying an alternative dedicated application or hand modifying the Feed XML directly.


Another alternative is to use Sense in conjunction with the freeware Sense RSS Editor plugin. This arrangement enables generic feed customisation within a freestyle plain text editing environment involving no XML markup.


RSS extension is demonstrated below by the incorporation of the recommended changes to resolve the interoperability warning Missing atom:link with rel="self" often encountered when using Feed Validator .


Namespace Extension


The RSS XML root element is always represented by the rss named Section within the Sense "Feed" document.


Modify the Section text to include the atom namespace declaration:


rss version="2.0" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"


Adding Elements to an RSS Feed


In general, additional RSS XML elements may be included by adding new Sections at the correct level within the Sense document tree.


For Feed Validator, an atom:link element needs adding within the channel element.


Create a new Section within the channel Section and edit its text to:


atom:link href="url to your rss.xml here" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml"


That is all the changes needed!


Two more steps:

  • Select the Rss | Generate main menu option to rebuild the Feed.
  • Select the Validate menu option: after a short delay, the Sense Edit Environment Feed tab will update with the Feed Validator results.


How the Sense Document represents RSS Elements and Content .


Each Sense Document Section represents an XML element within the output RSS Feed.


The Section text format is [<Namespace>:]<Name>{[sp<Atttribute Name>="<Attribute Value>"]} where:


  • Text between the square brackets [ ] is optional.
  • Text within braces { } may be repeated. eg. 0, 1 or more attributes may be included.
  • <Name> represents the RSS XML element name for the default rss namespace: names would not normally be changed.
  • <Namespace> is the namespace prefix for the RSS XML element and is only necessary for extended RSS Feeds.
  • sp is a whitespace character used as a field separator.
  • <Attribute Name>="<Attribute Value>" represents the XML element's attribute name and value: the value should be enclosed in double quotes.


Sections may hold further Sections (as child XML elements) or a single Paragraph with:


  • Simple Text: Titles, descriptions, names and locations.
  • URL: URLs such as for webpages,images links and email addresses may be included into the Sense document as hyperlinks to facilitate easy link verification.
  • Dates: Simple text arranged in a date-time format specified by RFC822 .