Ernie the Attorney : searching for truth & justice (in an unjust world)


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Bring me the news, and make it snappy

What is the big deal with "RSS," and XML and "news aggregators?"  Read the very fine article by J.D. Lasica, who explains it better than anyone.  He even includes transcripts of the people that he interviewed for the article.

What is RSS?  Here's a good explanation.  Basically, it stands for "Rich Site Summary."  Or maybe "Really Simple Syndication."  You should also read what Dave Winer says.  He's a well-respected programmer who has a very firm grasp on this and explains it well.

The whole notion of RSS/XML feeds is catching on, but one question is: what does this mean in the legal profession?  Rory Perry is a visionary, and from his position as Clerk of the West Virginia Supreme Court, has some interesting observations.

I currently use NewzCrawler and like its ability to organize feeds by category, as well as its ability to include basic webpages that don't have RSS feeds.  Here, by the way, is list of all of the legal sites that have RSS feeds.

RSS Bigotry? - Jim McGee & Jenny Levine admit that they are RSS Bigots, by which they mean that they won't visit sites that don't have an RSS feed.  Not that they don't want to, but it takes too much time.

The idea of RSS is hard to understand if you don't use it.  Basically RSS takes the mush of code that tells your browser how to render a page (under Internet Explorer look at the "View" menu and then select "source" and you should see a text file open up with a mish-mash of words that are incomprehensible and totally disorganized) and makes it understandable, or at least organized.  Check out this link, which should be a more organized view of the source of my weblog.  A news reader can extract information from the latter, but not the former.  It can even figure out if it has already downloaded a particular post.  Hence, you aren't (theoretically) having to read the same information over and over.

So, basically, RSS is a news feed (or any website) that, if you subscribe to it, it comes to you.  Yes, that's right, news that comes to you.  And it knows if you have already received a certain piece of news from that site and it doesn't send it again.  That's pretty cool.

© Copyright 2003 Ernest Svenson.
Last update: 6/24/2003; 10:57:04 AM.

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