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  1. #1
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    Atom feed for dummies?

    Hi,

    I have been let down by my previous 2 developers which has cost me around 18 months of lost time. So I am forced to learn how to build, and edit my own sites and use filezilla to manage my server.

    I have a blog, here:https://www.seignaletplus.com/blog/

    I found a file which I've worked out is an atom feed for the blog content which must have been done by my last developer. In spite of always paying her invoices within seconds of receiving them she is not replying to my emails. Is she in prison? Dead? In hospital in a coma? Does she not approve of the site's content? The content is all about alternative medicine. Have big pharma goons warned her to stop working for me or else? Has she been made homeless and is living on the streets or in a hostel? Is she working on other, more exiting and more lucrative projects? Is she waiting for me to offer her film star pay to continue working for me? I really don't know.

    I did not ask for the atom feed and she did not tell me about it. Did she do it from an excess of zeal? She did some other good things on her own initiative, such as editing one very long and rambling blog entry into two separate, more succinct and relevant blogs. So I'm trying to work out whether an atom feed is a good thing. All I can find on google is the technical ins and outs of how Atom works.

    What I want to know though is who uses it and what are the advantages (or not) of having an atom feed. Is an atom feed going to bring me more visitors to the site? I right clicked on some of the gmail messages I get in HTML and they have a huge page of what to me is gibberish code. This is a part of the typical header:
    <!DOCTYPE html><html lang="en-GB"><head><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"><title>Gmail</title><meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge"><link rel="next" href="javascript:;"><meta name="application-name" content="Gmail"><meta name="description" content="Google&#39;s approach to email"><meta name="application-url" content="https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0"><meta name="google" content="notranslate"><link rel="canonical" href="https://mail.google.com/mail/"/><link rel="shortcut icon" href="https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/favicon5.ico" type="image/x-icon"><link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Gmail Atom Feed" href="feed/atom"><script type="text/javascript" nonce="iITTVAjHmrDuRVvqKDgiiFiIO6I">// <![CDATA[
    var GM_START_TIME=(new Date).getTime();var GM_SUPPORTED_IE_VERSION="11.0";var GM_SUPPORTED_GECKO_VERSION="21";var GM_SUPPORTED_CHROME_VERSION="23";var GM_SUPPORTED_SAFARI_VERSION=................etc.etc."

    I note that there is something to do with atom. Can someone explain to me the point of atom (and RSS for that matter). What exactly is it for?

    Cheers Chris

  2. #2
    Master Coder Dormilich's Avatar
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    Can someone explain to me the point of atom (and RSS for that matter). What exactly is it for?
    it's like a newsletter or news ticker, only that it doesn't use an email (where the news are sent to) but you (resp. your feed reader) can fetch news at any time you like without exposing your privacy.
    The computer is always right. The computer is always right. The computer is always right. Take it from someone who has programmed for over ten years: not once has the computational mechanism of the machine malfunctioned.
    André Behrens, NY Times Software Developer

  3. #3
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    Sorry to be so dumb! I still don't really get it. Tell me how much of this I get right:

    1. My atom feed feeds my content to a centralised location? Where is this centralised location?
    2. A subscriber can ask to be notified of new content on a given subject of their choosing? If this is correct, how do they subscribe and is it free or involve a fee? When the subscriber is notified of this new content, what do they see? My page title? My meta description? The top headline? A few lines of the content? I presume they can click on this and be taken to the original content on my site. So it's a sort of glorified google search alert only atom is doing the searching and the parsing instead of google?
    3. I presume that the end user sees a bit of my content on their facebook page or whatever and then can decide to click on the story and go to the actual page the content came from. (Actually, I'm starting to like this!)

    So can someone tell me if I've got things correct and can you tell me a bit or about it?

    Cheers Chris

  4. #4
    Master Coder Dormilich's Avatar
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    1) not to, but from a centralised location

    2) a subscriber simply remembers the feed url. if the feed gets updated, he will see that there’s new content (since the feed reader regularly checks the feed url).

    3) the end user sees what is described in the feed. and then he can click on the related article url (which is part of the feed) to get directly to the original article.

    As an example how I use feeds (though mostly RSS, not Atom, but the difference is only technical), I have a subscription of this forum’s feed (http://www.codingforums.com/external...SS2&forumids=3) imported into my mail application, which checks every 10 minutes whether a new thread appeared (that means that the feed’s XML itself must be updated) and if there is, load the new summary and mark it as unread. essentially, this allows me to view (and answer) a new question within a short timespan without constantly needing to refresh the forum page myself or wait for the daily codingforums mail.
    The computer is always right. The computer is always right. The computer is always right. Take it from someone who has programmed for over ten years: not once has the computational mechanism of the machine malfunctioned.
    André Behrens, NY Times Software Developer


 

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