Creating RSS files compatible with ASPRSS standard.



This article introduces RssPublisher program that allows to edit RSS files compatible with ASPRSS standard and create new ones.

What is RSS? 

RSS is the name given to a simple and well-established XML format used to syndicate headlines. Once a website creates an RSS file they have created a means to allow others to syndicate their headlines.

The first version of RSS (RSS 0.9) was released by Netscape in March 1999 as a format for adding news channels to their My.Netscape.Com portal. Then in July 1999 Netscape released RSS 0.91, incorporating most of the features of a format called <scriptingNews>, which was created by UserLand. Shortly thereafter Netscape discontinued developing the RSS format, however UserLand persisted and RSS continued to grow in strength. In December 2000, the separate RSS-DEV Working Group released RSS 1.0 and Userland announced RSS 0.92. As of April 2001, Userland is now planning RSS 0.93. Although RSS is not clearly an acronym of anything, different people have called it Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication at different times.

The lack of clarity in what RSS stands for or which version is the correct one to use can seem confusing to beginners. However these issues don't need to addressed by a website wanting to create an RSS file. RSS is a very well recognised format, in fact it is often referred to as the most successful XML format to date. Some websites have a preference for one version, others create more than one RSS file and support multiple versions and a recent survey suggests that the first two versions of RSS (0.9 and 0.91) are still by far the most popular.

Why RSS?

RSS becomes very popular and many publishers provide their articles with RSS files, many sites accept submitting articles with RSS. This article will show how to create and edit RSS file compatible with standard of

Create RSS file

Most articles about creating RSS files show how to manually create them or how to use server-side technologies such as ASP, ASP.Net or PHP. However if you have small number of articles and do not want to create database on your server the most appropriate solution is to use client-side program that let you fill all needed fields and will create valid RSS file. One such program is RssPublisher.

With this program you can edit existing RSS file or create new one . 

RssPublisher  can load existing RSS files (compatible with ASPRSS standard) , edit existing articles, add new ones and  export article list  into MS Access database, MS Excel file or any ADO-compatible database (tested with MS SQL Server) and import article list from these data sources.

When you added all articles you may preview RSS file and validate it.

RssPublisher internals

RssPublisher is created as compiled HTML application (HTA) with VBScript. This makes easy to share the same source code for client-side and server-side applications. This also lets webmaster who are familiar with ASP and VBScript to modify application and add new features.

RssPublisher uses slightly modified RssPub.vbs that is used by ASPRSS for ASP (VBScript) version. Article list is stored in in-memory ADO recordset that simplifies navigation and potentially let add different filters.

RssPublisher goes with full source code so you may make any modifications you want.

Please send feedback, wishes and bug-reports to