mike chambers | about

Macromedia and RSS

You may have noticed that over the past year we have really begun to leverage RSS through weblogs, content on the DevNet Resource Kits and the Macromedia XML News Aggregator (MXNA). This string of resources and projects utilizing and focusing on RSS has not been a coincidence, but rather the product of the realization of the power of RSS. This realization began over a year ago when we began publishing weblogs. Initially, we saw weblogs primarily as a way to quickly publish news, information and content (i.e. a better way to communicate with our communities). However, I believe that the real power of weblogs is not that they allow you to easily publish content, but rather that they make it so simple to syndicate that content (via RSS). You can see some of the power of that syndication through the multitude of Macromedia community focused RSS aggregates, including MXNA, Flog, Flogspot and Goog.

RSS has become a universal format for communicating all sorts of information and data. In fact, in some of our projects, we actually abstract away all data access and sources from the program, by first transforming everything into RSS. This makes it very simple to create projects that can utilize data from virtually any source. If we want to add a new source, we just write a quick plugin that transforms the source into RSS.

core project <--RSS-- data plugin <---> data source

This is a simple example, but I think it demonstrates the real power of RSS.

So, I wanted to take a quick inventory of the projects and resources that Macromedia has worked on over the past year that take advantage of RSS.

Of course, you can expect us to continue to take advantage of the format. There is a ton of additional useful content on Macromedia.com that could be syndicated via RSS (technotes, exchange items, etc…). I also don’t think it would be too far of a leap to expect future DRKs, and products such as Central to take advantage of and utilize RSS.

So, what RSS content, feeds, tool would you like to see from Macromedia? Post your suggestions in the comments section.

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