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Microsofts RSS Innovations In Action

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So, when Microsoft announced it was adding Single List Extensions to RSS, many people just got confused and tried to figure out what the hell it is.

Alex Barnett has a good post explaining how RSS+SLE works in the real world, showing an Amazon Wish List come alive in Internet Explorer 7.

Basically, SLE adds extra information to RSS, so that it can be listed by more than just the last time it was updated. In IE7, you’ll see a list of criteria in the right-hand sidebar when viewing a feed, like sale price or review rating, and you can resort the list by those criteria. Additionally, you can filter by categories, thus winding up with a list of, for example, all books, ranked from cheapest to most expensive. All this without creating a complicated dynamic feed system, simply by including the data in a regular RSS feed.

The beauty is, while IE7 just displays this information, IE’s subscribed feeds are part of the Windows Common Feed List, and that means RSS readers installed on your computer can read this extra data too, if they’re built for it, and display feeds and feed items in completely new ways. All because Microsoft extended an open standard with an open standard, making their products better, but opening the door for others to do even more exciting things.

There’s more at the RSS Team blog. MSN Spaces, Amazon, eBay and Yahoo Music are all using SLE, and I suspect blog software will follow. I already know exactly what I want WordPress to implement in SLE to make me happy, and if they don’t, I may have to do it myself.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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Microsofts RSS Innovations In Action
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