It’s just data

FDML

One of the sessions on Sunday morning at FOO Camp was a brainstorming session on how a site could provide a list of feeds. 

This session was initiated by Jeremy Zawodny.  I didn't capture a list of participants, but from memory some of the more vocal people were Tim Bray, Jeff Barr, Dirk-Willem van Gulik, and Dave Sifry and, of course, Jeremy himself.

A working name for this effort is "FDML".  The stands for Feed (Discovery / Directory / Detailing) Markup Language, depending on who you ask.  ;-)

We did not get to the point where we created a concrete proposal, but here are some of the use cases that were discussed:

Here is some of the requirements that I captured for a description of the list itself: And here is a list of requirements for the description for each feed:

In order to further this discussion, I have created a wiki and seeded it with this information.  Jeremy also indicated that he was going to set up a mailing list.

Update: Apparently between the time I took the notes and posted them, Dave Winer posted a myPublicFeeds.opml RFC.

Update 2: Related discussion is happening on the Syndication mailing list


What about feeds that are dynamic, with query strings?

http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/001001.html
http://www.holovaty.com/content/customfeeds/

Sorry I didn't put that on the wiki. I'm a bit nervous to be the first person editing your notes.

Posted by Adrian Holovaty at

An observation.  Seems like you're doing it again.  First it was Atom because you didn't like RSS.  Now it is FDML because you don't like OPML.  Isn't is possible to extend the existing stuff out there?  Do we have to start over?

Posted by Ole Eichhorn at

simultaneously inventing similar wheels

Today, both Sam Ruby and Dave Winer release two different proposed solutions to the same problem (A standard way for a site to refer to a list of feeds), both on behalf of Yahoo's Jeremy Zawodny. From Sam: FDML. From...... [more]

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I would be interested to know how FDML might correlate to or even utilize some ideas of the Open Archives Harvesting Protocol (OAI-PMH), http://www.openarchives.org/.

Posted by Sandro Zic at

In the case of OPML, yes. It would be lovely to have something serving the purpose of OPML that can actually be run through a validator. Something that is actually XML. Something that isn't from the school of "hey guys, just make up your own tags if you don't like ours".

Try writing a DTD or an XML schema for OPML. It's not as easy as it may first seem.

OPML is a dead end.

Posted by Iain at

Then again, don't you think "a list of feeds" should be integrated with "a list of services" that the weblog software provides? You could see the feeds as a service as well, after all.

Posted by Manuzhai at

Discovering a List of Feeds

So I woke up this morning to discover that Sam Ruby and Dave Winer are talking about the same thing, in a different manner. Guys, I already wrote about this! Sam is inventing a new format (FDML; wiki here); Dave...... [more]

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Feed Discovery Markup Language

This is what Jeremy Zawodny was referring to yesterday.... [more]

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Just so it is absolutely clear: all I have done is listed a set of requirements, many if not most of which are directly from Jeremy himself.  The acronym was suggested by David Sifry.

People are welcome to question, refine, or add to the requirements, or present proposals on how these requirements can best be implemented.  Perhaps even with OPML.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Feed Discovery Markup Language

FDML: At O'Reilly's recent Foo Camp, some bloggers started fleshing out an idea for RSS feed self-discovery. Kind of like WDSL for RSS — you can get an XML document that explains all the feeds that a particualr site offers....... [more]

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Blog Feed List

Yesterday afternoon, Dave Winer published a request for comments (RFC) on how to best provide a list of feeds that are available on your site. The result of this RFC? The generation of another OPML file, somewhat akin to the use of mySubscriptions.opml. The name of this new file should be myPublicFeeds.opml. I like Dave's proposal for at least three...... [more]

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Opening a Wiki to hold open and public discussions about a new protocol seems to be the right way to go.

Thinking list of services, or ressources seems to be the logical extension of thsi idea.

Keep up the good work !

Posted by François Granger at

RE: FDML

Every time I see one of these proposals I remember the sating "He who writes the code, makes the rules".

I suspect that it is more important to get the authors of the more popular aggregators like NetNewsWire, SharpReader and Newsgator behind an idea than posting competing RFCs and starting up wikis. Then again looking at your list all I see is a bunch of features but no description of the functionality that you want. In my short years working on software this is typically an alarm bell. You start with functional requirements and use cases not details like what kind of information you want in some XML format.

Message from Dare Obasanjo at


Dare: Yahoo, Syndic8 and Technorati intend to be a producers of this (an possibly consumers).  They got together to discuss a format.  It sounded interesting, so I chose to listen in.  I endeavored to capture the use cases and requirements, and publish this for all to see.  Those that wish to participate, can.  Those that don't don't.

One thing that was stated in passing that I didn't capture or follow up on - while this could be used on sites that contain blogs, that was not necessarily the primary intended audience.  I gathered that MSDN was more of what they were thinking of.

Technorati, in particular, is tracking over a million feeds.  The challenge is how to organize this information.

In any case, you are welcome to participate, if you so chose.  Or not, if that is your inclination.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

RE: FDML

Sam,
  The question is who is the intended audience? If this is just so large directories can share information with each other that's one thing if on the other it is for end users to be able to use it to import a list of feeds then it is another. If it is the former I can see why you'd want to go down the complicated route you describe if it is the latter I don't see why Dave Winer's myPublicFeeds.opml isn't good enough.

If the problem is categorizing information, this seems to be different from a syndication problem and something more akin to what the folks at DMOZ use (http://rdf.dmoz.org/) may be more acceptable.

This may or may not be of interest to me depending on what the intended use cases are. So far I haven't really seen any.

Message from Dare Obasanjo at


More on Discovering Feed Indices

As my day starts to wind down, everyone else is waking up: Dave Winer feeds back sensibly on comments that I and others left on his original RFC; Sam Ruby clarifies that he wasn't necessarily proposing a new markup; Dare...... [more]

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Dare,

I've added my suggested use case to the wiki, but basically I maintain a list of comic feeds in RSS at http://dwlt.net/tapestry/ and in OPML at http://dwlt.net/tapestry/tapestry.opml.

If users could just point the aggregator at the main page and start selecting which feeds they want, I think that makes their experience a lot better than it is at present.

/dwlt

Posted by dwlt at

Dare, a DMOZ like categorization scheme was definately along the lines of what Jeff Barr was thinking of.  However, one where the owners of the feeds suggested the categories.  One of the ideas tossed out was that creators of feeds be encouraged to add feed level subject information for categorization.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

I'm not sure this is any differen than OCS(open content syndication). Ross Rader gave me a demo of it, it's a self discovering XML feed that locates (heirarchically) the RSS feeds in your site. Take a look:

http://www.byte.org/ocs.xml

Posted by Brendyn Alexander at

How does one discover the feed discovery file?

Posted by Patrick Lioi at

Jeremy comments on OCS and discovery in the syndication mailing list.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

ADX Part Duex.

During last weekend's, Foo Camp a group of luminaries got together to discuss feed auto-discovery. Sam Ruby took notes and what they are calling FDML (Feed Discovery/Directory/Detailing) Markup Language) and has posted them on a wiki. (My favorite.) I revised [my previous example] to bring it closer in-line with the requirements they listed.... [more]

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RE: FDML

OK, so it seems he wants a RSS autodiscovery that points to a list of links instead of a single RSS feed. Seems simple enough and I'd say that Dave Winer's proposal hits the sweet spot for that except for it uses a well known URI instead of the <code>link</code> tag like RSS autodiscovery does.

I could probably implement this overnight and it seems fairly useful enough. I'd assume this could be added to Step 2 in Mark Pilgrim's Liberal RSS Autodiscovery algorithm[0] which RSS Bandit already uses.

[0] http://diveintomark.org/archives/2002/08/15/ultraliberal_rss_locator

Message from Dare Obasanjo at


When RSS Developers Attack

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Excerpt from 0xDECAFBAD at

Public Feed List

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Standaarden

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I posted something that I think would interest you on this subject:
http://weblogs.asp.net/rosherove/posts/31987.aspx

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blog tech

Feed Discovery Markup Language .... [more]

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The conversations inspiring (and inspired by) FDML, a proposed “list of feeds” format, are quite interesting, especially those debates concerning feed auto-discovery. In September Jeremy Zawodny noted two possible auto-discovery...

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The Atom API.

With schemas and everything!....

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Sam Ruby: FDML

[link]...

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