RSS and WAP - another RSS question

Patrick Phalen xml-dev at
Sat Nov 27 20:06:35 GMT 1999

[Lisa Rein, on Sat, 27 Nov 1999]

:: In this same vein, while you're at it (nice person who is going to
:: answer the question), could you also explain why anyone would NEED this
:: service (WAP/RSS), and, if possible, the practical usefulness of RSS in
:: general (if any).

In general (and outside the discussion of WAP) RSS provides a model for
news syndication. That, in turn, enables its obverse, namely news
aggregation. See Dave Winer's essays at for
evangelism on this subject.

Portal sites have been hugely hyped, but their offerings boil down to
whatever content their owners control through deals for equity
participation or licensing. Thus, no portal gives me (or you) exactly
the choice of information you want in one location.

Imagine having an XML browser allowing you the freedom of choice to
custom assemble all this timely push-channel-content in the form and
variety you choose, combined with the additional abilities of
interacting with your appointment calendar, expense reports, bank and
credit card balance, email, etc. in one Web-based interface.

RSS (and ICE, etc.) granulates news on the Web. XMLNews and its
successors will do an even better job of this, seemingly sounding the
death knell for the current news concentrator portal strategy.

And that's big news. ;)

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