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5.1. Syndication on the Web

The spirit of web syndication, and the technology that arrived in the late 1990s to facilitate it, is the idea that content on a page is more valuable to everyone if it's portable, not just between web sites but between any technology that wants to present it. Web consumers needed a better way to assemble all the content they cared about in one place (imagine if you still had to visit each and every web site you were interested in just to see if it had updated!), and content creators needed a better way to share their content with other web sites easily and under clear license, but also reach wider audiences beyond their web presence.

There are two syndication formats supported by the majority of web applications and feed reader applications: RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0. A rich history of development and debate exists between both formats, though both attempt to provide the same solution in a different way. Generally, the Atom format provides more extensibility, better handling of content delivery, and interoperability with other XML namespaces and URIs. The wide adoption of both formats ensures you are free to use either when creating applications that provide syndication for your users. You may, however, have a preference for one or the other for consuming Twitter based on the content Twitter returns in both formats.


  

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