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PDC Notes on the RSS Platform

September 25, 2005

Amar Gandhi gave a session on the RSS Platform at PDC, which unfortunately I was only able to catch the first 25 minutes or so before being called off for event duty. But I was able to see the interfaces exposed from the RSS API. Blissfully simple as the protocol calls for and it was such an interesting thought to hear that the RSS polling service will be just another Windows Service running.

Luckily I also ran into Amar at the Ask the Experts night, where I took away two points I wanted to record here.

Security – With RSS baked in, the question comes up often on whether enclosures will provide an opening for malicious code. The RSS platform treats Internet Explorer like any other program and gives no extra trust. Any file downloaded will be likely treated similiar to any attachment recieved via email.

Synchronization – One of my biggest beefs with current aggregators is synchronization. If I read a feed item at work it should show up read at home, since my feed list should be the same on any machine that I access. Right now that’s not the case and I’m not too satisfied with what’s available. Being a DIY guy, I’ve started work on my own solution. Which, in the future, will be able to leverage the RSS Platform built into Windows Vista.

The platform sticks true to its name as a platform and does not (at this time) natively provide a way to synchronize RSS stores across machines. This leaves the space open for third parties to provide solutions, or for guys like me who want an application completley customized for their needs.

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