Apologies in advance if this gets a bit technical, that’s because behind the scenes it is, but the effects could be life-changing!
RSS is a way of publishing online, for example, a ‘news’ feed of headlines or updates, using a well established and open format. This enables you to see, say, just the most recent 100 headlines without actually visiting any web pages – you choose the ones of interest and follow them to the relevant page.
I wonder if RSS is falling from favour because it bypasses the concept of you visiting webpages (and, by extension, eyeballs on adverts).
If I get too technical, there are some other links to read at the bottom 🙂
Google Reader & RSS
announced on the Official Google Blog that they will soon retire Google Reader (actual date: July 1, 2013) – Google are also killing off the RSS extension on Chrome [this may have been an error – apparently the extension has been restored].
Implication: you wont be able to read the headlines unless you use the Google News search page (which has adverts).
Google News Alerts
These are being widely reported as being on the blink and raised concern it will be the next service to take a dive.
As ever Google chooses to not answer inquiries from the press or public (but will no doubt tell us their final decision in an out of the blue announcement)
Twitter RSS API
Twitter continues to lock down their platform, as they have since the switch to OAuth. If you want to add content to Twitter, you can do that easily. If you want to get content out of Twitter, well, you’ll have to conform to Twitter’s requirements.
RSS was an easy way of getting content out of Twitter, and so they killed it. They’ll tell you that it wasn’t really used, but that’s a load of bull and they know it, but it sounds good and most people will simply swallow it.
– so from March/April 2013: use OAuth and json to parse Twitter feeds.
And their RSS timeline feeds are now dust 🙁
Questionable decision to – Twitter API moving to v1.1:
Tweets being given Snowflake-based IDs, direct messages will also be snowflake 64-bit integers beginning September 30th, 2011 … a service we will be using to generate unique Tweet IDs. These Tweet IDs are unique 64bit unsigned integers …..
In Google Chrome you can test compatibility with long integers by running (in the console):
(90071992547409921).toString() gives the result “90071992547409920” – just hope you’re not doing your accounts.
“no-one will need an integer address longer than 53 bits”
This reminds me of hard drives hitting the 137GB limit because of old IDE addressing, and not thinking ahead. And now 32bit operating systems being unable to access more than 2TB of hard disk partitioned space – the move onwards and upwards is relentless, pity the casualties along the way.
To quote Twitter: “we’ve decided to discontinue support for XML, Atom, and RSS, which are infrequently used today”
– cough, cough, like what planet you on man!!! (XML is the founding technology behind AJAX web programming, one that Twitter itself uses to dynamically update the page; ATOM is like RSS)
“This protesting about Google not continuing to provide something is just indicative of people denying that they had unrealistic expectations. This is a public company in a dominant position so it has little to no responsibility toward its clientèle. That’s just how it is. Pretending that is not the case is perhaps what all those people are doing who have bought into Google’s services and now complain when their dreams are broken. There’ll be more of this, and I for one, am not playing that game.”
The bottom line … writings on the wall
– you cant call yourself free unless you recognise and support open standards
– the big companies have fallen in love again with their own propriety APIs (‘use our tech or walk’ attitude)
– dont get me started on CalDav ..
As ever the maxim applies: if you use a something that is free, you’re not the customer you’re the product
– and in case you were unsure as to what a Maxim is/does, they used to make machine guns 😉 see Wikipedia
Now might be a good time to take up farming in an isolated village somewhere ..
And read these:
blogs-we-liked-google-shuts-down-reader-caldav and also talks about CalDav being closed down
Disclaimer: some of this was gathered and written some time ago, and I cant remember what is mine (I think it mostly is)! very sorry 🙁 #embarrassed