Syndicating XML

July 21, 2000

Edd Dumbill

This Special Issue focuses on the role of XML in syndication. XML's advantages in this area have been quickly recognized, and syndication boasts some of the most mature XML applications to date.

In our first article, Mani Manickam explains how XML rises to meet the challenge of heterogeneity amongst partner networks for syndicated content. He details the rise of syndication in content exchange, not just between media organizations, but between businesses in general, and outlines the crucial criteria any commercial syndication system should fulfil. Read more in "eSyndication: Heterogeneity Rules!".

XML standards have been under development for a long while in the news industry. In fact, the standard for news markup, NITF, was originally defined in SGML. In "XML in News Syndication" I survey the various established and emerging XML news standards, and fit together the jigsaw of the XML-enabled future of news distribution.

Our final article in this special issue takes a different tack on syndication. RSS, originally developed for the My.Netscape portal, has become a very successful application of XML on web sites, and migrated towards being used as a lightweight syndication format. Rael Dornfest, implementor of O'Reilly's Meerkat RSS aggregation and search tool, charts the history of the RSS format, and how it has created the opportunity for new kinds of web applications. Read Rael's analysis in RSS: Lightweight Web Syndication.