Jeremy Smith's blog

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RSS Feed for Case's Student Housing

<update>

I got an email from Joel Kraft, Assistant Director of Housing. He's updated the feeds — RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0. That was fast!

From his email:

Okay, instead of going to bed, I played with feeds. It was the LAST thing that I really needed to be doing tonight! I got an RSS2.0 and and an attempt at ATOM as well.

Awesome! Every department needs a guy like Joel Kraft.

</update>

I hadn't noticed this before, but the Case Housing, Residence Life & Greek Life homepage has an RSS feed for their news items. Nice! I have but one simple, small request. Could you update the feed to include some of the Dublin Core elements? More specifically, include <dc:identifier> and <dc:subject> elements for each item?

The <dc:identifier> element would provide a unique identifier for each one of your items such that, if a news item is updated, aggregators correctly handle it rather than choke up an all new item. Plus, the unique identifiers make it easier to mesh together the feed with other feeds on services like PubSub and RSSMix (not to mention some stuff in the works here in ITS). Assuming the <link> element already contains a persistent and unique URI, it is easy enough just to use the value within the <link> element as the value for the <dc:identifier> element.

The <dc:subject> element is a way to tag all of the news items so they can be picked up by the likes of Technorati. (Of course, you might want to be pinging Technorati, too; but that may be outside the scope of whatever mechanism is being used to create the feeds.)

So, giving a quick example (with one more slight change on how the XML is reporting it is encoded (iso-8859-1) versus what the server is saying (utf-8)), your feed would end up looking a little more like (my changes/additions in bold):



<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<rss version="0.91" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/">
<channel>

<title>Case Housing, Residence Life & Greek Life</title>
<link>http://housing.case.edu/</link>
<description>News from the Division of Student Affairs</description>
<copyright>(c)2005, Case Western Reserve University</copyright>
<language>en-us</language>

<lastBuildDate>Mon, 01 Aug 2005 16:12:46 GMT</lastBuildDate><ttl>60</ttl>

<image>
<title>Case Housing, Residence Life & Greek Life</title>
<width>144</width><height>37</height>
<link>http://housing.case.edu/</link>
<url>http://studentaffairs.case.edu/site/controls/img/News_Logo.jpg</url>
</image>

<item>
<title>South Residential Village Information</title>
<description>
Information about the room and suite layouts in the Cedar Residential College is now available.
</description>
<link>http://studentaffairs.case.edu/living/news/1193.aspx</link>
<pubDate>Tue, 26 Jul 2005 11:10:00 GMT</pubDate>
<dc:identifier>http://studentaffairs.case.edu/living/news/1193.aspx</dc:identifier>
<dc:subject>Case</dc:subject>
<dc:subject>Case Western</dc:subject>
<dc:subject>Case Western Reserve University</dc:subject>
<dc:subject>Case Housing, Residence Life & Greek Life</dc:subject>
<dc:subject>Cedar Residential College</dc:subject>
</item>

<item>
<title>E. 115th Street Closed Until August 1</title>
<description>

Beginning Wednesday, May 18 through Monday, August 1, E. 115th street will be closed from Juniper to Wade Park to accommodate the completion of the Vi...
</description>
<link>http://studentaffairs.case.edu/living/news/1128.aspx</link>
<pubDate>Tue, 17 May 2005 17:23:00 GMT</pubDate>
<dc:identifier>http://studentaffairs.case.edu/living/news/1193.aspx</dc:identifier>
<dc:subject>Case</dc:subject>
<dc:subject>Case Western</dc:subject>
<dc:subject>Case Western Reserve University</dc:subject>
<dc:subject>Case Housing, Residence Life & Greek Life</dc:subject>
</item>

</channel>
</rss>

Contact me me with any questions, and I'll be happy to help.

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