fighting the lack of good ideas

everything with a webui should publish rss

RSS is far from dead – it’s ubiquitous.

What astonishes me, though, is that not all applications that have a WebUI don’t publish feeds via RSS (or Atom – same difference).

OpenNMS and Nagios (via a plugin) will push alerts via RSS – which is fantastic: there’s no reason everyone shouldn’t be able to filter what alerts they look at. I’m sure some other tools will do this, too.

But why don’t all WebUI-based applications support updates and content via RSS? Several of the applications I routinely work with have no possibility of getting data out with an industry-standard format – they use custom APIs (APIs are excellent – and RESTful ones are better, but they’re no RSS).

What benefits could come from every webapp being RSS-enabled? I can think of a few right-off:

  • quick user-by-user customization of content viewing
  • user-preferred interface for content viewing
  • lighter-weight interface for app access
  • quick flexibility

Is you’re developing a webapp, or you’re giving an app a WebUI – make sure you give the ability to get information out via RSS.