Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

New: web feeds / RSS feeds / Live Bookmarks

Posted by universalis on 1 May 2006

Here is a description of what web feeds are, adapted from the Wikipedia article:

A web feed is a document which contains content items, often summaries of news stories or weblog posts. Weblogs and news websites are common sources for web feeds, but feeds are also used to deliver structured information ranging from weather data to "top ten" lists of hit tunes.

Like syndicated print newspaper features or broadcast programs, web feed contents may be shared and republished by other web sites.

More often, feeds are subscribed to directly by users with aggregators or feed readers, which combine the contents of multiple web feeds for display on a single screen or series of screens. As of 2006, the latest advance in this area is the appearance of web browsers incorporating aggregator features: Mozilla Firefox and Opera already do this, as will the forthcoming Version 7 of Internet Explorer.

Universalis now provides the following web feeds:

  • A week's worth of articles that name the feast of the day and contain links to the relevant Universalis liturgy pages.
  • The same, but for only three days (yesterday, today and tomorrow).
  • Mass readings for yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Mass readings for today only.

To use your browser to subscribe to these feeds, open a main Universalis page or a Mass Readings page. If your web browser is able to recognise feeds, you'll see a little orange icon on the address bar. Click on it, and a menu will pop up listing the Universalis feeds and giving you a change to subscribe to them.

With other kinds of aggregators such as SharpReader or Snarfer, or with web-based aggregators such as My Yahoo!, follow the instructions they give (it may help you to know that the Universalis feeds are in "Atom 1.0" format).

Web feeds are still a relatively new technology and some problems are inevitable. Google Reader can't understand our feeds at all. Bloglines omits spaces whenever the typeface changes.

The Sage add-on for Mozilla Firefox is excellent.

I'd be interested to hear of your experiences with the Universalis web feeds. Please add your comments to this posting.

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One Response to “New: web feeds / RSS feeds / Live Bookmarks”

  1. Manka Johnson has sent me an email which is worth reproducing here.

    First, thank you. This is truly a wonderful resource for me. I greatly appreciate this.

    I wanted to let you know that since I do most of my reading in Bloglines (www.bloglines.com), I generated an RSS feed for the daily pages. The RSS feeds are located here:

    http://www.feed43.com/universalis_officeofreadings.xml
    http://www.feed43.com/universalis_lauds.xml
    http://www.feed43.com/universalis_vespers.xml
    http://www.feed43.com/universalis_compline.xml

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