This weekend I needed to spend some time configuring a demo machine to better cope with not being connected to the Internet. Part of getting it to work was getting ASP.NET to produce and RSS feed. In the past I’ve used a variety of libraries to generate RSS, right down to spewing out the XML myself – but I recently became aware of the ASP.NET RSS Toolkit which is developed by one of the ASP.NET team – Dimitry.
On Friday I downloaded it and had a bit of a play. Within about ten minutes I was quickly consuming and generating feeds. My favourite features are:
- RssDataSource; especially the way that I can declaritively limit how many feed items to display. This is useful for feeds that are already aggregates of other blogs.
- RssHyperlink; links to a feed and supports generating URLs for personalised content, however the killer feature (IMHO) is the fact that it puts the <link /> elements up in the page header so browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox can pick them up and notify users via the toolbar.
- RssBuildProvider; I’ve written about Build Providers before, in this case an RSS file is read in and it spins out a strongly-typed object model which matches the sub-item elements found in the feed. It actually does a pretty good job, I grabbed a feed from Digg and threw it in and it made sense of some of the RSS extensions that they offer.