Skip to content

Added RSS fed page to site

EDIT: You can view the page here –

Creating a page to display RSS feed information proved surprisingly straightforward with Sun’s RSS utils package available at

Essentially RSS utils retrieves the XML page containing the RSS feed and processes it, allowing you to retrieve the feed by simply using the custom XML tag library provided. Of course you could go and create your own RSS parsing utility, however as Sun have provided this facility it seems like a wasted effort, particularly if you’re planning to use it to implement RSS feeds rather than just learning about XML itself. That said it is important to understand how XML files are structured as they are becoming more important in web programming.

My view on XML (eXtensible Markup Language) itself is that it can be both a blessing and a burden. For defining arbitary data instances [read: stuff] that needs to be passed around between other parts of a system it can be very useful. However there is a problem in that it can be used uneccessarily, probably mostly due to the fact that XML is basically nothing tangible.

In fact to prove this ask someone (or yourself) to define XML and its possible uses. You will probably find it is not that easy to articulate!

In essence XML is a building block, a foundation / specification. And there isn’t even that much to it in its raw form, XML states:


<window>Double glazed</window>

<door>Front door</door>


Obviously there is more to it than that, but that’s defined by what you want do with XML.

So just to re-iterate to anyone new to XML:

  • You can’t compile XML – it’s not a programming language!

Leave a Reply