Monday, January 7, 2008

Search results as RSS

Normally an Oracle doc search gives you a regular HTML (really XHTML) results page:

Recently a developer asked for an RSS-format equivalent, to consume the results as a web service. At your, er, service:

The format/structure of the RSS feed may change. For example, Firefox doesn't display the descriptions when it shows the feed page, because of the way the tags are nested.

This has me thinking of other places to use RSS feeds for doc-related items. The other place that immediately jumps to mind is in the list of books, to have an RSS feed of the most-recently updated books. That involves a few design decisions -- what exactly is the "pubDate" given that the generation of the HTML, the posting of the library on OTN, and the build of the search index that generates the RSS feed might all be on slightly different days?

I'm interested in any other ideas about RSS feeds for the type of metadata that's available from a documentation library.

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