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Thanks for the excellent explanation, Tibor! Maybe this old dog can still learn some new tricks! 
Hertha 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Mark Schuldenfrei" <[log in to unmask]> 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 9:25:47 AM 
Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Falcon Banner news 

On 2/12/2014 6:52 PM, Mistress Hertha Blair of Froggestow wrote: 
> Pardon me. What is RSS? 

An unexpectedly neat question. 

A lot of online technology is divided into "push" and "pull" 
technology. 

For a non-tech example, if I mail you a letter, it's a "pull" 
tech: it lays there until you open it. If I make a phone call, 
it is a "push" technology: it makes noise until you answer it. 

"Push" tells you, interrupts you. "Pull" is passive until 
you go and get it. 

A web site is a "pull" technology. It sits there until you 
visit. If I update my web site, how will you know to come 
back for a new visit? 

People came up with an idea, or the basics of an idea, 
called Really Simple Syndication (it's actually named 
Rich Site Summary): RSS. 

What it is, is a standard format and standard information about 
a web site, that a site publishes in a known consistent 
location. It's not really human-readable, but the idea is 
that you can use that to have sites turn into "push" 
sites. 

If I publish and update my RSS feed, you can tell a "web 
robot" tool which feeds you care about. That tool will 
check the RSS feed for you, and if something changes it 
can either interrupt you ("push") or just organize those 
feeds for easy reading. 

There are lots of RSS tools out there. I happen to read 
LiveJournal a lot (I have for a long time) and it can 
be told "look at that feed, and when it updates, show 
me the new articles". 

RSS is simple. But lets you do some very powerful things. 

Tibor