Microsoft Revises Simple Sharing Extensions for Easier RSS

The software vendor's updated SSE technology aims to help applications such as calendaring tools to process RSS feeds more effectively.

Microsoft has released a revision of the Simple Sharing Extensions guideline it first detailed in November, which is aimed at improving the way applications such as calendaring tools allocate data updates to help process RSS feeds more effectively.

In a posting to Microsofts RSS Team blog, Jack Ozzie, vice president of development at the software giants Groove Networks subsidiary, said the firm has made significant progress with the SSE specification.

Ozzie also introduced the update, slated to be Version 0.91, which claims improvements in the area of "independent replication of hierarchical items," among other additions.

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First introduced by Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Ray Ozzie last year, the objective of SSE is to define the minimum software file extensions necessary to allow applications to share data for publishing RSS feeds, and for use with OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language).

RSS is a system for identifying news or other online content made available to users by a publisher. OPML is an XML format for data outlines commonly used to exchange lists of RSS feeds between aggregators of such content.

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Microsoft also launched a "SSE 101" tutorial meant to help people begin working with the technology, which offers documentation, sample code and XML files that claim to demonstrate working implementations of the specification.

Jack Ozzie said in his post that Microsoft has received significant support from outside developers in pushing SSE forward.

"Weve received lots of requests both from the community and from within Microsoft for samples, samples, samples of SSE code in action," Ozzie wrote. "We heard you."

When Ray Ozzie, who is Jacks brother and a co-founder of Groove, introduced SSE last fall, he described the technology as "the RSS of synchronization" and said it would greatly improve the ability of calendaring applications to share information to help process news feeds.

"Using RSS itself as is for synchronization wasnt really an option," he said. "That is, RSS is primarily about syndication or unidirectional publishing, while in order to accomplish the mesh sharing scenarios, wed need bidirectional synchronization of items. But RSS is compelling because of the power inherent in its simplicity."

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