Serving an RSS feed is simple. By far, the most common way to serve RSS is to use an ordinary web server. The feed is treated as any other text document and requested and delivered over HTTP.
RSS, however, does not prescribe the transport mechanism. Feeds can be delivered over anything from FTP to Jabber, the XML-based messaging platform.
2.4.1 Consuming the Feed
Whatever the client, the feed is requested and retrieved over the transport method of choice and delivered to a parser. RSS parsers come in various flavors: from the full-on XML parsers, down to the RSS-specific quick-and-dirty versions (perhaps in a scripting language such as Perl) that rely on regular expressions to filter the content.
This is not the book to explain the actual parsing process in theory, and we should leave the practice to later chapters, but it will suffice to say that there are two ways of doing it:
Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 have provided a general overview of content syndication with RSS. In Chapter 3, we'll look at the different feed standards in more detail.