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Learn to Consume RSS Using DevX's New Content Feeds : Page 2

Now it's easier than ever to find out what's new at DevX. This article will show you two simple ways of pulling links to new DevX content into your own sites using an XML standard called RSS . Get started with one of our feeds today, or use these techniques to pull in feeds from all over the Net.




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Transforming the RSS Feed to HTML
Now that you've obtained the RSS document, you need to write the instructions to display the contents. There are a number of sites on the Web that will perform RSS-to-HTML transformations for you, and DevX exposes the feeds as HTML directly, in a form suitable for inclusion in an <IFRAME>. However, you can easily construct your own XSLT stylesheet to customize the display. For example, the following template creates a 300-pixel wide <div> containing the feed data, with the item titles formatted as links.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?> <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"> <! -- match the root element --> <xsl:template match="/"> <xsl:apply-templates select="rss" /> </xsl:template> <! -- match the rss element --> <xsl:template match="rss"> <xsl:if test="@version != '2.0'"> <div id="error"> Unrecognized RSS feed version.</div> </xsl:if> <xsl:if test="@version = '2.0'"> <xsl:apply-templates select="channel" /> </xsl:if> </xsl:template> <! -- match the channel element --> <xsl:template match="channel"> <div id="feed" style="width:300"> <a> <xsl:attribute name="href"> <xsl:value-of select="link" /> </xsl:attribute> <xsl:attribute name="target">_blank</xsl:attribute> <h2> <xsl:value-of select="title" /> </h2> </a> <br /> <div style="font-size: xx-small"> <xsl:value-of select="copyright" /> </div> <br /> <div id="items"> <xsl:apply-templates select="item" /> </div> </div> </xsl:template> <! -- match the item element --> <xsl:template match="item"> <div> <a> <xsl:attribute name="target">_blank</xsl:attribute> <xsl:attribute name="href"> <xsl:value-of select="link" /> </xsl:attribute> <xsl:value-of select="title" /> </a> <br /> <xsl:value-of select="description" /> </div> <br /> </xsl:template> </xsl:stylesheet>

The stylesheet shown above has four templates that matches the main RSS elements—the ubiquitous root template (match="/"), which matches the root node of the document, the <rss> element, the <channel> element, and the <item> element.

  • When the parser encounters an <rss> element, it checks the version attribute value. If it's not 2.0, the stylesheet returns an error; otherwise, it parses the <channel> element
  • When the stylesheet encounters the <channel> element, it creates the 300-pixel wide <div> tag and displays the value of the channel <title> element, formatted as a link (using the <link> element as the link destination), and the copyright notice. Next, it performs the<xsl:apply-templates select="item" /> command, which selects each <item> element, in turn.
  • When the stylesheet encounters an <item> element, it displays the title as a link and the description.

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