- 01 - How to create a feed
- 02 - How to submit a feed
- 03 - Using additional namespaces and why
- 04 - How to be sure that a feed is accepted by AgriFeeds
- 05 - What is the minimum set of metadata required to make a valid Event feed?
- 06 - In addition to the mandatory elements, which other elements can be understood by AgriFeeds?
Every day more and more Web sites are making their content available using "web feeds". Feeds provide an easy method for creators to syndicate content and for consumers to keep up-to-date with their favourite sites without having to go to individual sites. Web feeds normally contains a short summary of content from a Web site and a link to the full article or more information. Web feeds can either be of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or ATOM formats. Both formats are expressed in XML.
There are several choices to create an RSS news channel that lists various articles/news on your site or in your e-mail newsletter, namely:
- Construct it from scratch in Notepad (easy in some cases but not efficient in the long run e.g. when the people working on it are not able to edit XML)
- Prepare the feed from a stand-alone tool such as RSS Channel Editor.
- Have a software tool "scrape" the site and incorporate the most important information it finds there
- Exploit your Content Management System. Many CMSs have inbuilt mechanisms to aggregate feeds: CMSs usually have functionality to export content to RSS or your webmaster can easily write a function to read all contents and create an RSS output
Of course, software tools may not be customizable enough to obtain quality metadata: identifying the subject for single items or using additional namespaces may be difficult if not impossible. In order to create the feed manually, or to write a procedure that creates it from your database or CMS, you need to be familiar with XML 1.0 and use the metadata set of one of the most widely used standards for syndication:
AgriFeeds accepts feeds in both the RSS (1.0 and 2.0) and the Atom format. Please be aware that in AgriFeeds the following RSS elements are mandatory: title, description, link and pubDate.
All the above formats can be extended using additional namespaces for including more specific and informative metadata: AgriFeeds encourages to submit all feeds using the Dublin Core namespace, and, for feeds of events the Event AP. Once you have your feed ready, you need to publish it on a web server, so that it is reachable through a URL. Then you are ready to submit your feed URL to as many news readers and news aggregators as you like.
This procedure is going to change. For the moment, write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to sumbit your feed to AgriFeeds
In order to submit a feed to AgriFeeds, you need to create an account on this website.
- Once logged in, click on "Contribute" in the "Account" menu.
- Select the type of content you want to contribute either a "news" or "event" feed. For feeds, be careful to select the correct type: please only select "Feed of events" if your feed complies with the following: - RSS format (1.0 or 2.0 or Atom) extended with the elements outlined in Event AP.
- Once you have selected the type of feed, fill the form with all the necessary information. The most important information is the URL of your feed, the name of your organization and the categorization (the "Categories" section). Filling these fields correctly guarantees that your news items are properly stored and retrieved in the system.
- On submission, the feed (and the news or event items therein) will not be immediately visible, as it will be published only after approval.
- If you see an error message upon submission, please make sure that your feed is valid (validate it with the Feed Validator) and if the feed is not approved and visible in a few days feel free to enquire about the problem with the AgriFeeds administrators.
More details about errors
- If you submitted a feed and when you edit it you see that the URL is not saved, it means AgriFeeds did not recognize the XML file at the URL you provided as a valid feed. See if your feed appears under "Problem feeds" (in the "Monitor" section of the right menu, only visible if you are logged in).
- If you submitted a feed and you cannot see the items from your feed, this could mean one of the following: a) the feed has not been approved yet; b) AgriFeeds could not parse the RSS file at the URL you provided.
The basic RSS and Atom metadata sets are generic because their scope is general. However, both formats can be extended using additional namespaces to include more specific and informative metadata. AgriFeeds uses AgMES namespace to extend the feeds.
For the information to be parsed (read correctly) and provided to the users with better services, the following basic guidelines should be taken into account.
- Include all the basic required metadata for RSS or Atom.
(possibly with AGROVOC or another controlled vocabulary), (as it is usually easy to compile than the corresponding RSS element) elements from Dublin Core namespace, whenever possible. Please note that an absent or incorrect date format may result in the news items showing up in improper chronological order
- Include all the basic required metadata for RSS or Atom. These must include Title, Link, Description and pubDate.
- Include, the start date (ags:startDate), the end date (ags:endDate) and Location information (ags:location and its sub-elements) from the (AgMES namespace. Please note that absent or incorrect country information (the format should be the ISO 3-digit code) and / or dates (start and end dates) may result in the events not showing up in searches or showing up in improper chronological order
Before submitting feeds to AgriFeeds, please make sure that they validate against the Feed Validator. This is essential.
In addition to the basic requirements of an RSS feed, the following elements are mandatory:
• (RSS) Title
• (RSS) Link
• (RSS) Description
• (RSS) pubDate
Besides, in items describing events the following additional elements/refinements are mandatory:
• (AGS) Start Date
• (AGS) End Date
• (AGS) Location City
• (AGS) Location Country
(Please submit your feed as an event feed only if it these elements are there and are in the correct format)
Not complying with the (A) requirements may result in your feed not being loaded at all.
Not complying with our additional requirements (see our Guidelines) may result in your news items not showing up in the correct place or in the correct chronological order.
The Event Application Profile provides elements that describe event in detail. However, not everyone can provide all the information. Therefore, the most important fields when creating an Events feed are:
- ags:location (ags:locationCity, ags:locationCountry)
Also keep in mind that in addition to the basic requirements of an RSS feed, the following elements/refinements are mandatory in all types of feeds in order to be accepted by AgriFeeds:
• (RSS) Title
• (RSS) Link
• (RSS) Description
• (RSS) pubDate
AgriFeeds accepts the following elements:
<dc:title xml:lang="en">Inter-Regional Consultation on ICM4ARD</dc:title>
<dc:description xml:lang="en">2007-09-26 - 2007-09-26 Rome, ITA</dc:description>
<dc:subject xsi:type="ags:AGROVOC" xml:lang="en">International cooperation</dc:subject>
<dc:subject xsi:type="ags:AGROVOC" xml:lang="en">Agricultural research</dc:subject>
<dc:subject xsi:type="ags:AGROVOC" xml:lang="en">Agricultural policies</dc:subject>