In the future, everyone will want to build and republish custom webfeeds from existing feeds for all kinds of purposes. (This is RobinGood?'s NewsMaster? vision.) An ecology of services will emerge to help them do exactly that.

A number of operations on feeds can be envisioned. Taking a cue from the operations of set theory we could for instance define the following:

  1. Splicing (union): I want feed C to be the result of merging feeds A and B.
  2. Intersecting: Given primary feeds A and B, I want feed C to consist of all items that appear in both primary feeds.
  3. Subtracting (difference): I want to remove from feed A all of the items that also appear in feed B. Put the result in feed C.
  4. Splitting (subset selection): I want to split feed D into feeds D1 and D2, according to some binary selection criterion on items.

(A few use cases may be found here.)

Implementations of FeedSplicing services have begun appearing in 2003:

Also of interest may be two feeds automatically splicing themselves together, so whichever is read, both are seen. (e.g. UnifiedClusters)

An example of splicing follows. This is the merger of feeds from some CommunityWiki members. (Seems like the feed is flaky, so don't hold your breath..)

http://blogdigger.com/groups/rss.jsp?id=173 returned no data, or LWP::UserAgent is not available.

The subscriptions lists is editable from this page.

See also specializations of this idea: FilteredRecentChanges, UnifiedRecentChanges.




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