RSS Advisory Board

Frequently Asked Questions

Archivist's Note: This is documentation that was referenced by the RSS 0.90 specification published by Netscape on March 15, 1999. The current version of the RSS 2.0 specification is available at this link and other revisions have been archived.

This document provides answers to questions about the capabilities of My Netscape Network, the RDF Site Summary format, and more.

In This Document

What is an MNN Channel?

My Netscape Network (MNN) channels are the building blocks of personalization on My Netscape pages. As users make choices about what content and services they want to view on their My Netscape pages, they can add, remove, and set preferences for My Netscape channels.

An MNN channel is a My Netscape channel that looks and works just like any standard My Netscape channel. The only difference is that you create the content of the channel and update that content whenever you want. As with standard channels, Netscape provides your updated content to users as often as once every hour.

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What is MNN?

MNN is a framework for standards-based channel definition and a set of services that let you submit channels and update channel content on My Netscape. Following in the footsteps of mozilla.org and the Open Directory Project, MNN opens the creation of My Netscape channels to the net at large.

MNN works by periodically retrieving your channel content from your HTTP (web) server and then automatically updating your channel content on My Netscape. MNN requires that your channel content be defined in RDF Site Summary format.

Once you've created your RDF Site Summary file and placed it on an HTTP server, you can use MNN to submit the URL of the file to Netscape. When you submit the URL of your RDF Site Summary file, Netscape registers the file for periodic retrieval. Netscape then archives the latest copy of your RDF Site Summary file on its servers. If you want to remove your channel from My Netscape, use MNN to notify Netscape.

To use MNN, you must be a Netcenter member and have access to an HTTP server where you can store you RDF Site Summary file. In addition, you must have a valid email address registered with your Netcenter account, so that Netscape can send you reports about the status of your channel. Until you have specified a valid email address for your Netcenter account and confirmed your address to Netcenter, you cannot submit the URL of your channel.

In addition, to use MNN, you must first agree to the terms of use. One requirement is that you place an "Add Channel" button or link on your web page or site, so that your users can add your channel to their My Netscape pages.

When MNN successfully adds your channel to My Netscape, it will send your account an email message notifying you. This email includes the HTML and URL of the "Add Channel" button and link, which you can copy and paste into an HTML file on your web site.

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How Many Channels Can I Create?

In this release, MNN restricts you to creating only one channel per Netcenter account.

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How Do People Find My Channel?

With MNN, users can add your channel to their My Netscape pages in any of several ways:

  • Users can click an "Add Channel" button or link that you place on your home page or site. The "Add Channel" button takes users to a preview of the channel, where they can then add it to their My Netscape pages. If a user isn't yet a member of Netcenter, the button lets the user register and then add your channel.
  • When you submit your channel to Netscape, Netscape sends you the HTML and URL for this button and link. All you have to do is paste the HTML into a web page.
  • Users can find and add your channel while browsing the My Netscape Network category of the Netscape Open Directory. Full instructions on how to add a listing of your channel to the Netscape Open Directory are provided in the email message that you receive from Netscape telling you that your channel is available.

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Can I Change the Location or Filename of My Channel's RSS 0.9 File?

Yes, but you must notify Netscape of the new filename and/or location of your RDF Site Summary 0.9 file, so that Netscape can continue retrieving the file and updating your channel.

To notify Netscape of the new filename and/or location, go to the Edit Your Channel Window screen of MNN and enter the new URL of the file in the RDF Site Summary File Location text box. Click the Submit button to validate the file and register the new filename or location.

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How Do I Edit the Content of My Channel?

To edit the content in your channel, change the data in your RSS 0.9 file.

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How Can I Delete My Channel?

If you want to delete your channel from My Netscape, go to the Edit Your Channel Window screen of MNN and click the Delete button. MNN then presents a screen verifying that your RSS file has been deleted. If you want to create a different channel, return to the Edit Your Channel Window screen in MNN. Replace the URL of the deleted channel with the URL of your new channel.

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How Large Can My RSS 0.9 File Be?

In this release, your RSS 0.9 file must not exceed 8 kilobytes in size.

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What Type of URLs Can I Submit to Netscape as the Location of My RSS 0.9 File?

You can submit any fully qualified URL that uses the HTTP protocol. You cannot submit URLs that use other protocols, such as https://, ftp://, or file://.

You can use ampersands (&), percent signs (%), and other special characters in your URL, so that you can pass arguments to a .cgi or other program.

However, note that you can not use any password-authentication mechanism in your URL, such as name:password.

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Why Does the Netcenter Navigational Frame Appear on Pages that I Point to From My Channel Content Links?

All web pages or sites that you link to from your channel load with Netcenter's navigational frame so that users can easily navigate the other headlines in your channel.

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Where Do I Get the "Add Channel" Button and Link?

After you use MNN to submit the URL of your RSS 0.9 file to Netscape, Netscape sends you an email message confirming that your channel is available. The raw HTML that makes up the "Add Channel" button and link are also included in that message.

To use the button or link, just cut and paste the raw HTML from the message to a web page.

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