SSE Update and Tutorial

SSE Update

I’d like to thank the community for providing valuable feedback on the SSE spec through the FEED-TECH mailing list.  We’re learning a lot from you, and appreciate your questions, comments, suggestions.  Based on the feedback we’ve received and some discoveries we’ve made building sample code, we’ve released a revision of the SSE Specification (version 0.91). You can track the specific changes we’ve made to this revision of the spec in the change history, and we’ll be archiving all previous versions of the spec, at least for duration of the review process.  I’d like to highlight a few changes we’ve incorporated that are attributable to the community review process:

Thanks to:

  • Charles Cook pointed out via the FEED-TECH mailing list that there are cases where independent replication of hierarchical items could result in cycles (in which two items each point to the other as a parent). To address that possibility, we’ve added a deterministic algorithm to break cycles.
  • Yc J suggested that we add a spec version number to the format (to deal with future compatibility). Makes perfect sense, and we’ve added it in this rev.

Things Not Yet Addressed in this Version:

  • Date Format: We’re still contemplating how best to properly define the date format. As Danny Ayers, Sam Ruby, David Powell and others have pointed out, there are better date formats than RFC 822. For example, we’re trying to figure out how to support dc:date. (Though we’ve at least fixed the examples and have stated explicitly that valid dates are RFC 822 with 4-digit years [which is the format for RSS 2.0]).

Also, I’d like to highlight some examples of “SSE in the wild” that have recently emerged.  It’s great to see early adopters like Matt Terenzio take the initiative with projects like SkinnyFarm.  If you have used SSE in a project and would like to share your experience with the community, please let us know via the mailing list.

Tutorial and Samples

We’ve received lots of requests – both from the community and from within Microsoft- for samples, samples, samples of SSE code in action.  We heard you. Here is a tutorial outlining “SSE 101” with accompanying samples.  The tutorial walks through a progression of modifications to SSE-enabled RSS feeds, highlighting both the XML feed content along with easy-to-read commented JavaScript code that you can run on your own feed to start “kicking the tires”.  Paresh Suthar, a member of our concept development team, deserves the credit for creating the sample; this is just the first in a series of samples and documentation we plan to provide to the community.

I encourage you to download the tutorial and provide feedback to the feed tech mailing list. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the list by sending email to: with the message body “subscribe feed-tech” or use the web-based subscription form.

- Jack