As I mentioned in my last post, Really Simple Discovery is a mechanism by which blog editors (such as MarsEdit) can programmatically obtain information about the publishing APIs a particular blog supports.
Most of the “big blogs” support this feature, albeit to varying degrees of usefulness. Take a look at the source code to this page, if you’re reading it on the web. You’ll see near the top of the page a line like this:
<link rel=”EditURI” type=”application/rsd+xml” title=”RSD” href=”http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/xmlrpc.php?rsd” />
See the href= section? That’s pointing at a separate URL where my blog advertises information about how it can be programmatically edited. The idea is the user gives MarsEdit a simple home page URL, and MarsEdit can go work out the details of the interaction with the blog, by examining its RSD file.
As you can probably imagine, my new role as the principal developer of a popular weblog-publishing application, requires me to be pretty familiar with this format and with the contents of RSD files on various sites. It hasn’t taken me long to get sick of manually looking up the RSD for a particular page, and loading it in a separate window. I want to see the RSD, and I want to see it now!
Go ahead, click it. You should see an alert appear with the content’s of my blog’s RSD file displayed. Better yet, if you’re in the unusual position of needing to look at these things all the time, you can drag the above link to your bookmarklet bar, for convenient access whenever you’re staring at a blog you’d like to discover.
Credit: The Bookmarklet contains code from Apple’s excellent documentation on the subject of XMLHTTPRequest. My first time using the handy little beast!