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Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Why is it, that the BBC provides RSS feeds for virtually all of it’s news content except when it comes to travel alerts for Lond Underground? What exactly do they think we use RSS for, and why do they think an email service you have to register for is superior to RSS for distributing news? There is “the information(BBC Public Transport travel alerts)”:http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/travel/public_transport/tube_feature.shtml in all it’s glory, and not a subscribe link in sight.

I think it’s time to see if “Backstage(BBC’s Backstage project)”:http://backstage.bbc.co.uk/ can help out…

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5 Responses to “Joined-up thinking”

  1. Sam Newman

    The data is actually the same – either the BBC provide it for TFL, or the TFL data is given to the BBC.

    From what I can tell, the information is syndicated in a format called “TPEG”:http://www.tpeg.org/what_is_tpeg.htm – Backstage actually “expose this feed(BBC Backstage Trave Feeds)”:http://backstage.bbc.co.uk/data/TravelFeeds?v=138u, and I believe there are some prototype projects looking to transform it into something useful.

    It sounds like a TPEG to RSS convertor is just what the doctor ordered – and as TPEG is simply XML, perhaps a bit of nifty XSLT would do the job?

    Reply
  2. Sam Newman

    Which isn’t even valid XML according to firefox (it looks like it is though – IE can handle it). If I can get it to parse creating an RSS feed shouldn’t be hard. I’d need to apply some kind of selector to get out only the london underground info (and filter out old news).

    Reply

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