I use an RSS Reader to skim news items and updates to favorite blogs (who would spend all day opening a hundred or more web pages to see if there's a new or interesting blog post?) - it dawnded on me that RSS would also be an interesting format to enable a Windows CE device to report it's current status - using a pre-release build of Windows CE 5.0 I built an image for the ICOP Vortex86 reference board, the image includes the HTTPD Web Server.

Initially I hand built a .XML file (see below)

<rss version="2.0">
<channel>
  <title>Mikes Quick and Dirty RSS Feed on Windows CE 5.0</title>
  <link>http://192.168.2.2</link>
  <description>Quick and Dirty RSS Demo</description>
  <language>en-us</language> 
  <item>
    <title>This is an RSS Item</title>
    <pubDate>Tue, 18 May 2004 06:59:59 GMT</pubDate>
    <description>The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog</description>
    <link>http://blogs.msdn.com/mikehall</link>
  </item>
</channel>
</rss>

The XML is based on the RSS feed from the Windows Embedded home page - then used the Remote File Viewer to upload the XML file to the Web Servers folder \Windows\www\wwwpub and used RSSReader to 'Get' the feed - the import was seamless - I now have an RSS feed running on my Windows CE device - very cool. Why is this even remotely interesting? Imagine if you will the ability to report any interesting changes on the device to anyone listening to the feed - if this was a vending machine I could report that the device was low on product, or, perhaps when running a product through long haul testing I could periodically report memory load, the list of current running processes etc...

The next step would be to create a Win32 DLL or managed class that exposes the RSS creation API's - perhaps this would make an interesting community project - anyone up for the challenge ? - perhaps if the project gets finished in time this would be something neat to show during the keynote at the Windows Embedded Developers Conference... over to you...

BTW - why did I choose “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog“ - any ideas ?

- Mike