Atom for Multipurpose Chemistry Feeds in CrystalEye

November 12, 2007

I had planned to co-author a number of posts on CrystalEye with Nick Day, starting with the basic functionality in the web interface and moving on to the features in the new Atom feed. As things turned out Nick is rather busy with other things, the data archiving stuff caught everyone’s intention and my well laid plans ganged (gung?), as aft they do, agly (as Burns might have put it). Consequently I’m going to shove out CrystalEye posts as and when.

The point of this post is simply to demonstrate that Atom’s extensibility provides a way to combine several functionalities in the same feed, with the subtext that this makes it a promising alternative to CMLRSS. I’ve already written how the Atom feed can be used for data harvesting. This is something of a niche feature for a minority, though. The big news about the CrystalEye Atom feed is that it looks good in normal feed readers.

As a demonstration, here’s a CrystalEye CMLRSS feed in my aggregator: –

Text. Nice. Of course, I need a chemistry aggregator (like the one in Bioclipse) to make sense of a chemistry feed, right? Nope. Atom allows HTML content, so as well as including CML enclosures for chemistry aware aggregators, you can include diagrams: –

To quote PM-R: “Look – chemistry!”

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