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Feeds as Query Result Serializations

Abstract

Many Web-based data sources and services are available as feeds, a model that provides consumers with a loosely coupled way of interacting with providers. The current feed model is limited in its capabilities, however. Though it is simple to implement and scales well, it cannot be transferred to a wider range of application scenarios. This paper conceptualizes feeds as a way to serialize query results, describes the current hardcoded query semantics of such a perspective, and surveys the ways in which extensions of this hardcoded model have been proposed or implemented. Our generalized view of feeds as query result serializations has implications for the applicability of feeds as a generic Web service for any collection that is providing access to individual information items. As one interesting and compelling class of applications, we describe a simple way in which a query-based approach to feeds can be used to support location-based services.

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