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RSS Reader for a Mobile Device in J2ME (Computer Project)

RSS is an XML file format used for convenient syndication of information and data. This report details the research made into RSS and J2ME, the development platform used. Also discussed is how the project was designed and a detailed description of the implementation which includes class descriptions and operations, steps taken in packaging the application, deployment of the package and how the application was tested. The report concludes with an evaluation of the project specification and whether the goals were met.
This project will develop a small application in which a user registers a number of RSS feeds. The device/application checks every so often to see if there is anything new on these feeds. If there is something new, then this gets added to some kind of last updates section of the application.
The application would enable the user to register RSS feeds, to delete them, to check the latest information from the RSS feeds and, hopefully, to have some background mode of operation by which the application could check the RSS feeds periodically and alert the user if there were any updates. While it is likely that J2ME will be easier to get the RSS working, there might be difficulties with Audio content. Therefore it might be required to investigate Symbian as well.
RSS, standing for Really Simple Syndication as of RSS 2.0, is an XML based method of publishing data for public consumption efficiently and with as little effort as possible. An RSS feed contains a channel, which has a title, a link to the content, a short description, and a series of items which in turn also have a title, link and a description. RSS is in wide use on the Internet, particularly in the areas of:
• News Websites; headline feeds.
• Web logging, or blogs; entries and often comments are presented with feeds.
• E-commerce; many on-line shopping sites provide RSS feeds of their latest special offers.
• Media/Content distribution; audio/video content and also application data such as torrent files can be embedded in an RSS file to allow for automated identification and downloading of content.
For the project it was necessary to research the history of RSS so as to learn about the various formats and the reasons that they are all for the most part still in use today. It was also necessary to research how the feeds are presented in XML format to parse the feeds for display on a mobile device.
J2ME is a version of the Java platform that is optimised for resource limited devices. As the project specification requires the application to be developed for mobile devices, J2ME was chosen for reasons detailed later in this report.
Author: Kevin Hall
Source: Dublin City University

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