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.
containerization has revolutionized the global trade of physical goods, feeds are already essential as a lightweight and universal way of sharing machine-readable information, and this trend will continue.
one of the major missing pieces in the atom landscape today is the lack of well-defined query features, and we argue that such a capability would make atom feeds much more flexible in a wide variety of scenarios. this can be as simple as querying feeds by category (something already possible with GData), or as sophisticated as spatial queries when considering geo-referenced collections. more specifically, the step from the
Internet of Things to the
Web of Things, i.e. making the step from enabling connectivity to a web architecture for networked things, probably will be made possible by smart ways of extending and combining feed technologies. after all, many of the data streams produced by sensors or other pervasive technologies can be readily mapped to feeds, and exposing stream processing capabilities as queryable feeds would bridge the gap between web-based information streams, and information streams originating in the physical world.