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Updated 2012-10-02 - Version ZF 2.0.3

Consuming an RSS Feed

Reading an RSS feed is as simple as passing the URL of the feed to Zend\Feed\Reader\Reader‘s import method.

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$channel = new Zend\Feed\Reader\Reader::import('http://rss.example.com/channelName');

If any errors occur fetching the feed, a Zend\Feed\Reader\Exception\RuntimeException will be thrown.

Once you have a feed object, you can access any of the standard RSS “channel” properties directly on the object:

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echo $channel->getTitle();

Properties of the channel can be accessed via getter methods, such as getTitle, getAuthor ...

If channel properties have attributes, the getter method will return a key/value pair, where the key is the attribute name, and the value is the attribute value.

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$author = $channel->getAuthor();
echo $author['name'];

Most commonly you’ll want to loop through the feed and do something with its entries. Zend\Feed\Reader\Feed\Rss internally converts all entries to a Zend\Feed\Reader\Entry\Rss. Entry properties, similary to channel properties, can be accessed via getter methods, such as getTitle, getDescription ...

An example of printing all titles of articles in a channel is:

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foreach ($channel as $item) {
    echo $item->getTitle() . "\n";
}

If you are not familiar with RSS, here are the standard elements you can expect to be available in an RSS channel and in individual RSS items (entries).

Required channel elements:

  • title- The name of the channel
  • link- The URL of the web site corresponding to the channel
  • description- A sentence or several describing the channel

Common optional channel elements:

  • pubDate- The publication date of this set of content, in RFC 822 date format
  • language- The language the channel is written in
  • category- One or more (specified by multiple tags) categories the channel belongs to

RSS <item> elements do not have any strictly required elements. However, either title or description must be present.

Common item elements:

  • title- The title of the item
  • link- The URL of the item
  • description- A synopsis of the item
  • author- The author’s email address
  • category- One more categories that the item belongs to
  • comments-URL of comments relating to this item
  • pubDate- The date the item was published, in RFC 822 date format

In your code you can always test to see if an element is non-empty with:

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if ($item->getPropname()) {
    // ... proceed.
}

Where relevant, Zend\Feed supports a number of common RSS extensions including Dublin Core, Atom (inside RSS) and the Content, Slash, Syndication, Syndication/Thread and several other extensions or modules.

For further information, the official RSS 2.0 specification is available at: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss

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