Newsagent/Feeds

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Newsagent
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Author Chris Page
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Feeds

Newsagent publishes articles in Feeds, and every normal article[1] needs to go into one or more feeds, even if it is just a few lines giving information to students. The list of feeds any given staff member has access to publish articles in is determined by their permissions in Newsagent. Determining which feeds a staff member should have access to is part of the account setup process, but if the staff member's needs change the list of feeds they can access can be changed at any time.

Feeds themselves are never 'pushed' out; they must be requested by clients who are interested in the contents of the Feed. Clients in this case may include the School Website, various satellite sites around the School, and even individuals running their own RSS aggregator/reader or showing the feed on their website. Feeds are completely public: anyone with the appropriate URL may request the contents of any feed they want to consume from anywhere in the world.

Visibility levels

Every article has one or more visibility levels associated with it, and when a client requests a feed it can tell Newsagent which visibility levels it is interested in seeing articles at. If a client doesn't explicitly request articles with specific visibility levels, it will be given articles of any visibility level that have been added to the requested feeds. Essentially, the visibility level is a way for clients to filter the articles they see on a feed - if all they want is the Medium articles, they just ask for those.

The following Visibility levels are defined in the system, however some visibility levels may not be available for some staff members:

Important (School Home Page)
If you want your article to appear on the front page of the school website (plus anywhere else that explicitly or implicitly requests Important articles in your selected feed), enable this visibility level.
Medium (Section Leader Page)
If you want your article to appear on any apprpriate leader page on the school site (plus, again, anywhere else that requests Medium articles in your selected feed), enable the Medium visibility level.
General (Group or Internal pages)
If you don't want your article to appear on the school website (but it will be given to clients that request the General level of your selected feed), enable the General visibility level. This is the level you will generally select for 'internal' messages.
You must select all visibility levels you want your article to appear at in the selected feed. Selecting a "more important"-sounding visibility level does not imply that the lower level(s) are selected.

This is another way of saying that you need to explicitly select every level you want your article to appear at. As of this commit, Newsagent will automatically tick lower visibility levels when you turn on a higher level one: if you tick "Important", it will automatically tick "Medium" and "General"; if you tick "Medium" it will automatically tick "General". If this behaviour produces a level selection you do not want, you can untick the levels you do not want as needed.

In practice

The School website is a good example of interaction with the system. On the home page there is a News block: the contents of that is generated from the result of the school website sending a request to Newsagent requesting articles posted with the Important level in any feed. On the Study leader page there is another news block, and that one is the result of the website asking Newsagent for all articles that have been published in the various Study feeds with the visibility level Medium. Similarly, the People leader page is asking Newsagent for all articles that have been published in the People feed at the Medium level.

At present, there are only two locations that syndicate any "General" level feeds: the Monday Mail and Masters Mail pages on the studentnet site show the contents of the corresponding feeds at the General level (actually, they show all levels, but they're the only place that show General ones too). Articles published in the other feeds at the General level are, therefore, not officially visible anywhere at present but this will change in future.

Current feeds and syndication

The table below shows all the currently defined feeds and visibility levels, and where an article will appear if you publish it in a feed at a given visibility level. Note again:

  1. Any given user may only have permission to publish articles to a subset of these feeds.
  2. A given article will only appear in a feed at a given visibility level if it was created with that level enabled.
  3. This table is not exhaustive, new feeds are added frequently, and any RSS feed reader can request any combination of feeds at any combination of levels.
  4. The various "full-article" viewers around the school website are 'dumb' viewers: they take an article ID and show the corresponding Newsagent article, regardless of the feed the article is in or its visibility. This is normally not an issue as the links to full articles in the news feeds around the website will use the 'correct' full article viewer, but any user in possession of a valid Newsagent article ID will be able to view that article in any of the full article viewers by crafting an appropriate URL.
Feed name internal name Visibility: Important Visibility: Medium Visibility: General
Employability employability SoCS Home page Employability leader

Employability News & Events

N/A
General general SoCS Home page About us leader

About us News & Events

N/A
Industry industry SoCS Home page Industry leader

Industry News & Events

N/A
Masters News mastersnews SoCS Home page N/A N/A
Monday Mail mondaymail SoCS Home page N/A The Monday Mail
Research research SoCS Home page Our research leader

Our research News & Events

N/A
Research - Seminars seminars SoCS Home page Our research leader

Our research News & Events

N/A
Schools and colleges schools SoCS Home page Schools and Colleges leader

Schools and Colleges News & Events

N/A
Study study SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events

N/A
Study - CPD cpd SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events
Professional Development leader
Professional Development News & Events

N/A
Study - PGR pgr SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events
Postgraduate Research leader
Postgraduate Research News & Events

N/A
Study - PGT pgt SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events
Postgraduate Taught leader
Postgraduate Taught News & Events

N/A
Study - UGT ugt SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events
Undergraduate leader
Undergraduate News & Events

N/A
Study - UGT - Y1 ugty1 SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events
Undergraduate leader
Undergraduate News & Events

N/A
Study - UGT - Y2 ugty2 SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events
Undergraduate leader
Undergraduate News & Events

N/A
Study - UGT - Y3 ugty3 SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events
Undergraduate leader
Undergraduate News & Events

N/A
Study - UGT - Y4 ugty4 SoCS Home page Study leader

Study News & Events
Undergraduate leader
Undergraduate News & Events

N/A
Interaction Analysis and Modelling iam SoCS Home page N/A N/A

  1. As opposed to Newsletter articles, which get added to newsletters rather than feeds.

Authors

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