XML, a version of which is also known as RSS, is a method of streaming information from a website. Many sites now offer a free XML feed enabling readers to receive headlines from news sites via a desktop software program. XML also avoids problems involved with sending email newsletters, such as junk mail and out-of-date addresses.
"At the moment we do not have XML feeds for anything other than the general feed on the front page," said a Guardian spokesperson.
"We do plan to have XML feeds for specialised sections in the future, and are developing a platform to allow this to happen."
The Guardian first offered an XML feed to readers in 2002. But XML feeds do not provide a robust way of measuring subscribers, said the Guardian; email is more accurate.
XML feeds will provide a growing complement to email but will not replace email newsletters.
For commercial users, the Guardian's paid-for service offers specialised news headlines via XML to provide constantly updated news for websites. There are around 25 specialised content areas, including media, sport, education and business. Current clients include Tiscali and the UK Sports Council, which uses a Guardian feed to provide news and information to an internal network of council members.
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