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The command-line compiler takes an feed URL or the file name of an existing feed and generates a class file in either VB.Net or C#. The command line is quite simple:
  • RssDl.exe "URL" "OutputFile"
    • The URL will be read and the format of the feed determined, this includes automatically sensing if this is an RSS/Atom/RDF or OPML feed, and also the format (properties) of the feed items.
    • The OutputFile extension determines the language of the generated class (e.g. .vb will generate VB.Net code and .cs will generate C# code)
  • Some examples:
    • RssDl.exe “” GoogleNews.vb
    • RssDl.exe “” YouTube.cs
As a walkthrough, here's the process of using RssDl.exe to cosume YouTube's top favorites feed:
  • Run the compiler RssDl.exe “” YouTube.cs RssDlCompiler.png
  • Open the generated file YouTube.cs in you project and examine the strong-typed properties:
    [XmlElement("player", Namespace="")]
    public YoutubePlayer Player {
        get {
            return _player;
        set {
            _player = value;
    [XmlElement("thumbnail", Namespace="")]
    public YoutubeThumbnail Thumbnail {
        get {
            return _thumbnail;
        set {
            _thumbnail = value;
    [XmlElement("category", Namespace="")]
    public YoutubeCategory Category {
        get {
            return _category;
        set {
            _category = value;
    [XmlElement("credit", Namespace="")]
    public string Credit {
        get {
            return _credit;
        set {
            _credit = value;
  • Add the generated file to your App_Code directory (for a Web Site Project) or include in your project (for a class library or Web Application Project). Now you can use the class just like an RssDocument (it derives from there), plus it has all the strong-typed properties for the feed items.
  • Add code to grab the actual feed from the generated class and bind to the Items property.
<html xmlns="">
<head runat="server">
    <title>YouTube Media Rss</title>
    <script language="c#" runat="server">
        void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
            YouTubeRss rss = YouTubeRss.Load();
            DataList1.DataSource = rss.Channel.Items;
    You Tube Top Favories(Media Rss)
    <form id="form1" runat="server">
        <asp:DataList ID="DataList1" runat="server" RepeatColumns="3" GridLines="both">
                <asp:Image ID="Image1" runat="Server" ImageUrl='<%# Eval("Thumbnail.Url")  %>' /><br />
                 <asp:HyperLink ID="HyperLink1" NavigateUrl='<%# Eval("Player.Url") %>' Text='Link' runat="server" />
  • Run the page and enjoy the view YouTubeDataViewInBrowser.png

Note that you can automate the process of executing the RssDl.exe compiler by placing it in a Build Events / Pre-build event command line to insure that the generated source file matched the current feed. Of course this could lead to compilation errors, but that's the whole point of doing strong-typed classes. PreBuildEvent.png

Last edited Jun 16, 2007 at 12:25 AM by IDisposable, version 2


russellshome Nov 11, 2010 at 9:30 AM 
I generated a class from my wordpress feed (C#) but when i try it, all i get is an error:

Cannot serialize member 'Title' of type RussellWPFeedTitle. XmlAttribute/XmlText cannot be used to encode complex types.
Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.InvalidOperationException: Cannot serialize member 'Title' of type RussellWPFeedTitle. XmlAttribute/XmlText cannot be used to encode complex types.

Source Error:

Line 82: }
Line 83:
Line 84: XmlSerializer serializer = new XmlSerializer(typeof(T));
Line 85: using (StringReader reader = new StringReader(xml))
Line 86: {

Source File: E:\RussellProgramming\ProjectsVS2010\Timesheet\ThirdParty\RSSToolkit\RssToolkit\Rss\RssXmlHelper.cs Line: 84

.. etc...