RSS for web page changes

W3C is working on a standard for widgets – those tiny web applications that are growing everywhere these days : Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and ESPN all have personalizable home pages that you can put small applications on. Those widgets include things like calculators, weather summaries, pictures-of-the day and calendars. Here’s what my personalized home page at Google looks like:

But that’s really not what I wanted to talk about.

As I was reading the standard (which is very incomplete) I realized I would like to keep tabs on what’s happening with it. However, the lovely RSS icon was nowhere to be found. But wait a minute, I thought to myself, all I want is to be notified when the web page changes. And I would like to be notified via RSS, because that’s where I, err.., get notified.

How hard can it be to implement something that keeps a version of a page I register, checks back with it once in a while and generates an RSS feed from the changes? Shouldn’t be too hard, but as far as I know there isn’t such a service. There are some sites that promise to inform you by email if a web page changes, but no RSS feeds and my experience with them wasn’t all that great.

I guess I’ll have to make to time to code this one myself.

[Update] In these modern times, you can’t possibly have an original idea anymore.

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