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Greg Stephens
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Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:49 pm    Post subject: MI RSS feed Reply with quote

I'm wondering, how's the MI blog RSS feed created? Is it done by hand (which seems tedious and inefficient) or is it automagically created by some script which parses the HTML page and creates the XML?
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FlashDiego
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Joined: 29 Jul 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wondering how to make the MI rss feed work. How does it work? Is there anything special I'm supposed to do?

Yeah, I'm feeling like this may be a stupid question, but what do I have to lose?
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Greg Stephens
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Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FlashDiego wrote:
Yeah, I'm feeling like this may be a stupid question, but what do I have to lose?

Nothing!

RSS is a geek-cool tool for keeping up with news, blogs, podcasts and all sorts of other content on the internet. To use it, you'll need an RSS client (also called an "aggregator"). It's kind of difficult to describe the usefulness of RSS until you use it but, basically, you fire up your RSS client, point it to the various XML feeds, and you'll read either full or partial entries from their latest postings without having to click, click, click all over the web. The aggregator remembers these feeds and gathers them in a consistant, easy to read format.

For in-depth answers, here's links to that other geek-cool tool of the moment, Wikipedia:

Wikipedia on RSS
Wikipedia list of RSS aggregators

And if you're using Mozilla's Firefox browser or Thunderbird email/news client, then you have some RSS functionality already.
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jjwiseman
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Joined: 07 Sep 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: MI RSS feed Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
I'm wondering, how's the MI blog RSS feed created? Is it done by hand (which seems tedious and inefficient) or is it automagically created by some script which parses the HTML page and creates the XML?


Hi, Greg. I wrote a program to parse the HTML on the page. Scott's posts usually have enough structure to them (new paragraph, bold date, text, etc.) that the program is able to figure out where they begin and end, and when there's a new one. The program even makes a guess as to how to title the post.

It does sometimes get confused, but I think I can probably figure out a couple tiny changes Scott can make in the way he writes his posts to cut down on the chances of that happening.

Let me know if you have any trouble using the feed, or have any suggestions: jjwiseman@yahoo.com

And for anyone who's new to RSS, Greg's info above should be very helpful. I personally use NetNewsWire (Mac only), but there's also the RSS support built into Safari and other browsers, as well as online readers like Bloglines (http://bloglines.com/).

John Wiseman
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Greg Stephens
Forum Founder


Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: MI RSS feed Reply with quote

jjwiseman wrote:
Scott's posts usually have enough structure to them (new paragraph, bold date, text, etc.) that the program is able to figure out where they begin and end, and when there's a new one.

Heh. Didn't take Scott too long to subvert that assumption!

Scott's blog wrote:
09/10 12: Comixpedia reports...


Nice to see that the RSS-generating script is resilient enough to not lose everything below that post. It merely skips it.
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jjwiseman
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Joined: 07 Sep 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:05 pm    Post subject: Minor RSS burp Reply with quote

There was a little burp in the feed over the new year. I had put a limit in there toward the end of last year to include only the last N entries in the feed, because LiveJournal began rejecting the feed as too large. As we rolled into 2006 and Scott began with a fresh empty page, my dumb code forgot to handle the case where there might be less than N entries.

Lori pointed out the problem to me, and everything should be fixed now.
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