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[url] rasterweb.net/raster/
[email] pete@rasterweb.net
[pgp key] public key

RasterWeb [More Info]
Mobile Edition

Code contains bits of text that are probably more interesting to computers than people...


I finally got around to creating an RSS file for this site. (It's called rasterweb.rss and you can find it here.)

Without getting too deep into things, here's the problem I had, and the solution I came up with.

Many sites tend to categorize each 'posting' as an individual 'item.' Probably because that's sort of the way Blogger tends to handle things, which may be the right way... or not... I believe Manila may be more flexible in this regard, grouping things together by date instead. I'm no expert on either one, I use code that I mostly wrote myself, and back in 1997 doing it by the date seemed to make sense.

When things are broken into individual items, it's easier to apply metadata to each one, or so some people would argue. With this site using the 'each day is one item' way of doing things, I had to come up with a way to deal with that. I first thought of embedding a comment tag into the html so it could be easily parse out (like so <!-- RSS: Here's the blah, blah, blah -->) but then hit upon the idea of using the 'title' attriibute of the link to the permanent url of each date's posting.

The code part was simple, the only difficult part was really determining how to attribute the metadata. One thing I don't think makes sense is when weblog-people publish an external link within their RSS file without providing a <description>, as you can tend to lose most of the context. I'll have to examine this a bit further. Again, the code part is easy, it's the whole data/metadata/content/publishing part that takes some real thinking.

Now, this works for me because... I still don't use a browser-based interface for adding content. Pages are created locally (in a pretty automated fashion though) and uploaded. Once I create the file I run a perl script that creates the mobile version and the RSS file. So, I can still telnet into the server, use pico or vi to edit the file, and run the needed scripts there. If I'm uploading from my local machine, a perl script takes care of creating all of the files and uploading them. I don't need to launch an ftp client or do some multi-step process, it's all pretty automatic.

Oh, back to RSS. Anyway, we now have an RSS channel. And, I've learned more about RSS, perl, syndication, regular expressions, etc... See, that's the goal. Others may have had an RSS channel before me, but if you just clicked a checkbox to get it, or got it as a feature of whatever tool creates your site, you probably didn't learn as much

Ok, I'm rambling again... I should have just said "Enjoy the RSS file."

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  Last Modified: 01.05.2001 by rasterboy