Tuesday, 11 January 2005

I was wide awake at about 4am today, looking around for a fast way to get live syndicated content (need it to always be up-to-date) from a weblog’s RSS feed to the home page of a web site I am maintaining for non-profit organization. Cops on Top has climbers in Africa this week for a memorial mountain climbing expedition to Kilimanjaro, and they are sending electronic communications from the field via email and phone calls. The messages can show up on the weblog in real time, without anyone else’s intervention. So, I wanted to be able to show the latest weblog posts on the org’s home page.

I did a quick Google for what I needed, and came up with a gem of a tool: Feed2JS.

What Feed2JS does is to provide an interface where you can specify the URI to a RSS feed, click a few boxes and buttons on a web page to specify your options, and generate a Javascript output that you can stick straight into your web page, ready to go and immediately syndicating content from the specified feed. In addition, there’s a stylesheet generator on the site that lets you customize the look and feel of the feed as it’s displayed on your web page.

You can even download the original PHP scripts (which are provided under an open source license) and run Feed2JS on your own server, which could speed up the feed-to-web proxy function if you have scalability concerns due to very large volume, or if you want to modify the RSS cache to update more frequently than every 60 minutes. That is the default cache time for feeds being gathered and serviced by the Feed2JS system. At any rate, download your own copy and run it yourself, and you get complete control.

The results are quite good. Sure, the end user has to have jscript/Javascript enabled on the client, but that works for this purpose, so I am happy. Recommended.

Another slightly less-elegant (but quite useful) method using server-side ASP is called RSS in ASP. It works, as well.

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RSS Stuff | Tech
Tuesday, 11 January 2005 06:25:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Thursday, 16 March 2006 17:52:57 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I also found another great tool along the lines of feed2JS, it's called feedo style.
I find it easier to use thanks to the online configuration wizard that allows you to specify the styling of the news box without having to add any CSS files to the webpage.

Check it out at http://www.feedostyle.com
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