The (old) Licquia Family Blog

This is the old blog site, powered by a simple blogging system called Blosxom. It's here to keep old links from breaking, and for whatever historic interest might remain.

Here's the current site.

Sun, 06 Jul 2003

Straw as a Necho Aggregator

As everyone knows who's read the about page, this site uses weblog technology to do its magic. Weblog technology is moving very quickly at the moment, and there's a new effort out there to more clearly define what it's all about. The project started out as "Echo", but it turns out that other software uses that name, so the current working names seem to be "(not) Echo" or "Necho". I'll stick with the latter for now.

The project has decided to start calling for implementations of the current preliminary spec for the syndication feed: the part that does the job of RSS. Most of the emphasis so far has been on developing the feeds themselves, or of translating the feeds into various formats. To my knowledge, no one has hacked any of the software that reads these feeds to read Necho feeds.

At least, that is, until now.

I've been playing around with the Straw news aggregator for the GNOME desktop. It's written in Python (yay!), and is rather well-written; the source is easy to work with. This seemed like a good opportunity for me to contribute to the Necho project and to learn a little about how Straw works at the same time.

The patch is here. (Please be kind to my poor server!) It's a patch against Straw 0.18.1, which can be downloaded from here. Unfortunately, Straw only runs on systems with GNOME, which means only Linux, the BSDs, and other UNIXes; sorry, Windows users. It seems to do pretty well with the Necho feeds I've tried out, including Sam's original test feed and feeds from Joel Spolsky, Phil Ringnalda, and Mark Pilgrim. There are a few quirks; it seems to like using the current time as the last modified time for all posts, for example. I also haven't added handling for authors and contributors, because this involves a level of XML tag nesting that the current handlers don't handle well yet.

I'll try to do my best to keep this up to date, but it's possible that other projects and real life may consume my time for working on this. At the very least, this should provide a starting point for testing Necho's interaction with news aggregators. Comments to this log entry, or E-mail to "jeff+straw" at "", are appreciated.

Jul 06, 2003 | Comments are no longer available