October 11, 2003

RSS Really is Simple Syndication

Filed under: ResearchAndDevelopment — Ryan Wilcox @ 3:19 pm

I’ve been working on adding an RSS feed to some Open Source Software I use. I had the initial implementation up and working in 3-4 hours, spent 2 hours yesterday testing it out on my Real Live Tester Server (and fixing the issues – including validation) that I found there.

Today I spent another hour fixing a bug I found (I needed to html encode entities better) in the script.

Ok, so 6-7 hours feels like a long time, when you add it up. I guess it was, really. ‘Cept that I did it in PHP, a language I don’t really know, and this was the first time I’ve generated a RSS feed. So there were some subtle points I didn’t know about my first pass through.

Oh, and there were some subtleties to the underlying bit of open source software that I didn’t know off the bat as well.

Plus it’s now implemented in three places, in various states of CVS synchronicity. So updating things means careful consideration, manual copying, and sometimes retyping in code.

But, between three different servers, it should get a good work out in the next week or so. After a good bit of testing I plan on releasing the modification back to the community, with a big Hey It Worked For Me disclaimer.

And the RSS format itself was a lot of fun to use, really fairly simple. Of course, writing out a format is a lot easier than reading it, but hey, my feed validates, and looks good in my reader, so it should be OK.

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