Flutterby™! : Syndication users?

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Syndication users?

2002-08-22 17:06:06+00 by Dan Lyke 17 comments

If you're using syndication XML version of Flutterby, could you answer a few questions for me please?

  1. What syndicator are you using. Radio? AmphetaDesk? Something else?
  2. Would you like a version with HTML in the entries?
  3. Should that version also not limit the size of the entries?
  4. Any other complaints, comments or whatever?

[ related topics: Web development Content Management Flutterby Meta ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 18:46:03+00 by: Eric Vitiello

  1. I use Amphetadesk primarily, but also use Aggie on occasion.
  2. I think the syndication format is just fine!
  3. I tend to prefer entries not be truncated, but I understand the reasons behind doing so, so I don't mind.
  4. Thanks for the feed, it saves lots of time.

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 19:57:38+00 by: canis

  1. Experimental code written in Python =}
  2. Hmmm. Haven't thought that far ahead, but hey, if it's easy to do and is at a different URL, why not?
  3. Ditto
  4. Not that it matters much, but, the "description" of Flutterby is the time it was last updated, but the last-updated time is already given in the HTTP headers, making it superfluous, plus, being in text it's hard-coded WRT timezones. But, I haven't got any suggestions for anything useful to put there, it just looks odd cuz syndicators tend to just display it blindly and may include "real" timestamps of their own next to it.

Well, anyway, take all this with a pinch of salt because I've had not much time to work on my syndicator and I'm feeling kinda ambivalent about the project anyway.

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 21:44:22+00 by: markpasc

  1. Radio.
  2. Not especially, though it would be nice if blockquotes and images had more effective text translations. With most textized feeds I have to go on little cues like missing spaces between sentences to find when a blockquote occurs. Sometimes items look particularly boring because there's no indication there's an image; some simple tag like "[Image]" would be great.
  3. I don't mind items being truncated as long as they're clearly marked as such so I know there's more if I'm interested, which they are. So not especially.

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 22:06:59+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

  1. Gnus new (in CVS) nnrss backend.
  2. HTML in the feeds are harder to read. I'm sure I could tell Gnus to parse RSS bodies as HTML, but I'm looking for information, not markup.
  3. Truncated versions are fine, but I wouldn't mind having the full thing.
  4. I love being able to read RSS feeds in my mailreader!

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 23:23:49+00 by: Shawn

Damn. I was just thinking today to write an editorial about why I (generally) hate web-based forums for community communication - mainly because of the time involved to navigate them. I've seen oblique references to .rdf files and seen the XML output they provide. But I didn't have a clear picture of how I was supposed to make use of them.

With this topic I finally took the time to google some of the terms mentioned here and... Damn. This looks like exactly what I've been wanting to cut down on the hours I spend keeping up with everything online. So I'll definately be checking out some of these readers.

I'll find out eventually, but can I post to Flutterby with these readers? Or is this a read-only setup?

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 23:46:45+00 by: Dan Lyke

Mark Hershberger and I got very close to you being able to post to Flutterby with the Blogger API[Wiki], which I think would let you post to it from Radio. Mark now has source, I've no idea if he's found the XML-RPC bits yet. Want source before I go to Burning Man?

#Comment made: 2002-08-22 23:55:10+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

Unfornately no, not at this time. I'm already choking on what's on my plate right now (so much so that I'm planning to tell Ron I can't do the Millerswork stuff any more). Once I regain my equilibrium, I hope to become more of a code contributor to Flutterby.

#Comment made: 2002-08-23 04:24:16+00 by: rcade

  1. Radio Userland.
  2. I would definitely like to see HTML in the feed, though it's acceptable in the present form.
  3. I prefer feeds that don't limit item size.
  4. No complaints. Thanks for providing the feed.

#Comment made: 2002-08-23 07:17:05+00 by: jm

  1. custom code (derived from blagg)
  2. Links are ok. Other tags, I don't really mind, although blockquote and quote might be interesting.
  3. A full version of the post allows an offline reading. I like offline reading. So I prefer full post.It also means I can postprocess the full post (e.g. translation, smart filtering)
  4. Thanks for providing a feed

#Comment made: 2002-08-23 20:14:55+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

Okay. Cool stuff, but still has a way to go, IMO.

  1. I've tried FeedReader and Aggie now. I don't feel either one is perfect. I like the UI presented by FeedReader better (don't like that Aggie just builds and loads a web page - I'm trying to get away from my browser) but there aren't nearly enough configuration options to satisfy me. (Neither does Aggie, for that matter.)
  2. The current format is acceptible, although I'll admit I'd like to have hypertext links and see basic text formatting (italics, bold, etc.) Blockquote would probably also be helpful.
  3. In general, I don't like stuff (stories) to be truncated. But Flutterby users are also pretty good about not making horrendously long posts. The length of some of those Aggie posts are bordering on obscene [for this format]. So, I guess the upshot is that if truncation is up to the feed provider I don't think it's necessary here at Flutterby.
  4. The first thing that jumps out at me is the absence of who made the post. The other thing I think I'd like is to be able to read the comments, if that is possible. Maybe if they were part of a nested sub-section that could be expanded as desired... At the very least I'd like some indication that new comments have been made on a particular thread - maybe a "last comment" date?
And like everybody else, I'm appreciative of the feed :-) Thank you!

#Comment made: 2002-08-23 22:52:54+00 by: Dan Lyke

Wow, okay, I guess I didn't think that many people used aggregators [grin]. I use Opera or Mozilla, open a bunch of windows, and then Ctrl-W through them, so I don't find it that much of a hassle to read a lot of sites.

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback, it'll be a few weeks, but I'll try to come up with either additional feeds or a CGi which lets you customize the whys and wherefores. I hadn't even thought about labeling the contributor, since the code was initially written back when it was just me.

Does anyone know/care about the RSS .9x versus 1.x differences? If I had versions which were .9x except for the length of the entries, and allowed an html in the entries switch, would that be sufficient?

Finally, is there a format that might be better for those of you with the home-brew solutions? An XML feed that had strict HTML in it, so you could parse it into your own structures and display what you wanted?

#Comment made: 2002-08-24 00:28:34+00 by: Aaron

  1. errr... my site (using the PHPnuke backend)
  2. Keep the format as it is!
  3. keep da same
  4. keep da same

#Comment made: 2002-08-24 00:45:22+00 by: Larry Burton

  1. I'm using this.
  2. It works just fine for me the way it is. Any more HTML entities would just clog things up and break the spec.
  3. If I want to see the whole thing instead of just a synopsis there is a link that takes me to the whole thing right at the tip of my cursor.
  4. I can't think of a thing to make it better. Just remember RSS stands for Really Simplified Stuff.

#Comment made: 2002-08-24 21:24:09+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

Dan; Um... Ctrl-W closes my Mozilla windows. If I could only figure out the shortcut for switching between tabs I'd be a happy man...

Don't care about what version it is except that it's supported by whatever reader I'm using. And that may become a moot point 'cause I'm getting just dissatisfied enough with the ones I'm trying (and that I've seen) that I'm seriously thinking about writing my own. Most everything seems to be aimed at other blog providers (grrrr/sigh). I'm a blog consumer who doesn't like everything webified for me, and I'm finding precious little targeted to that demographic.

Another XML format would be fine with me once I start writing my own. I haven't found a specific RSS/RDF (even after all the reading I've been doing, I still don't grok the difference) parser for VB, but did manage to find a couple of XML parsers (including the Microsoft one).

#Comment made: 2002-08-24 21:40:20+00 by: Dan Lyke

Shawn, tabs in Mozilla is ctrl-page-up/down. In Opera it's ctrl-arrows.

#Comment made: 2002-08-25 04:36:55+00 by: Shawn

Ah-HA!! Dan, I love you!

#Comment made: 2002-09-04 20:02:54+00 by: Shawn

Now that I've been doing this for a bit, here are is my somewhat more educated feedback:

  1. Feedreader, because it gives me a more newsgroup-like, non-browser interface.
  2. As previously stated, I'd like to have hypertext links and basic/emphasis text formatting (italics, bold, etc.)
  3. I am finding truncated messages to be annoying. At the very least, I'd like the truncated point moved out some. The whole point for me is to avoid the load times associated with the browser. Having to go to the page to read the entire story defeats the purpose (for me).
  4. I don't have any complaints about the feed at Flutterby, but plenty about other providers. (Like the fact that Dave Winer apparently doesn't provide a title for his entries - so all I see is a list of "item not found".)