fhwang.net

FeedBlender 0.1.0

I’ve just released FeedBlender 0.1.0. FeedBlender is a program for combining a list of RSS feeds into one unified RSS feeds; it’s handy for situations such as conferences, where you might want to collect a bunch of conference-related feeds into one feed for attendees to subscribe to.

FeedBlender is written with a priority on ease of installation and configuration. It’s contained in a single Ruby file, has no dependencies outside of the Ruby standard libraries, and walks you through each necessary step.

All you do is start the feedblender.rb script, and it walks you through the configuration options:

$ ./feedblender.rb
First, let's get some basic configuration questions.
1/5: What directory should I use to hold my work files?
[/Users/francis/.feedblender]
2/5: What feeds should be included in the blended feed? Enter each URI on a
separate line, and then enter a blank line when you're done.
http://slashdot.org/slashdot.rss
http://www.plastic.com/plastic.xml
http://arstechnica.com/etc/rdf/ars.rdf
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/rss.xml
http://fhwang.net/rss/latest.xml

3/5: Where on your hard drive should the blended feed be saved?
[/var/www/html/blended.rss]
4/5: What do you want to call this new feed? My new feed
5/5: What's the main URI of your site? http://fhwang.net/
Next, you may want to set some advanced configuration settings, such as an
email address so people can send you comments, how often the RSS feeds are
polled, and how many items your blended feed should contain. These are
optional.
Do you want to enter advanced settings? [n]
Adding feedblender.rb command to crontab ...

Once you’re done, it generates the feed for the first time, and saves its configuration file to disk.

$ more ~/.feedblender/config
--- !ruby/hash:Configuration
:workdir: /Users/francis/.feedblender
:output_file: /var/www/html/blended.rss
:title: My new feed
:time_to_refresh: 30
:logfile:
:description: This blended feed is generated automatically by FeedBlender.
:feeds_to_check:
  - http://slashdot.org/slashdot.rss
  - http://www.plastic.com/plastic.xml
  - http://arstechnica.com/etc/rdf/ars.rdf
  - http://www.joelonsoftware.com/rss.xml
  - http://fhwang.net/rss/latest.xml
:link: http://fhwang.net/
:feed_item_length: 50
:webMaster: ''

It also takes the liberty of editing your crontab for you:

$ crontab -l
*/30 * * * * /usr/local/bin/ruby
/Users/francis/Tech/feedblender/feedblender/bin/feedblender.rb --config
/Users/francis/.feedblender/config

This is the first working release. Future plans include support for Atom and support for Conditional GET.

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