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Better with Pie: Feed2JS 2.0! Testers Wanted

feed2js2

This is long overdue for users of my Feed2JS service, which allows you to place a dynamic feed in your web page without having to know anything about RSS or parsing XML. This has been around since 2003 and seems to still be used a lot. I’ve hardly done much on the code for 2+ years, but have long known there are looming problems because the underlying code that deciphers RSS feeds, the MagpieRSS parser has not been updated since November 2005.

Of course there are easier ways to embed with widgets in blogging platforms, but I still see a lot of use all over the place for Feed2JS.

Via twitter I got some reports that Feed2JS was barfing on some WordPress 2.7 sites (included my own, yikes).

I knew the recommendation was some surgery to replace MagpieRSS with SimplePie, a newer, cleaner, more versatile RSS parsing engine. So I donned my mask and PHP scalpel for a few hours Saturday, and was pleased to find it took very little effort to swap in the new parser.

It’s not been extremely tested, so I am inviting people to bang the lab version for a bit. Note that this is not anything that should be used for beyond testing, and as you will see it blasts a Big Ugly Banner to make sure you don’t. Ugh, I would not want that on my site.

feed2js0dev

If it looks okay, I’ll release the new code soon- am moving the source to Google Code from eduforge. And then I can start tinkering with some of the improvements SimplePie offers, including parsing of video in enclosures, control over date output formats, use of localization for date output, and more. There’s a lot to SimplePie!

And I want to send a big shoutout to Axel and the guys at Modevia Web Services who have provided the hosting for free for 3+ years. I would not be able to run this on my own site.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Comments

  1. I’ll try to have a look at this today. feed2js is a big help to me in embedding feeds in Blackboard and on the main uni website. Means I can push ahead with web2 technologies and bring content back into legacy applications. People think it’s magic!

  2. I tried clicking on the image at the top of the post and it took me to the dev version at http://feed2js.org/lab/
    When I tested it in preview I got full length posts regardless of option chosen with HTML used in item display (0,1, n>100). But if HTML used was set to ‘no’ or ‘preserve paras’ then I only got item headers, no description regardless of option in the description length section.
    There’s a start on the testing…

    1. @Kirsty Thanks for the testing.

      First of all Feed2JS has always ignored any arbitrary entered character length (n) when HTML is selected because of the issues of breaking tags- cur off one DIV tag and your page goes out the window. It says, “Use HTML in item display? (‘yes’ = use HTML from feed and the full item descriptions will be used, ignoring any character limit set above).

      I forgot to say if you report a problem that I need the URL of the feed you used; I need to look at the source of feeds to analyze the issue.

      Thanks again.

  3. Hiya,

    Did some quick tests. No bugs to report.
    Feed is http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/index.xml
    Preview looked like: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolaavery/3389976650/
    Tests:
    Pbwiki page – http://learnalot.pbwiki.com/
    WP blog page – http://aydindesign2.wordpress.com/feed2js-test/
    Regular (non-dynamic) web page* – http://www.aydindesign.com/feed2JS.html
    * My hosting of this site due to shut down any second, so will not be up for long, sorry !

    Shout if you want any more done – what a great app !
    Nicola

  4. PS, Sorry – forgot to say – the WP included the document.write code – but I’ve not done anything with that blog in terms of embedding code before – just pasted it in – not sure if I should have done or not!
    Nicola

  5. Thanks SO much Alan! Sorry to bug you via Twitter, but it IS the best way to get your attention. ;)

    I still love Feed2JS.Especially for pulling feeds from sites that are blocked by filters to sites that “aren’t.”

    Would love to see Feed2JS handle multiple feeds. I’d like to mix 10-20 feeds and pull just the dozen or so most recent items from the bunch. Right now I run multiple instances of Feed2JS, keeping feeds separate from one another.

    May be old, but we love it – and the fact that we can self install! THANKS!

    1. Thanks Dan- I had not thought of the filtering end-around.

      Feed2Js will be a one feed machine– as it is set up, you cant keep adding too much more to the long URL needed to make it work. besides, there are scads of Feed mixing services that can do what you describe, and you can then use the subsequent feed to publish via Feed2JS.

  6. Hi Alan
    Liking the new updated Feed2JS. It is finding some of my Chinese feeds and displaying correctly! See http://irishedubloggers.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-cog-dog-feed.html

    The old Feed2JS doesn’t even find this RSS feed, but strangely David Warlick’s build does find the RSS feed but does not display the correct characters – the utf option is not included.

    Looking forward to the update being released :-)

    Am going to use it for a ‘searchable’ RSS feeds site for the Edublogger Directory – preview here http://edubloggerdirfeeds.blogspot.com/

    Thanks
    Patricia

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