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May 05, 2003

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RSS Feeds into Blackboard

Not to be outdone by Brian (Displaying RSS Feeds in WebCT), I found a niche of time to do the same proof of concept in Blackboard.

Here are some screens of two feeds in one Bb page, one from HUMBUL:

and one from our MLX:

While one could use the same approach (using an external RSS to JavaScript parser, see details), I munged my own PHP parser- just pass it as a param your favorite XML and it returns a JavaScript set of commands that write the content to any web page.

For a rough version of the running parser see this example that does it for our MLX:

Tossing it into a Bb page is a matter of writing the correct JS tag:

<script src=""></script>

so one one just have to change the value of src= for the desired feed.

Getting fancier involved inserting some CSS. More on that later. It is really crude, but making it pretty would just take a bit more time.

(1) The XML Parser is the OnyxRSS conde from ReadingEd. Be sure to check the docs there.

(2) Because D'Arcy is listening, here is the source to my PHP script.

blogged May 5, 2003 01:04 PM :: category [ rss ]
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Alan, that's great! Any chance you'd share that .php?

Commented by: D'Arcy Norman on May 5, 2003 01:43 PM



See notes I added above. It likely would have been easier to use the same Adam Curry RSS parser Brian et al did, but I wanted to see what it took to run my own. That was the easy part, I fumbled more with typos and other goofs.

Also, watch the items in the RSS that might need escaping in the JavaScript (quotes tripped me a few times),- I also do not know what do do about the XML that is dynamicly created by scripts (e.g. from CAREO and our MLS Search) as it yields calls to my parser with double query strings (??)

Commented by: Alan on May 5, 2003 01:59 PM


D'Arcy is _always_ listening... Might not be communicative, but I'm listing.

Thanks for posting the source to the PHP/RSS thingy!

Commented by: D'Arcy Norman on May 5, 2003 02:15 PM


Thanks, Alan. Great resource. Hey, does anyoen know how to open another page within the WebCT Homepage? WebCT doesn't like iframes and I've not had luck with bypassing the Javascript within WebCT. Would appreciate any hints.

Commented by: Randy Brown on May 5, 2003 03:39 PM



Great to see OnyxRSS is working out for you. I found this post of yours through my referral logs. The College I attend uses Blackboard, maybe I'll show them the way. :)

Commented by: Ed Swindelles on May 9, 2003 05:18 AM

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