Some assembly required

This blog is about unimplemented ideas. At least until they get ticked off; I suppose a few eventually will have implementations too, but fresh posts never will. Because that's the primary purpose of this blog: keeping track of ideas I'd like to dive into, or problems I'd like to see solved. Feel free to join me in implementing, or further developing these ideas. I don't mind working solo, but it's a whole lot more fun working in concert!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Comments Feed for Blogger

This Hack Has Been Completed

The fully functional hack, with the extra features mentioned in the comments working, is available at http://bloggercomments.ning.com/. I have also written a page of instructions on setting up your blog to work with the service.



If I understand rightly the way the Farrago Recent Comments Hack works, then the recent comments on Blogger blogs could be output to the sidebar, or to an invisible section, in a similar manner but without the javascript and in a standard format that included the contents of the comment. Such could be styled / scripted to display as the blog owner wished, or to not display at all, as long as such did not alter the ability to parse the section (perhaps even using an easy-to-parse structure such as XOXO).

A server-side script could then be run on another server (or even, perhaps, on Ning, although I'm not sure this use would be acceptable given the purpose of the site) that would parse this section out of the Blogger page and use it to generate an RSS feed from the data. Thus a real-time, custom, properly encoded comments feed could be generated for a Blogger blog.

Update: Such a use would not be outside of the terms of use on Ning, however they will not allow you to use any GPL code, due to licensing restrictions, which means among other things that my XOXO library couldn't be used.

6 Comments:

Blogger Johan Sundström said...

That would indeed work. Rather nice an idea too, at that.

Regarding your XOXO library, you could still use it at Ning, if it is indeed yours (you hold the copyrights) -- unless you feel strongly about only releasing it under the GPL, and would not consider also having it under some special license for Ning use specifically. I'm not well read up on what license conditions code run at Ning must meet, but from what I recall, terms were decent.

 
Blogger Singpolyma said...

The terms at ning are decent, but the script I wrote to read XOXO is a part of my BoxtheWeb, which is a fully-GPLed project. Not a big deal though, XOXO is easy to read and not necesarily the only format that would work for this.

 
Blogger Johan Sundström said...

What I wanted to point out (and it may of course not apply in your situation; I don't know the details) is that if you wrote the code and if you can take it out of the library context and have it still do the job (=your code does not require parts of the library that was made by other creditors to work), then you can still use it, regardless of whether it has also been released under a GPL license. (As long as only your code is used; bringing in the rest of the library, of course, is still not an option.)

This should have been possible to phrase less verbosely, though I'm bad at that. :-]

 
Blogger Singpolyma said...

Oh, really? Not being very good at knowing licensing restrictions, let me just make sure I get what you're saying : If I wrote 100% of the code then I can license it under BOTH GPL AND a GPL-incompatible license, for different uses?

 
Blogger Johan Sundström said...

Yes, such is the beauty of holding the copyrights for your work. The GPL does not limit the creditor, only those who adopt his work under the conditions imposed by the license.

 
Blogger Singpolyma said...

Alright. A basic implemetation of the idea behind this hack is at http://bloggercomments.ning.com/. Currently all it does is poll URL you give it to extract specific XOXO data (which I should make a post on how to generate later) and then generate a page or an RSS 2.0 feed or a basic JavaScript feed or a JSON feed. If you pass tz=+/-n as well you get all timestamps converted into that timezone (ie tz=+1 is UTC+1).

Possible future features:
1) Some sort of email notification system that tells it when a new comment is added to a post no longer on the main page (so it acts as a true comments feed)
2) Cacheing of comments to form a comment history for each blog
3) Individual post feeds

 

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