Guesto

Aspiring Digital Raconteur

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Converting RSS feed content into HTML pages

Posted by guesto on May 30, 2007

My big plan for Guesto.com has been to find a way to keep it fresh and frequently updated, but as low-maintenance as possible. So for posting new content I figured the easiest way would be to use a blog – much like this one – for entering new content and then find a way to get the posts syndicated into my HTML pages.

Initial research on the Web suggested that I would need to install some PHP or CGI scripts onto my webspace, but as it is hosted on a free Pipex package I didn’t want to do that. Initial coffee machine chats with the techies at work suggested that I should build my pages in XSLT and use that to import and format how the feed content is displayed. That probably is indeed the most professional solution, but being as I am of limited time and technical knowledge, I was hoping it would be easier.

Luckily, I then stumbled upon this free javascript generator from an educational site that uses just a couple of form fields to generate feed content from the feed address and few parameters that you give it. Then you just need to play with the CSS on the destination HTML page to make it look as you want. Could hardly be easier.

Feed 2 JS converts RSS feeds into HTML

But how do you ensure that it only displays the posts relevant to the destination, rather than everything? This is exactly what I wanted to do on my Net page on Guesto.com – to only display the posts that I tagged as “Net” when I blogged them.

Well there are a few options I have found so far.

There is the simple to use FeedRinse, to which you give an RSS address and a list of what parameters you do or don’t want to allow posts for. FeedRinse then spits aout a “cleaned” version of the feed as one new RSS file, which you can then subscribe to or syndicate into somewhere else.

FeedRinse - Click to open in a new window

There is also the much more feature rich, but also much more complicated Yahoo! Pipes. This gives anyone the ability to completely remix feeds by combining multiple feeds into 1, de-duplicating, searching or just filtering like FeedRinse does. As it happens, this is exactly how the feed into the Net page on my Guesto.com site is working.

More news on cool stuff from Yahoo! Pipes later….

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