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Interweb Stuff Is Beyond Me Now

I keep looking at Jake Nickell’s blog and thinking, how the hell does he get his RSS feeds to automatically be transformed into blog posts, and can that be done in WordPress 1.5.2? Of course it bloody can’t. I’ve been through every WP plug-in I can find. I can have every post tell you the time in Javanese or something, but, oh, no…

I also covet the pure beauty of But I don’t have the time or, frankly, the mind to learn CSS and XML and Ruby On Toast and all this other interweb stuff you need to make a website go now.

This entry was mostly pointless and served only to point out that the interweb pisses me off.

Published in admin


  1. Tim Tim

    Have you looked at FeedWordPress? I haven’t used it extensively, but I just installed it on a test site and it seems to work OK.

  2. Aha. This may be exactly what I wanted. Thank you!

  3. I utilize FeedWordPress and it’s great! I do believe this is what you are looking for. My example: Zeitgeist

  4. I use feedList under WordPress 2. There’s a version that’s supposed to work under 1.5 but I haven’t tried it.

  5. FeedWordPress needs cron jobs. I do not understand cron jobs. All I know of them is that my webhost doesn’t allow them unless they’re powered by CGI (using Perl or Python) or a PHP file. I have no idea what that entails. I looked at a PHP thing called pseudo-cron and my brain broke.

  6. Cron jobs break my brain as well. I simply linked to the FeedWordpress update-feeds.php file. Each time I look at my RSS fed site, I click the link manually. It does the job, but not as smoothly I suppose.

  7. Cron files (“tabs”) are a bit arcane, and if your host doesn’t allow them then that’s a showstopper… feedList doesn’t need cron. I’m guessing that FeedWordPress probably uses cron to fetch updates to the feed periodically (which is nicer to the feed source than fetching the RSS file every time the page is loaded).

  8. Jeff Jeff

    You don’t neccesarily need a cron job with that plug-in, all the cron job does is ping a web address which can be done manually.
    Secondly you can use windows scheduled tasks to open a browser to that address every hour or whatever.

  9. “Secondly you can use windows scheduled tasks to open a browser to that address every hour or whatever. ”

    Not when I’m out of town and the computer’s switched off, I can’t.

  10. The cron generator utilities are great. If only there was instruction as to where to put them after I generated them.

  11. dave a dave a

    Unless I’m missing something, the cron generator utilities generate a crontab file for use with good old fashioned cron. If your webhost does not allow cron jobs, then a configuration file for cron will do you no good. You need a little script (cgi, perl, ruby, whatever) that pings the web address to update the page every so often, and that script should run on your webhost. What sorts of scripts will they let you run?

  12. CGI (using Perl or Python) or a PHP file.

  13. hey guys… there’s not really any service out there that does what i did there, you kinda have to build it your own. it’s fairly simple how i did it though and really it could be done even simpler.

    – i’m using php with a mysql database
    – i have a php script for each feed that i want aggregated into my blog that just parses the xml in the rss feed and adds each entry into my database if it doesn’t already exist (these scripts could be optimized to just be one php script)
    – i have a php script that includes each of the scripts for each feed and runs every 5 minutes with a cronjob
    – then the homepage of my site just selects the items in my database and outputs them

    you would definitely need to know how to use PHP and a database though to do it, which kinda sucks – maybe i’ll try to clean up my scripts and open source it a bit.

  14. Instead of a cron job, it would be better to use a cache; that way you’d fetch the feed no more than every x minutes, but wouldn’t bother grabbing it every half hour whether or not anyone’s looking. This is exactly what feedList does.

    FeedWordPress relies on a cron job and/or XML-RPC pings. You can manually generate pings, but at that point you might as well manually make the post.

    Tangentially, I’m pretty darn sure Jake Nickell is not using WordPress for that site. That or he’s modified it beyond my recognition. I plan to make a meta-site, but I was thinking of something more like Don’t meet your heroes. I’d almost certainly use Ruby on Rails because PHP has Serious Problems™ with XML (here’s an informative piece that’s still valid to my knowledge). It’s not clear that Globat would let you run RoR (after my staggering investment of a few moments of poking).

  15. Oh, so that was something of an invitation to kick me about the RoR software I plan, if you’re interested. I’ve been putting it off because, uh, who visits my website anyway :p

  16. I’m positive that Jake isn’t using WP. My point was more that I’m not going to try and migrate this bloody monster off WP, and so I would like that functionality in WP, etc etc… is pretty, but not what I had in mind.

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