Adventures in Syndication

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Jan 302017

I have a seemingly trivial task at hand: automagically repost things on the ol’ weblog from my public tt-rss atom feed. Just an excerpt and maybe a relevant picture, nothing too difficult.

I’ve been fighting it on and off again for years, recently finding cybersyn which worked but has its own bugs (like not aggregating anything without a valid thumbnail and filling my media library with gigantic stls from planet reprap. Still, it was the only one that actually fetched feeds with any reliability.

But to get excerpts and some other things I’ve had to hack it up… and have come to realization that I too must write another half-assed aggregation plugin. Or convince the cybersyn folks to add some filters to make it easier to munge things. Unfortunately that doesn’t fix things like it using php’s built in horror show of an xml parser (so I end up with feeds entitled “Article Title – Source Name” and there’s nothing I can do about — it’s just blindly catenating the title in <entry> and <source>, and the source comes last so that’s that without major surgery…

Running tests with my hacked up plugin set to post privately also reveals a social issue: I can easily share more than a full page of links in between real posts (if I actually journalled into the abyss… which I might be now). Thinking there should be some kind of squashing (e.g. everything posted in a 3h window gets thrown into one post). Or maybe not, tracking posts would be more annoying then. Trying not to think too hard about it and just get something minimal running soon.