RSS Feeds for BG News and DP Network (Updated)

This was originally written in March 2003. I have edited and added to it now in February 2004. Our users wanted it. So I had a challenge in head of me. The RSS feed is complete! Boy oh boy am I exited about this. Web Monkeys just get exited about stuff like this. I have coded 2 RSS templates for The BG News CMS with some syntax help from Eric at Digital Partners (DP). Digital Partners home grown CMS (they call it Open Communications System or OCS these days) is written in the SMARTY php temple lanugage. SMARTY was closed, but ispi has open sourced it, so check it out if you get the chance. I like SMARTY a lot, I wish I had more time to learn more. Since March 2003 I have worked on editing a few different templates, and am starting a new template, and in doing this I have learned a lot about SMARTY. I really like this CMS, I like the logic I am afforded the most I think. I wish I could write my own PHP backend so I could install it on my own server and use it. I have created a RSS feed pulls the 3 most recent articles from each section. It is a 1.0 feed, I will not be hard at all to create a RSS 2.0 feed. I created the RSS 2.0 feed, and both validate, well, sort of. The RSS 1.0 feed has some white space at the beginning of the feed, and the validator does not like that. If I manually take out that white space and re-validate, it works. Eric figured out how to fix this with my RSS 2.0 feed, and since that is the one we publicize, we never went back to fix the white space problem in the RSS 1.0 feed. What I am most proud of is the fact that every school's site in the DP network can now use the RSS feed that I created. All told from the time I started pestering Digital Partners about having an RSS feed for our site, to completing both templates, to final legalese, it was about an entire year. Being able to contribute the RSS template to the network is really great. Its not really much, but hey, its more then nothing! I know DP was working on a syndication scheme that was home grown and not standards based, and since I was pushing RSS so much, Monte wrote a RSS Plugin, which is so great for the community. It sure is better to have a standards based syndication method. At first Digital Partners was apprehensive about the RSS thing. They charge for syndication of their content in a lot of their sites (Digital Partners is but one network in the ispi family). I am glad they finally decided to green light my RSS idea. Tomorrow I will put an article in our "Resources" section of the site detailing the feed as well as how to use if for people who don't know what RSS is. I have had a number of emails from users of bgnews.com and this sure will make them happy. I added the article, but have yet to add the info for Windows, using FeedReader (because it is free). This is still on my list of things to do. This is the addy for the feed: well it seems that there are legal and business issues that Digital Partners is dealing with right now. so until they get resolved I am not going to post the feed. Legal and business issues are finalized. You can get to the feeds here: http://www.bgnews.com/?template=rss http://www.bgnews.com/?template=rss2 Now if you go to that web page, and then try to go anywhere else on bgnews.com you will find yourself going absolutely nowhere fast. This is because the site has set a cookie for that template. Click here: http://www.bgnews.com/?template=default That will get you back to the main template. Also if you want to see the PDA/Mobile Phone template, I recently tweaked it a bit: http://www.bgnews.com/?template=pda The pda template is also a great way to view the site on low bandwidth. Next up is a text only template. It will be like the pda template but have all the functions as the main template such as the archive and the search etc. etc. I am about halfway done with the text template now: http://www.bgnews.com/?template=text Next on the list is a total rewrite of the default template, that has been up for a few years now, and it is getting old. I don't like it anymore. I want a proportional design. The work is never done.

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