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retrieving RSS feeds automatically (Read 7453 times)
Stephen De Gabrielle
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retrieving RSS feeds automatically
Aug 17th, 2007, 6:01am
 
Hi, I'm a little confused by p145-6 of the manual;

the instructions seem to set a whole tinderbox file to retrieve RSS, but nothing seems to happen.
Setting the URL seems to have no function, and changing the default value of autofetch for all new notes seems overkill?

When I enter the fields in a notes properties, (autofetch and url) and choose fetch then text turns up in the note just fine.

So what am I missing - what does URL in the document properties do in respect to retrieving rss feeds?
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Mark Anderson
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Re: retrieving RSS feeds automatically
Reply #1 - Aug 17th, 2007, 7:59am
 
Page 145, first arcticle describes RSS export, i.e. providing an RSS feed for others. That's what the doc-level preferences (HTML/Ping/Weblogs panes) are for. You are looking to receive RSS content so ignore that and skip to the bottom of page 145.

From "Receiving RSS feeds automatically" on page 145 through to the end of page 147 cover inbound RSS data. However, I think the first part of p146 is wrong.  A hour of experimenting and I still can't see setting the doc-level URL having any impact on inbound traffic.  Conversely, setting AutoFetch doc-wide default to true for the document saves you setting this on a per-note level in a TBX where you'll be using lots RSS notes. It also makes it easy to add an RSS simply by dropping the URL link from a browser URL bar onto a TBX Outline or Map view background. Note though that doing the latter results in ViewInBrowser being set to true, which might not be what you want.

Unlike the manual I don't see AutoFetch working until after the file has been forced to read the feed for the first time, i.e. using the Network dialog (Cmd+3). Once the feed has been read, I think it refreshes each time the note it open. After the first auto-fetch receipt of data the note becomes read only; this means you can't select and copy (or paste) test - you may need to manually set the note's ReadOnly tag to 'false' if you want to copy text from it. Links in the imported feed text do work (opening a browser window) but you don't get a link cursor, nor does Cmd+Opt+click show where the links are. Any HTMl in the feed is written out as literal text so scripting. Scripting whizzes might want to use the AutoFetchCommand attribute to strip HTML from the feed, though you might need to check with Eastgate whether that will stop the links in the fed being detected.

The two templates used in RSS import are in the app package at /Contents/MacOS/config/. The manual explains how to tell TB to use your own versions instead.

[Incidentally the reason you can't select/copy text from the v4 embedded Release notes is that they have the whole doc set to ReadOnly=true.]
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Mark Anderson
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Stephen De Gabrielle
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Re: retrieving RSS feeds automatically
Reply #2 - Aug 17th, 2007, 8:52am
 
Thanks, I didn't know I couldn't copy the retrieved document - I assumed that 'read only' meant I couldn't edit, not couldn't select.

As for links  - I tried you feed, http://www.acrobatfaq.com/tbx/rss.xml , and noted that it only detects absolute links starting with http:// - might be able to script something with wget and autofetchcommand to fix this.

Is there a 'native' formatting encoding that tinderbox imports that includes embedded links? (formatting?)

Also, once retrieved; is there any way of splitting up a feed into different notes?

Cheers,

Stephen
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Mark Anderson
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Re: retrieving RSS feeds automatically
Reply #3 - Aug 17th, 2007, 9:11am
 
Re copying read-only text.. I forgot I'd discovered by accident there is a way, use Cmd+drag-select. You selection can then be copied.  I've updated aTbRef to reflect this and had also  noted that use of AutoFetch sets the note's r/o flag to 'true'.

Re absolute/virtual links. Choices always bite.  I use relative links so that the web pages can be used fro the hard-drive with no web access (e.g. on the train - roaming wi-fi's not in my budget!). I can see that TB can't auto-'root' these relative links.  Looks like I can fix this but I'll need to duplicate a umber of the site's HTML templates so as to have relative links for the content and full links for the notes included in the.. actually that won't work as there's no way to switch out secondary/tertiary levels of template according to whether going to 'normal' HTML export of inclusion in the XML feed (a page might involve nested/recursed templates). Mabe I should just not put the whole article text in the feed and just list the titles.

On Question#2, don't know!

Question#3, I don't know but of you seed your rssitem template with some unique string you might be able to use TB's 'Explode' command.
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« Last Edit: Aug 17th, 2007, 9:15am by Mark Anderson »  

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Mark Anderson
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Stephen De Gabrielle
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Re: retrieving RSS feeds automatically
Reply #4 - Aug 17th, 2007, 9:18am
 
sorry - I wasn't complaining about your feed - its good practice IMHO to use relative links for a variety of reasons - and yours is a pretty good one.

I was more interested in getting a better handle on how TB processed it and how to better accommodate TB.

Thanks for your excellent and quick responses.

Cheers,

Stephen
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Mark Anderson
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Re: retrieving RSS feeds automatically
Reply #5 - Aug 17th, 2007, 9:39am
 
No problem, always interested to review how my feed might be improved and in looking at parts of the app I use less often.

It seems the area for which you seek more guidance on is the feed-to-TB data translation (beyond the mark-up of templates/command-line processing) which is under the hood of TB. If you're in a hurry to resolve this it might be worth taking up with directly Eastgate by email but Mark B will doubtless see this thread in due course.

You might also want to look at AutoFetchCommand and RawValue.
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Mark Anderson
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Stephen De Gabrielle
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Re: retrieving RSS feeds automatically
Reply #6 - Aug 17th, 2007, 10:24am
 
thanks


S.
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