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Early hacking in necho

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Sam Ruby asked for us to begin experimenting with implementing the necho data format and see what happens. So I spent an hour last night adding necho feeds to my blog. I snagged a necho file from Mark Pilgrim and built it from that.

Not being content merely to produce a necho file I toyed with the idea of hacking together an aggregator. So I spent a bit of time scanning through the nntp//rss aggregator, and inserted a few lines here and there. And.... it works! Mark Pilgrim's and Phil Ringnalda's feeds worked, so did JoelOnSoftware.com (and so did my main feed - touch wood).

The author of nntp//rss, Jason Brome, has announced to supporting necho when it is formalised - which is great news indeed. This mod of mine is for my benefit alone, and not going to be part of the nntp//rss releases.

For people wanting to experiment with necho and an aggregator, they can download my hacked jar file nntptss.jar - this is a drop-in replacement for the currently existing nntprss.jar file from version 0.3. The only file I changed was Channel.java, and it is hacked - there are better and cleaner ways of doing it, no doubt Jason will have a proper implementation when the spec crystallises.

I suggest that users make a backup of the original nntprss.jar file before writing my hacked up copy over it.

When adding a necho feed through the browser admin interface, unselect the "validate" checkbox - since necho isn't going to validate as either RSS1.0 nor RSS2.0

I have to admit, I didn't think I'd get something working in an aggregator today - and this is largely due to the clarity and readability of the nntp//rss code. Excellent work Jason.

Disclaimer: Necho isn't a formalised spec, therefore it is subject to change at any time. Therefore, this aggregator change can break at any time. Please use at your own risk. I made this change for fun, so the quality of my changes hasn't been fully tested, and so cannot be acceptable as production ready code. For serious nntp//rss users, please stay with Jason Browe's 0.3 release (and nntp//rss 0.4 which is due shortly). The modifications I've made are strictly experimental and no guarantee it will work for you. Please back-up your files and configurations before attempting to use my handiwork.

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