RSS working?

I think I’ve managed to work out a system to make RSS work. Basically I write my blog entries into a raw RSS file, and then run a little Python script to add ids, links etc. and generate an HTML page from that. It’s been a hassle to write (mainly due to timezones, which I’ve now decided to ignore) and if anyone’s interested in some highly-customisable blogging software that only requires FTP on your web host, get in touch, especially if you’re the kind of person who thinks its cool to hand-code your RSS.

RSS

I really should provide an RSS feed. Does anyone know of a good reference on the simplest form of RSS that I can use to auto-generate some RSS from the HTML of this page? I’m prepared to do a little python coding to make it happen. Give me an email if so.

Speaking of giving me an email, wouldn’t it be great if I could have a proper blog that allowed comments? Well, I’d need a web host that allowed PHP or something, and that would cost money. If anyone knows of a good free hosting service (built on Free Software, preferably) let me know. I’ve registered on advogato.org but although I have finally managed to work out how to post to a blog, it doesn’t allow comments, so the only benefit it offers is an RSS feed, and the lack of control is not worth that to me yet. I may get frustrated with my home-grown HTML/FTP solution, but for the moment I’m quite enjoying it.

What is going on with FreeGuide?

I thought I’d write a little bit about FreeGuide, since I’m planning to link this page off the FreeGuide page.

I’m the lead developer on FreeGuide, and having just started a new job (which so far is excellent) my free time is seriously limited, especially as my commute is 1.5 hours at the moment. I expect as I settle in I’ll find more time, and I also hope my commute may reduce in a few months. In the meantime I’ve had to fall back into maintenance mode, but fortunately there are several contributors stepping up to add long-requested features. The most prolific contributor has been Alex, who has been working on a number of excellent new features in our development branch. That branch started when Risto refactored the code into an MVC style and optimised the display to speed up massively operation with more than about 10 channels.

That branch has been around _far_ too long, as it’s a maintenance headache to look after 2 quite different branches, and it causes confusion when people send in patches against old code.

I really want to make the development branch reasonably bug-free and then declare it stable and retire the 0.8.x branch once and for all. I hope we can do that pretty soon.

Meanwhile, Alex is adding more features, the most notable of which is the plugins system. That will eventually allow you to download and install new listings grabbers without upgrading FreeGuide itself, and plug in loads of other things like exporters, recording schedulers, and loads more. Also excitingly soon to go in is the recording scheduler system developed by Reuel and integrated by Alex.

I want to make 0.10.x stable next release, then get those features in (probably under a 0.11.x name), stabilise them, go through the TODO and make a _short_ list of things to do before 1.0, do them and NOTHING else, and then finally release 1.0. It would be great if the plugin system turned out to be flexible enough to handle all the new thigns people suggest, but if not I plan to keep the 1.0.x branch stable long term, and allow further changes in a 1.1 branch.

The features I think are needed for 1.0 are:

  • Recording (through a TV card) while FG is running
  • Scheduling recording
  • Coloured favourites
  • A manual and help

Hopefully not a lot else…

Google

Can’t decide what to think about Google. I was very suspicious about gmail, and this whole portal business is very boring, and _so_ corporate, but you really can’t argue with sponsoring open source contributions, can you? If doing this kind of thing starts being seen as the way to impress the developer community (and therefore recruit the geekiest geeks) then everyone wins, and world domination is one step closer.