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My New Project: BendBlogs.com

Why no links today? Because I've been stupidly busy, that's why. That, and I've been working on a new project. It's slow, ugly, and not totally functional yet, but I'm working on it.

Basically what I'm trying to do is create a Central Oregon blog aggregator similar to ORBlogs, but on a much smaller scale. ORBlogs, while a tremendous resource, is getting huge. Since Paul, the guy who runs ORBlogs, has told me on many occasions that his code isn't ready for public consumption, I've had to take my limited programming skills (primarily PHP) and try to wing this.

I'm using lilina as my starting point for this. It uses the MagpieRSS libraries to do it's work. It's pretty slick, but doesn't do exactly what I'd like it to do. I'm trying to get it to output an RSS feed, for example, and it's caching is really weird so I'd like it to run via a cron job. And don't like its binary flat-file storage method, but I couldn't find a PHP script that would work well that I could actually understand (and I don't have the programming skills to write my own). And for the life of me, I couldn't get the other solution I found to work for the life of me.

So my to-do list for bendblogs.com (mostly so I have a reference point other than a text file on my hard drive):

  • Get the rest of the sites I have stored inputted and indexing.
  • Get an informational blog setup over there.
  • Figure out a way to sort the sources alphabetically (maybe play with the last updated stuff here).
  • Figure out a way to get an RSS feed for the site.
  • Figure out a way to smooth out the caching and speed things up.
  • Add a "Submit" and a "Removal" request forms, as well as FAQ, About, Contact, etc....
  • Customize the CSS quite a bit more (as that's one of the stylesheets that come with the script).
  • Get a credits spot setup.
  • And whatever else you guys can think up....
Things I've already Done:
  • Changed the PHP date variables so that they're actually readable by normal humans.
  • Made it so that entry summaries don't fill up the entire page (only am take the first 175 characters of the entries, sans HTML code, which I had to strip off as well).
  • Fixed it so that systems that don't store a title in their RSS feeds (LiveJournal, for example) will default to the first 25 characters of the entry as the title.
  • Commented out a lot of code for extraneous crap I don't need (like furl, google, and del.ico.us integration).
  • Created a cheesy logo.
  • Tweaked where various links were going so that things made a bit more sense.
  • Removed a crapload of extraneous javascript code.
Like I said, I'm not a studly programmer by any means, so I'm just amazed the thing is up and running and tweaked (learning a lot during the process here). If anybody wants to help at all with this, they will certainly get credit in the Credits area (which will be on the front page once it's all up and running). E-mail me (jake @ this site's domain) if you're interested.

But meanwhile, test it out, have fun, and let me know if you find something stupidly obvious that's wrong. Either comment here or e-mail me.

Posted by Jake on 04/07/05 @ 04:44 PM
Posted in Jake | Permalink

2 Trackbacks

Input Needed On Community Portal Software Packages from UtterlyBoring.com on 12/15/05 @ 04:40 PM:
For those who know me, you know I'm working on a couple community sites to compliment the Bend Blogs site. I'm finally getting to the point where I really want... (Read More)

An All New BendBlogs.com from UtterlyBoring.com on 02/13/06 @ 11:44 PM:
Nearly a year ago when I started BendBlogs, I had grandiose dreams of a great site with timely information, great speed, searchable, RSS feeds, etc.... Unfortunately, that never became much... (Read More)

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