All the news in your TiddlyWiki

I’ve put together a TiddlyWiki plugin that renders the output of a Yahoo! Pipes news feed aggregator into your TiddlyWiki.

There is some basic checking for different formats of news feed when gathering the content and author data.

I’ve attached the source code to this post (it’s a .doc to get past the wordpress js filter). As I’m writing this, I realise that I’ve broken the cross-browser compatibility I’d laboured so long to attain – I’ll fix this and post an update (it works in FF).

The usage of the macro is:

pipeMacro "URL of the pipe JSON feed"

Incidentally, to put this together I’ve had to learn a hell of a lot of things about the way that javascript works with HTTP requests, XML, DOM, JSON; lots about browser security and the way that offline files can bypass that security; how various Javascript IDE’s work and what their pro’s and con’s are.

Briefly, some things that I’ve concluded, in order of significance to me:

JSON is amazing – it basically lets you parse structured data in exactly the way that you’d expect to be able to, unlike when dealing with XML, which is tricky and verbose.

An IDE helps you program in Javascript – even though Javascript has a loose syntax, at the level I’ve been programming code completion/suggestion and syntax checking and highlighting have really helped. It’s one hell of a departure from notepad…

Offline behaviour of html files is poorly documented – I’ve made some edits to the wikipedia entry for the Javascript same domain policy to help improve the situation.

A good book is a must – I used and recommend the Rhino book to learn about various technicalities of the language and look up objects and methods. This level of documentation just doesn’t pop up on Google.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted July 12, 2007 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Excellent stuff Jon. I’ll have to play around with the code you published and see if I can’t do some additional cool stuff with it.

    James

  2. Posted July 13, 2007 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Great stuff.
    I’m sitting on the train downloading the examples to play with right now.

    Which IDE did you settle on? I used to use Aptana on windows and I love writing in Textmate on the Mac.

    Phil

  3. Posted July 13, 2007 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Hey Phil,

    I used a combo of Aptana, Coda and the Microsoft Visual Web Developer. I think Aptana is my favourite, although it’s unstable and slow to load.

    I’m still at the stage where syntax highlighting and code completion are pretty darn valuable to me… 😉