MyBookFeeds Development Progress

Have been mucking around with MyBookFeeds.com today to try to get it working. So here’s what’s been happening:

1. Set up lylina. The problem is this hasn’t been in active development for some years now, but as a basis for an aggregator it should still hold it’s own. Unfortunately, lylina’s own aggregated feed threw out some deprecated function errors, and that would require me to delve into some PHP to fix. Nope, this isn’t good.

2. Looked up SimplePie plugin for WordPress. Now this is very interesting. Setting up WordPress sites now has become a very trivial matter with my new webhost, and after a few minutes of setup I was ready to rock. Then I found out that the plugin simply facilitated the use of SimplePie within WordPress, and it still required some programming in PHP! The plugin provided nothing in the way of a lylina-like admin console that allowed me to add feeds and customize the look. This is meant more for those who would like to add feed reading capabilities onto an existing WordPress blog, and is less a tool to create a brand new aggregator site. I figured if I were to code in PHP using SimplePie, I might as well do it from scratch, and have full control over what I needed the site to do.

3. Spent a quick hour looking at the SimplePie library. Already skirting around the possibility of diving straight into PHP. All the sample codes and tutorials were wonderful to look at, but to get it to what I want MyBookFeeds to do would still require heavy coding. Something definitely to consider in the future to do. Right now, though, I’m still looking for a quicker kill.

4. Relooked at lilina. I missed it the first time yesterday, but lilina surprisingly is still being worked on, the latest being in sept 2010! The reason lylina was chosen (and this was something brought forward from my research from several years ago when I first looked at doing MyBookFeeds) was because lilina behaves like Google Reader – it retrieves data from feeds when you visit. Lylina caches the feeds and will display static pages to visitors instead, which is a much better design choice for what i want MyBookFeeds to do. Well, it looks like lilina has gained this ability as recently as early this year, and a cron job can now be set up to refresh the content of lilina sources. Now we’re talking.

5. I started with the nightly build of lilina, and tried to set that up. I thought better to use the latest and greatest, what the author of lilina calls ‘bleeding’. However, the bleeding part was true for the wrong aspect – I spent almost 2 hours grappling with the install. There were invalid PHP calls when I attempted to set it up, and i was bleeding from my ears troubleshooting this. Then I remembered that I could fall back on the beta build, which is supposedly the last stable version. Thankfully that worked.

So now MyBookFeeds is up and running again, this time with lilina, and looking much better with a working rss feed.

Next up: interface tweaking!


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