I've been experimenting with the use of RSS to publish Web content: Writing entries in Radio UserLand that are stored in an RSS-only category, using a cronjob to retrieve that RSS data every five minutes, making a few search-and-replace changes to the RSS with Perl, turning the data into an HTML file using wget and PHP, then including the file on a Web page.
Radio makes it easy to route entries to several categories that are published on another site. The entries also can be collected in an additional category for an RSS feed.
The process works, but I ran into three familiar obstacles with Radio's category support:
- Radio assumes that a category's RSS feed isn't being published elsewhere. The feed's link element has a category URL, which would send aggregator users to Workbench instead of the desired destination.
- Category feeds preface the feed's title element with a Radio user name ("Rogers Cadenhead: Drudge Retort" instead of "Drudge Retort"). This used to happen for the main RSS feed of Radio weblogs -- the change never was extended to categories.
- Category feeds use the same user name and e-mail address as the main weblog in several RSS elements, which is a less significant issue but still needed to be addressed.
Though I could handle these changes with Perl, it's a Rube Goldbergian solution that would be out of reach for Radio users without shell accounts on their Web server. My father-in-law Clint Moewe is using Radio's categories feature to publish a second weblog, St. Augustine Vacationer, and he'd like to tweak the RSS feed to reflect the correct URL and webmaster e-mail address.