Turning Off the Radio

Because I wrote the book on Radio UserLand, my decision to stop using the software on Workbench has raised a few eyebrows.By tradition, the first thing a weblogger must do with new software is publish a vicious excoriation of the old software, warning others to keep away, like a courageous relief worker marking a land mine.Textbook example: When Mark Pilgrim concluded that a Movable Type licensing change would have cost him $535, he declared the software a dead end, switched to WordPress, and ... (read more)

Deciding Whether to Drop Anchor

One goal in the move to new software on Workbench is to salvage incoming links from other sites. When you break weblog entry permalinks, you break links on every site that referred to your entries. Because I use weblog archives as a research tool often in my programming, I don't want to hose permalinks switching from Radio UserLand to my hand-coded LAMP software.I thought I could write a short PHP script to redirect each old Radio-style link to its new link -- just grab the anchor portion of ... (read more)

Now Entering New Frontier

I haven't said much on Workbench about my decision to adopt 3,018 webloggers this week, because, well, I'm pretty busy taking them out for walks, finding boxes for them to sleep in, and cleaning up after the inevitable accidents. Needless to say, there will be more Manila coverage on this site, along with tips on how to use it in conjunction with Radio UserLand and export data to tools like Movable Type and WordPress. To give you an idea of how weird this week has been, the following screen ... (read more)

Put Aggregators on a Diet

As a host containing thousands of weblogs, Weblogs.Com has to deal with one of the big scaling issues with syndication feeds: Once an aggregator subscribes to a feed, it could be checking the file multiple times a day, even when the site hasn't changed in years. For example, Java.Weblogs.Com hasn't been updated since 2001. A single user who subscribes to its RSS feed could be requesting that 13K file a dozen or more times a day. If the site has 20 subscribers, they could potentially be using ... (read more)

Wanted: Gluttonous RSS Feeders

Using MySQL and PHP, I'm cobbling together a server-based RSS aggregator/publisher that makes it insanely fast to skim feeds, choosing items for publication without much descriptive text or editing. The code makes use of two terrific open source PHP projects: the Magpie RSS and Atom parser and Edd Dumbill's XML-RPC for PHP. Erik Thauvin uses this approach on Linkblog, checking a mind-boggling 1,600 feeds for technology and programming links and choosing the best 15-20 items each day. His site ... (read more)

My Agenda: Really Simple

Now that I've accomplished something tangible as a member of the RSS Advisory Board -- when the history books are written, let this serve as notice that Rogers Cadenhead authored the RSS 2.0 example file -- I think it's time to reveal my hidden agenda. I'm finding that I can't talk about RSS or Atom any more without arousing suspicion about my motives. I joined the RSS board for three reasons, not counting ego gratification: RSS 2.0 is a simple, successful format that I use all the time as a ... (read more)

Open Source: the Final Frontier

Aside from an eWeek piece and a short mention by Dan Gillmor, the mainstream technology press has paid little attention to UserLand Software's decision to release the Frontier kernel as open source. Outside of the UserLand community, I don't think that many people realize that Frontier's kernel represents the core functionality of two actively developed programs with thousands of Windows and Mac users. This isn't an example of moldy software being released into open source when it's no longer ... (read more)

Archiving Radio stories and weblog entries

An e-mailer asks if there's a way to use my Workbench tool to display a list of weblog stories and entries on the same page. Radio generates the list of stories with a macro, radio.macros.viewStoryList(). To create a page that lists both stories and weblog entries, open one of the text files you've created that uses the viewPostIndex() script and add this line: <%radio.macros.viewStoryList()%> The page will be upstreamed automatically after you save it. If you'd like to add weblog entries ... (read more)

Tuning in to Radio's wavelength

Computer book reviewer Thomas Duff has covered Radio UserLand Kick Start, my unofficial manual for the software. Because Duff doesn't use Radio to publish his own weblog, his interest in the subject is mostly academic, but I appreciate the scrutiny. Radio's extremely tough to categorize. Though most people think of it as a weblog editor and newsreader, Radio's actually an innovative Internet development environment with a built-in object database, scripting language, and content management ... (read more)

Creating text date links in Radio

While redesigning Workbench, I learned that Radio UserLand macros can be used in customized images for permalinks and other icons. Using this feature, I created text-only date links: Change the Day Level Permalink field to <%longDate%> In the Day Template, remove the <%longDate%> macro. Add an <%archiveLink%> macro to the template. The macro will be replaced by the long version of the date, linked to a daily archive page. ... (read more)