[sf-lug] BALE is updated and useful

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat May 3 01:42:52 PDT 2008

Quoting Sameer Verma (sverma at sfsu.edu):

> Any plans of providing an XML feed for calendering?

There are two obvious extensions that seem logical improvements. 
One is some sort of RSS data on each event.  A priori (meaning, in this
case, having not yet tried to actually _do_ it), the obvious thing to
try is just making newmonth.py add XML metadata in an HTML comment 
field on each generated event -- which then would get pulled out of the
database by the index.php file that drives the page at load time.

One of the more risible questions inherent in the RSS memespace is
_which_ XML metadata:  

RSS 0.90 
RSS 1.0
RSS 1.1
RSS 0.91
RSS 0.92
RSS 0.93
RSS 0.94
RSS 2.0.1

...which proliferation of semi-compatible so-called standards really
has never impressed me much.

(Hey, one of my two laptops just died the final death in the middle of
this post, but at least this draft message was unaffected.  Did I ever
mention how much I like GNU screen?  ;->  )

The second obvious way to implement that idea is to have a separate RSS
"button" that hyperlinks to a separately PHP-generated XML page with
_just_ XML-wrapped data from the events table.  

I'm not sure which makes better sense and matches user expectations, not
being an RSS junkie.  One thing for sure:  I'd have to add a field for
update date/time on the events table, and take that into account in
generating the feed, otherwise the quality/freshness of the resulting
RSS/whatever feed would suck rocks.

(I am also reluctant to attempt to develop this feature at all unless
and until I become comfortable with RSS reader/aggregator software and
its associated logic -- so that what I implement is actually useful
rather than just satisfying a feature checkbox.)

The other obvious extension would be some sort of enhancement to
generate iCal-formatted output -- maybe filtered per the user's
preferences about which groups/dates he or she cares about.  

However, since either of these would have to be something I'd write from
scratch (and debug), you're strongly advised not to hold your breath,
waiting.  OTOH, if you feel like downloading the PHP / SQL tarball for
BALE and developing it _for_ me, let's talk.  ;->

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