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Simple software for checking for blog updates.
(+3, -3)
  [vote for,

Runs in your tray. Every 10 minutes goes through your list of favorite blogs, and downloads the HTML. Compares this to the last download. Either pops up a message if a blog has changed, or stays hidden until you click on it, then gives you a list of changed blogs.

Right now I go to my now-dead blog, then run down the list of linked blogs trying to remember the number of comments on each posting ([k_sra] right now has 10,9,9,13 - no, I didn't need to look that up). Having an easy method to check for updates would save time for us blog addicts.

This software would be easy to create. If I still had VB I'd bake this.

(originally posted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:12 pm on the Fakebakery while the real 'bakery was down)

Worldgineer, Oct 11 2004

halfbakery RSS view http://www.halfbake...ory:i=:t=mine_20RSS
RSS done well, does the job [neilp, Oct 11 2004]

microsoft blog http://news.com.com...1032_3-5368454.html
ms having problems keeping up with rss demand [neilp, Oct 12 2004]

A simple SOAP example. http://www.w3school...ap/soap_example.asp
Clean that bandwidth bloat right up. [jutta, Oct 12 2004]


       Would drastically boost the hit-counts of any blogs this ware was pointed at, and might be confused for referral spamming - isn't this what the RSS thingy you hear about is supposed to facilitate?
zen_tom, Oct 11 2004

       Yes, this precisely what RSS (aka RDF, ATOM, "syndication feeds," "XML feeds," etc) is for.
krelnik, Oct 11 2004

       Bah. Tried the ATOM thing (installed RSS Owl and everything), and even for the blogs it worked on it didn't update with comments, just with new posts. Blogware is a real tool for real people to use that will really work. The RSS thing just isn't there yet, nor will I base my browsing life upon it.   

       I drastically boost the hit-counts every time I go by these sites looking for updates. This would be an automated tool that would free me of having to do this.
Worldgineer, Oct 11 2004

       That (notes vs. posts) seems like a very minor detail in an overall existing system.
jutta, Oct 11 2004

       so depressed...
po, Oct 11 2004

       An overall existing system without that very minor detail doesn't interest me.   

       (why po?)
Worldgineer, Oct 11 2004

       blogs are soooo depressing... except k-sra's.
po, Oct 11 2004

       You're just reading the wrong blogs... except k-sra's.
Worldgineer, Oct 11 2004

       That notes vs. posts thing is an implementation detail on the host side of the RSS feed. For example, the RSS feed from THIS site does in fact update the item when someone posts to the thread. (So you could implement exactly what you describe using RSS for this site).   

       Either the blogs you subscribe to don't support that for some reason, or the host hasn't turned it on.
krelnik, Oct 11 2004

       And either way it doesn't matter, for I have no control over a host's behavior. Blogware will work without me getting every one of the blogs I watch to implement RSS, then set it up in the way I want them to set it up.
Worldgineer, Oct 11 2004

       hey [World] I think RSS does do this, and RSS readers do to (my HB RSS feed even does it so I can see how my ideas are coming along). I use Sharpreader and was even so bored I made an RSS feed for my website the other day. The problem is that people have just been thoughtless in how they've implemented it.
neilp, Oct 11 2004

       (the advantage of RSS over your 'download all the HTML' plan is that the bandwidth even for RSS is starting to get crippling for blog owners).
neilp, Oct 11 2004

       I don't think bandwith is a huge issue. When I swing by a web page the html is downloaded, but same with all of the pictures. If this just downloads the html it would use much less bandwidth than I do. If the 10 minutes bothers you we can change it to 30 minutes, which is a more reasonable comparison to a user's surfing.
Worldgineer, Oct 12 2004

       [world] see link. If Microsoft can't afford it, who can ?
neilp, Oct 12 2004

       (off topic) I just take a look at some RSS documentation, and something bothers me. Why isn't RSS encapsulated in something like SOAP? (if SOAP's still around, it's been a few years since I kept up with this stuff). Looks like RSS is just published like any web page, where it would be the perfect application for a request-response scenario to remove bandwidth bloat. Here's an example:   

       13:30(client sends)<request type="date modified" />
13:30(server sends)<response>2004-10-09;12:45:32</response>
13:45(client sends)<request type="date modified" />
13:45(server sends)<response>2004-10-09;12:45:32</response>
14:00(client sends)<request type="date modified" />
14:00(server sends)<response>2004-10-10;13:58:12</response>
14:00(client sends)<request type="RSS" />
14:00(server sends)<response><RSS version="1.0">...

       This would also allow for the user to customize what they would like sent in the response. Just have flags for a verbose versus a simple response, for example.
Worldgineer, Oct 12 2004

       Yeah. Everybody knows you can't customize webpages.   

       Just for clarity - those people who write the clients that ask for exactly the right thing and the servers that offer their contents in dynamically formatted ways - are those the same people who you don't want to ask to offer their modified date in RSS? Or are those on different planets?
jutta, Oct 12 2004

       I see a language developed that needs a special tool to read. If going that far to reduce traffic (which I assume is most of the point), seems to me the next logical step is a level of communication that would reduce traffic further.
Worldgineer, Oct 12 2004

       Unsarcastically, the concern with XML-derived protocols is usually not bandwidth, but extensibility and precision. If you're getting about 1:100 with XML, you're lucky. (A date is about 4 bytes; 8 if you want to play it real safe. Compare that to the requests with their headers and encapsulated bodies.) So, it shines if you're discussing sugar content in vanilla flavors of your fudge server (i.e. custom applications); it looks a bit ridiculous when applied to static, frequent, protocol-level mechanisms.   

       It is true that, when accessing a large database, being able to specify which part of it you're interested in will reduce bandwidth; but that can be expressed in many ways. There's the HTTP "HEAD" request; there's custom formatted webpages; there's fields in RSS summaries; and if you want to be really efficient, you could have a notification service push you a message whenever something it observes changes - like what you describe in your idea, but on a server.
jutta, Oct 12 2004

       Thanks [jutta](/off topic)
Worldgineer, Oct 12 2004

       [neilp] You're right. It can increase traffic. An ideal solution would be for every blog page to have some sort of last-modified date page, or some way of announcing to interested users that content has changed (such as by e-mail). However, that isn't the case. This tool admittedly acts selfishly when it comes to bandwidth, but I see no other solution.
Worldgineer, Oct 12 2004

       I'm there! ... I lose blogs as fast as I create them ... [+]
Letsbuildafort, Oct 13 2004


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