A reader pointed out to me that the RSS page on my blog hadn't been
updated since May.
That must be when I updated PyBlosxom to the latest version and
switched to the python3 branch. Python 2, as you probably know,
is no longer going to be supported starting sometime next year
(the exact date in 2020 doesn't seem to be set). Anyway, PyBlosxom
was one of the few tools I use that still depend only on Python 2,
and since I saw they had a python3 branch, I tried it.
PyBlosxom is no longer a project in active development: as I
understand it, some of the developers drifted off to other blogging
systems, others decided that it worked well enough and didn't really
need further tweaking. But someone, at some point, did make a try at
porting it to Python 3; and when I tried the python3 branch, I was
able to make it work after I made a couple of very minor tweaks (which
I contributed back to the project on GitHub, and they were accepted).
Everything went fine for a few months, until I received the alert that
the index.rss and index.rss20 files weren't being generated.
Curiously, the RSS files for each individual post are still there;
just not the index.rss and index.rss20.
I found there was already a
I tried the workaround mentioned in the bug, at the same time adding
Atom to the RSS 0.9.1 and RSS 2.0 flavors I've had in the past.
I haven't generated Atom for all the old entries, but any new entries
starting now should be available as Atom.
Fingers crossed! if you're reading this, then it worked and my RSS
pages are back. Sorry about the RSS hiatus.
[ 09:10 Oct 10, 2019
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I reviewed my
Archos 5 Android
last week, but I didn't talk much about my main use for it:
offline reading of news, RSS feeds and ebooks.
I've been searching for years for something to replace the aging and
unsupported Palm platform. I've been using Palms for many years to
read daily news feeds; first on the proprietary Avantgo service,
but mostly using the open source Plucker.
I don't normally have access to a network when I'm reading -- I might
be a passenger in a car or train, in a restaurant, standing in line at
the market, or in the middle of the Mojave desert.
So I run a script once a day on a network-connected computer to gather
up a list of feeds, package it up and transfer it to the mobile
device, so I have something to read whenever I find spare time.
For years I used Sitescooper
on the host end to translate HTML
pages into a mobile format, and eventually became its primary maintainer.
But that got cumbersome, and I wrote a simpler RSS feed reader,
But on the reader side, that still left me buying old
PalmOS Clies on ebay. Surely there was a better option?
I've been keeping an eye on ebook readers and tablets for a while now.
But the Plucker reader has several key features not available
in most ebook reader apps:
- An easy, open-source way of automatically translating RSS and HTML
pages into something the reader can understand;
- Delete documents after you've read them, without needing to switch
to a separate application;
- Random access to document, e.g. jump to the beginning or end, or
- Follow links: nearly all RSS sites, whether news sites or blogs,
are set up as an index page with links to individual story pages;
- Save external links if you click on them while offline,
so you can fetch them later.
Most modern apps seem to assume either (a) that you'll be reading only
books packaged commercially, or (b) that you're reading web pages and
always have a net connection. Which meant that I'd probably have to
roll my own; and that pointed to Android tablets rather than dedicated
Android as a reader
All the reviews I read pointed to Aldiko
as the best e-reader on Android,
so I installed it first thing. And indeed, it's a wonderful reader.
The font is beautiful, and you can adjust size and color easily,
including a two-click transition between configurable "day" and "night"
schemes. It's easy to turn pages (something surprisingly difficult
in most Android apps, since the OS seems to have no concept of
"Page down"). It's easy to import new documents and easy to delete
them after reading them.
So how about those other requirements? Not so good. Aldiko uses epub format,
and it's possible (after much research) to produce those using
ebook-convert, a command-line script you can get as part of the
huge Calibre package. Alas, Calibre requires all sorts of
extraneous packages like Qt even if you're never going to use the GUI;
but once you get past that, the ebook-convert script works pretty well.
Except that links don't work, much. Sometimes they do, but mostly they
do nothing. I don't know if this is a problem with Calibre's ebook-convert,
Aldiko's reader, or the epub format itself, but you can't rely on links
from the index page actually jumping anywhere. Aldiko also doesn't have
a way to jump to a set point, so once you're inside a story you can't
easily go back to the title page (sometimes BACK works, sometimes it doesn't).
And of course there's no way to save external links for later.
So Aldiko is a good book reader, but it wouldn't solve my feed-reading
And that meant I had to write my own reader, and it was time to delve
into the world of Android development. And it was surprisingly easy ...
which I'll cover in a separate post. For now, I'll skip ahead and
ruin the punch line by saying I have a lovely little feed-reading app,
and my Archos and Android are working out great.
[ 15:14 Dec 20, 2010
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