Roy Huggins (royhuggins) wrote in lj_clients,
Roy Huggins
royhuggins
lj_clients

Best Practices Question

My project isn't actually a client but my question is probably well answered by people who work on clients. So...

I have a collaborative storytelling project that interacts with LJ. It does so at a relatively superficial level (using RSS feeds and screen-scraping) and I'm curious if it would be best to use the LJ client API for the functions it performs.

Function 1) The storytelling system supports linking to stories that are posted in the author's LJ. To avoid dead links, it will check the author's journal (via the RSS feed) to make sure that the story is properly posted in his/her journal.

Function 2) When there are signs that a reader has had trouble finding an author's story in his/her LJ, the system will perform a follow-up check to make sure that the story is still posted in the author's journal. For this function, it screen-scrapes the page that exists at the LJ entry's permalink URL (e.g. http://www.livejournal.com/~royhuggins/123456789.html.) The screen-scrape is necessary because the post may be so old that it is no longer in the RSS feed. The guy's on lj_dev pretty clearly stated that this use of screen-scraping is okay. But I'm wondering if there is a better way.

Question: I haven't studied the client API beyond what mentions people have made in this community and in lj_dev. Before diving into the docs, I would like to see if people who work with it think that it would be worth my time. Would my bot be able to use it to perform the above functions? Would it be better to use the API than the methods I described above?

Thanks very much!
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