You're talking about a reasonable amount of work.
Let me clarify what data you would like out of LiveJournal:
- Number of comments posted
- Number of comments received
- Date journal started
- Last journal entry date
- Number of journal entries
Then, you would like to pull these data out of each of your friends.
Lastly, would you like to generate graphs for each friend? All friends in one graph showing each type of data? Both? Neither?
The data that you want to pull sounds a lot like userinfo.bml?mode=full
. You'll have to screen scrape it, since I don't think either of LiveJournal's APIs (XML-RPC
or flat interface
) will give you that data.
This is a process of getting the HTML and parsing it in one of many, many ways. My favorite is to use Tidy
to take HTML and generate well-formed XHTML or XML, and then use X-Path expressions to pull out the data you need.
To analyze the data and make graphs, there are many free graphing tools available for any language you're working in. One that I was recently introduced to was JFreeChart
which has a pretty simple interface for Java, if you'd like to go that way.
THEN, to have a tool that your friends can use, you'll probably want some sort of interactive website which pulls data off LJ once in a while (or on demand), generates some graphs, and makes the graphs available for viewing. This is another large industry - LJ itself uses PERL for dynamic page generation. Some other ways to go might be PHP, JSP, or ASP.
I think that's about it; three distinct steps to having an alternative web interface to LiveJournal data. Hope that helps.