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Hi, guys, Question: is there an easy way to read user's public… - LiveJournal Client Discussions — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
LiveJournal Client Discussions

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[May. 14th, 2005|12:55 pm]
LiveJournal Client Discussions
lj_clients
[uzhin]
Hi, guys,

Question: is there an easy way to read user's public entries without supplying
authentication (getevents requires password to be transmitted)?
Lets say, I want to fetch my friend's journal entries for a year ago.
Is there any way to do it by something that's not pure HTML parsing?

Thanks.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: vanbeast
2005-05-16 08:02 pm (UTC)
The client API is only available for reading one's own journal. You can't use it to programatically get someone else's journal entries.
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From: uzhin
2005-05-16 08:05 pm (UTC)
I see.
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: marksmith
2005-05-16 09:05 pm (UTC)
This is against the clients policy. You are not to be exporting data you have no control over. If you wish to read someone's entries, you must use a web browser and go browse them yourself, and not write a client to store them.

Any client found to be scraping HTML to download journals that don't belong to the user (heck, any clients that scrape HTML to download journals period) run the risk of being banned from the site.

You don't own the copyright to someone's content, so you have no reason to be downloading their journal. We provide archives for easy reading of someone's journal, and if they want to make a copy of their journal and publish it, that's their prerogative. :)
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
2005-05-16 09:24 pm (UTC)
How about a reading client? (e.g. would download and reformat (i.e. zap lj styles) journal entries, might do background downloading of next entry in series, be nice and cache stuff but only during reading session and would zap all caches on exit, designed purely as a semi-intelligent journal reader)

I can see why you'd block downloading other's journals, but I can also see valid reasons for wanting to use a client to read other journals. You could get very fancy and do intelligent text-to-speech and suchlike.
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[User Picture]From: marksmith
2005-05-16 09:30 pm (UTC)
You're talking about making a special web browser. Honestly, if you're downloading the HTML to display, and not outright storing it (i.e., just cache it -- don't save it indefinitely) then there's not much to say about that.

Make sure the client is intelligent -- prefetching the next page is fine, but it must not be multithreaded and it should cache for short periods. Generally, if you're just being smart and writing a smart web reader for content, that's fine.

What we don't want any of is local download and storage. That's just not kosher from a copyright standpoint.

We do export RSS feeds of all journals, and you can use those to get recent entries. That's the encouraged form of making something like an intelligent reader. You get the recent entries and such, but you don't have access to the archives. It's a compromise, but a good one, IMHO.
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From: uzhin
2005-05-16 09:52 pm (UTC)
What we don't want any of is local download and storage. That's just not kosher from a copyright standpoint.

Well, thats what I was interested in.

Is it written somewhere in the legal stuff? Is there a definite rule, "do not cache entries in LJ"?
If yes, then what about search engines, they do store caches of the pages here, don't they?
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[User Picture]From: marksmith
2005-05-16 09:59 pm (UTC)
I didn't say no cacheing. Cacheing briefly, such as search engines and proxies do, is okay. Storing a local copy of someone's journal is what we want to discourage.

Also, if you search Google, you might notice that they don't cache LiveJournal pages. You just get a link and the subject -- no actual content.
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From: uzhin
2005-05-16 10:07 pm (UTC)
So the problem is displaying local copy, not storing it.
That means you have no problem with a client which collects LJ entries,
stores them locally and allows search, as long as it doesn't display actual content of entry but only a link.

May I ask why displaying cache is discouraged?
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
2005-05-16 10:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that!

It's something that I've been toying with the idea of writing for some time. I presume if I want to test with a beta version, then it's fine as long as I don't do anything evil to the LJ servers.
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[User Picture]From: marksmith
2005-05-16 10:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, and I always love to beta things. I have access to Mac, Windows, and Linux desktop machines, so you can always feel free to email any beta to me and I'll critique it. (I even do code reviews, if you are going to open source, etc.)

I'm also nominally in charge of the downloads page. Note that for a client to be on the downloads page it has to be free -- but it does not have to be open source, although we encourage it.
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[User Picture]From: marksmith
2005-05-16 11:23 pm (UTC)
I didn't say it's not possible, but it's not a feature we currently offer.

This has been proposed in the past, but we haven't really gone forward with it. Perhaps it's something to add in the future, but there's still the server load problems. It takes a lot of database effort to access old archived content (relative to accessing recent and often used content), so it's a service provided to web browsers and journal owners only. For one of many reasons.

But yeah, I don't see a problem with that option -- it's just not a priority, and not something we've really talked about much.
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From: euk
2005-05-16 11:39 pm (UTC)
What we don't want any of is local download and storage. That's just not kosher from a copyright standpoint.

Kosher? What do you actually mean? Is it related somehow to Talmud?
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[User Picture]From: marksmith
2005-05-17 12:14 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: isapioff
2005-05-17 09:13 am (UTC)
What about off-line client on pocket pc? Is it prohibited to write a programm which synchronize with LJ server and allow user to read friends journals offline?
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