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bloglines-style client for reading LJ [Apr. 25th, 2006|10:22 am]
LiveJournal Client Discussions

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[jphekman]
I want to be able to read locked posts in bloglines, and I want bloglines to support cut tags. Neither of these things are ever going to happen, so I'm thinking what I really need is a client for reading LJ that formats my friends list like bloglines does.

I don't believe such a thing exists. In fact, I don't see any clients for reading LJ, only for posting -- am I wrong?

I'm considering writing a Firefox plugin. You'd choose "open friends list" from a menu item, and it would open a new tab/window and display your friends list formatted in frames like bloglines does. Items would be able to be "kept new" (which I believe means I wouldn't be able to use greasemonkey, because I'd have to go make requests directly to LJ, not just reformat the existing presentation of the friendlist).

Am I off track at all? Any suggestions?

Thanks all!
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Comments:
From: johnnysoftware
2006-04-29 07:34 pm (UTC)

some ways to do it, with varying degrees of slickness vs. simplicity

1. You could just suck the data from your friends' RSS feeds using a simple script in Ruby or Python, which you feed an OPML document you export from bloglines into and trim to have only the feeds you want to process this way. When you get to the item level, chase the link and scrape the portion of the data you want from the page. The output could be something really simple like a .html file, which you just load/read into your browser. If it always gets dumped to the file, you could book mark the file: URL for that file in your browser - or, simply double-click it on your desktop each time and not bother with bookmark.

2. You could write a Ruby On Rails program, if you know Ruby, that would create a little website (only accept local connects!) on your computer that would do similar thing to above. It would allow you do have a slightly more interactive page than the solution above. However, it is a lot more work. You might be able to make things somewhat interactive/fancy without going to this much trouble, by doing solution #1 and including a little Javascript to do DHTML. The nice thing about this solution is it would keep you out of the command line - not sure it is worth the work though!

3. Write an XSLT script to do it. You would have to run it from command line though. XSLT in the browser is purposely fettered to prevent it from running off to websites other than the one it was loaded from. LiveJournal is using XHTML and hopefully it is well-formed XML. RSS and OPML are XML as well. So an XSLT script should be pretty well-suited to this task.

4. Use the portal feature of Cocoon to do essentially the same thing as solution #2 but using a lot of declarative HTML rather than procedural scripting language code.

5. You could write a Java program to do it. Java has good support for XML - as well as XSLT - and it is capable of displaying HTML using certain text-components in the Swing GUI framework that comes with it.

6. You could write a Java applet to do it, though you would probably have to sign it, since it would not be loading from the friends' sites which it would be reading content from. All the friends URLs would point to the same domain but I think they are on different hosts. If not, perhaps it would not have to be signed; could always try and see.

Or, you could do a Firefox extension using Javascript, XUL, and what-not.
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