Critical Section

more full text feeds (Sailing Anarchy)

Saturday,  07/05/08  05:34 PM

Flushed with my recent success at creating some full text feeds (for Cycling News, Instapundit, and Powerline), I just finished a more ambitious project, and now have a full text feed for Sailing Anarchy.  Yay!

In case you don't know, Sailing Anarchy is a longtime blog run by Scott Tempesta which covers all kinds of sailing and sailboat racing news, with (as you might expect from the title) a rather humorous and irreverent air.  It is a great website, but it doesn't have an RSS feed at all.  I really don't read it all that often because I actually have to visit the site and figure out what's new; yes, I am that spoiled by reading news through my feed reader.

So this site presented a particular challenge, because it has two home pages.  Items are first posted on the first [main] page, where they do not have permalinks nor archive pages, and then migrate to the second page, where they get permalinks and archives.  So the full task was to combine the two pages in one feed and make it possible to link all the items, including especially the ones on the first page.  I began by slicing and dicing the two pages in order to create a full text feed; so far, so good.  Then I invented my own permalink indices for all items, with a mapping back to the location of the item on the site.  As items appear on page one they are assigned an index, and this is preserved for each item as it migrates to page two, and ages into archives only.  Each item links to a new CGI I created on  If the item has an archive page, the linked page redirects to the site's archive.  If the item doesn't yet have an archive page (still lives on the first home page), then the linked page synthesizes an archive page from the home page.  Pretty complicated and probably overkill, but it works (!) and now I have full text feeds for one of my favorite blogs :)


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