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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Quick hack: rss2epub -- it does what it says.

One of my favourite things about Aran­du­ka as a project is that it's an end­less source of smal­l, lim­it­ed side project­s.

For ex­am­ple, Aran­du­ka is now close to be­ing able to sync my book col­lec­tion to my phone. But... what if what I want to read on the train is not a book but, say, a blog?

Well, blogs pro­vide their con­tent via a feed. And A feed is a col­lec­tion of HTML pieces glued in­to a struc­ture plus some da­ta like au­thor and such.

And there's a great mod­ule for pars­ing them, called feed­pars­er. And I have writ­ten not one, not two, not three, but four RSS ag­gre­ga­tors in the past.

So, how about con­vert­ing the feed in­to some­thing my phone can han­dle? [#] Would it be hard to do?

Well... not re­al­ly hard. It's most­ly a mat­ter of tak­ing a smal­l, sam­ple ePub doc­u­ment (cre­at­ed by Cal­i­bre) writ­ing a few tem­plates, feed­ing it the da­ta from feed­pars­er and zip­ping it up.

For ex­am­ple, this is this blog, as an ePub and here's FBRead­er read­ing it:

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As usu­al, the code is open, and it's here in aran­duka's mer­cu­ri­al.

It's not re­al­ly in­ter­est­ing code, and re­quires tem­plite feed­pars­er and who knows what else.

The pro­duced ePub does­n't val­i­date, and it prob­a­bly nev­er will, be­cause it has chunks of the orig­i­nal feed in it, so stan­dard com­pli­ance does­n't de­pend on rss2epub.

Al­so, you get no im­ages. That would im­ply pars­ing and fix­ing all img el­e­ments, I sup­pose, and I am not go­ing to do it right now.

[#] I first saw this fea­ture in pluck­er a long time ago, and I know Cal­i­bre has it too.