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"JavaScript RSS Viewer puts little or long customizable RSS boxes anywhere you put HTML; build your own slashbox hell or heaven, it's feedarific!" – Abbe Normal

JavaScript RSS Box Viewer

This RSS box viewer can display RSS feed versions 0.91, 0.92, 1.0 and 2.0 as well as even the good old legacy format Scripting News 2. (Sorry, no Atom.)

It provides a simple way to embed such RSS boxes in any HTML document via a generated JavaScript tag.

Simply enter the URL of any compatible RSS feed, modify the layout settings as you like and push the submit button. When finished, copy the HTML code into your own web page and voilà!

The script running behind this is written in Rebol, a cool internet messaging language. You can get the source code together with all the other necessary files (except the Rebol runtime) from the SVN repository.

Change log

2008-02-03 Made some more improvements especially regarding the error handling and output. From now on it should be much clearer what's wrong with a very RSS Box. Since there's now a lot more of client-side JavaScript code involved I tested the script in four major browsers that are available to me: Internt Explorer 7, Firefox 2.0, Opera 9.25 and Safari 3.

2008-02-01 Completely revised server- and client-side code. XML rendering is now done in the browser which speeds up things and decreases the load on the server. Furthermore, the list of referrers is now loaded on demand via AJAX and thus not rendered with every request. Finally, I retouched the setup form interface and cleaned up both HTML and CSS.

2006-12-20 I am very glad that my old little script is gaining even more attention after all these years... Thank you very much indeed! Since there are coming in more and more of the same requests and I am really not able to handle them (apologies!), here is some advice for everyone:

  1. Use cascading style sheets (CSS) to change font sizes (and to generally define your layout).
  2. Beware of opening links in a new window. It's offensive to your readers.

A happy end for 2006!

2006-06-13 Did some minor bug fixing again (amongst others replacing single quotes with ' and not " entities). Furthermore (and finally), I removed the "RC" (as in "Release Candidate") from the document title...

2006-06-12 Gary informed me that longer feed URLs cause trouble and the feed box will not be displayed. That's in fact a bug, but unfortunately one that cannot be fixed so easily. My suggestion is to shorten such URLs at one of the websites around that provide such a service, e.g. tinyurl.com.

2006-04-23 Switched the source repository from CVS to Subversion (SVN).

2006-04-20 Andrew Pam brought up a serious issue that probably might have affected some more people already: the viewer does not support UTF-8 (or Unicode, resp.) Unfortunately, this is "built-in" into the underlying scripting language (aka Rebol). I'm sorry to cancel those tickets... :(

2006-04-13 Fixed a bug reported by Mando Gomez that caused feeds using the <guid> element being displayed without item links... Don't forget to check out Mando's excellent website mandolux!

2006-04-12 Obviously Sam Ruby changed his feed format from scriptingNews to Atom; which renders my example link above pretty useless... So far I don't know about any other scriptingNews feed, do you?

2006-02-20 I hope nobody minds the little line I added at the bottom of each RSS box... Of course, it's not totally altruistic, but probably some people will find it informative. However, if you want to prevent if from being displayed simply add .rssBoxPromo {display: none;} to your stylesheet.

2006-01-11 New server, new troubles: I moved the viewer to a newly setup Ubuntu machine. Of course, I forgot to set some permission flags and owners, thus, preventing the script from working. However, I think everyhings's fixed and working again.

2005-11-16 Just testing Google's AdSense for a while. Since this page generates most of my traffic I wanted to see myself what a banner can do here. Hope you dont't mind.

2004-12-16 Bugfix: Sometimes the logfile which is used to generate the list of sites using this script gets corrupted. This affected the whole setup page to return an error and thus, it needed to be caught. (You will see a "currently out of order" message then.)

2004-04-26 Last efforts to officially release the code to the open source community. There have been some bugs in the (image) rendering framework which I fixed so far. I now include a dynamically rendered list of sites using (or pointing to) this script to give some examples for the curious at heart (me included). Finally, there's a README file with a short installation guide to make the script run on your own server.

2004-01-28 When something goes wrong (most of the time this might be a wrong URL, ie. a 404 as result) an "error" box will be displayed to signal the failure. Increased version up to 1.0 and labeled it as release candidate (RC).

2004-01-26 Retouched the code in a very last effort to make the script running stand-alone (with Rebol but without PHP, that is). Everything needed is now in CVS so everybody can download from there. Potentially, a few minor bug fixes might follow short-term. Uh, and the HTML code is valid XHTML 1.0 now.

2003-12-12 The mirror at curry.com is not working for quite a long time. I tried to contact Adam Curry but so far without success.

2003-03-30 Moved to new server with new domain forever.p3k.org.

2003-03-25 Updated Rebol to version 2.5.5. End of Rebol's "DNS zombies" in the process list. Finally.

2002-02-19 Added a very nice quote from Abbe Normal on top right of this document

2001-11-17 If you want a more compact view of the RSS box you can get it now using the corresponding checkbox. If it is enabled the descriptions of each item will not be displayed – given that the item title is defined (otherwise there would not be much to see). Additionally, the channel image (if defined) will not be displayed. Thanks jsyeo@compuserve.com for the suggestions!

2001-09-21 Since today the textinput tag is supported. It creates an appropriate form at the end of the box. Moreover, two bugs were fixed: one caused unnecessary information in the query string of the generated JavaScript tag. The other affected the display of the date's time zone. Time zones now are generally displayed in GMT except where another time zone acronym is defined.

2001-09-04 Added icons for enclosure and source; added XML button checkbox to enable output of the quasi-standard orange button linking to the XML source (idea by adam@curry.com).

2001-09-03 It's now possible to refine the style of the whole box using the newly implemented css classes rssBoxTitle, rssBoxContent, rssBoxItemTitle and rssBoxItemContent (idea by rdavies@orientpacific.com).

2001-08-24 Added a form input for limiting the item display. The number determines how many items will be shown in the box (seven is the default value). Good for often updated channels.

2001-08-15 Detected a strange bug that prevented the viewer at curry.com loading http://p3k.org/rss.xml while http://www.p3k.org/rss.xml was no problem at all. Upgrading the Rebol installation to the current version solved the problem, however the cause remains unclear...

2001-08-08 Fixed a small bug that corrupted channel URLs containing a query (as reported by kika@sloleht.ee). Configured server redirect from piefke.helma.at/rss.

2001-08-05 Thanks to Adam Curry, the viewer is now mirrored at http://publish.curry.com/rss.

2001-07-30 Added link to source code; added example links for all supported formats.

2001-05-30 Fixed a little bug reported by fredi@email.ee that caused diacritic characters to be displayed as entity codes.

Missing features

  • UTF-8 support. Coming soon?
  • Option for limiting RSS items display done
  • Support for text input done
  • User-friendly error detection done
  • Support for PICS rating
  • Support for day resp. hour skipping no option due to missing scheduler
  • Multiple enclosures (RSS 0.93)

Future development

I have ceased developing this viewer with Rebol but it will be available here as is. I am already testing a new prototype using Helma Object Publisher.

For questions and comments feel free to mail to interface@p3k.org, although I cannot promise to reply.

Thank you, p3k organisation!