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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Thursday (2/19/09) 1:32pm - ... wherein Peter considers setting up a dedicated "Spanish for Everyday Situations" site.

Last week there was some discussion of making a dedicated web site for the weekly Spanish posts -- happywaffle even offered to spring for a domain name.  So I've given a little thought to how I would set something like this up.

If I do this, I want site maintenance to be as simple as possible -- that is, I want to set something up and then NEVER HAVE TO TOUCH IT AGAIN.

I also want to develop this incrementally, so that step one is not so ridiculously time-consuming that I never get around to it.


I figure step one would be something brain-dead like this:



That is, a banner at the top, a short description, and then links to the posts and the RSS feed.  Static content, and I don't have to mess with it, ever.


If I wanted to get slightly more fancy, I could do this:



That is, devote a chunk of the screen to the latest Spanish post.  (... and leave everything else the same.)

This is a bit tricky.  I assume there's some way to code HTML/JavaScript/whatnot so that the site  automagically reads the latest entry in the RSS feed and displays it in some way that's not eye-burninatingly awful.  This thread looks like it might have some useful ideas, but I'm really fumbling in the dark there.


Another interesting possibility is to turn this into an audio podcast:



... and add a link to the podcast to the main page.

This is actually quite easy from a web-development standpoint.  I already have an S2 style sheet that turns any LJ feed into a podcast.  So really, all that I'd need to do every week is to (1) upload the mp3 before I post, and (2) include a link to the mp3 when I post.  Simple.

Actually creating the mp3s would be trickier.  I'd need to record an intro and outro, and -- yeesh -- I'd need to record the content.  That's especially tricky -- I'd either have to embarrass myself by trying to record the Spanish myself (yuck) or find somebody willing to record the Spanish for me (unlikely).

So this probably won't happen, but it's fun to think about.


The last possibility I'm entertaining at the moment is something like this:



... that is, set up the site so that you can access any Spanish post within the new site.

I'm pretty sure my diligence would fall far, far short of this.  I don't know if there's even any way to do this with fancy RSS-to-HTML footwork.  And if there's no automated way to do it, I'll be damned if I'm going to go into the site and update its HTML guts every single week.


So that's it for now.  Odds are, if I can find a solution to the 'display the latest RSS entry as an HTML page' problem, I'll go ahead and pull the lever on the new site.

Tags:
Mood: [mood icon] contemplative · Music: none
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Comments:

[User Picture]
From:gregstoll
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 1:41pm
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I'm fairly confident the "display the latest RSS entry as an HTML page" problem can be solved pretty easily with some javascript. I'd be happy to help!
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From:gregstoll
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 1:45pm
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Hmm. Interestingly, the default RSS feed shows the full posts (with no lj-cut), but the RSS feed for the spanish posts just shows the link to the cut. Annoying, but probably workaroundable.
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From:gregstoll
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 1:48pm
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Although there's this external way of generating an RSS feed that results in this RSS feed which looks perfect!
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From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 1:50pm
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Excellent!  That's one problem solved, then....
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From:gregstoll
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 3:07pm
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I went ahead and coded up a sample here. Seems to work fine!
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From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 3:10pm
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Wow!

You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

~ many thanks ~
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From:gregstoll
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 3:12pm
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No problem!

Note that it does rely on a 7-line python script on my server, because of the cross-site javascript rules that I can never quite remember. (and it doesn't use that external rss feed generator - turns out LJ has a way to do it all by itself!)
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From:thefairyrebel
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 2:14pm
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I would like to see this on a real site, so I could send links around. I tend to think "Oh! Whats-her-face would find this amusing!" when I find things on the intrawebs. It would be like spreading the joy.

Also, have you considered some kind of monitoring system to track visitors? If it takes off, you could pull a little side revenue from selling ad space. Just a thought from a marketeer.
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From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (2/19/09) 2:21pm
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(I guess you mean "send links around that aren't just links to Peter's blog"?)

Yeah, if the site became wildly-popular and I wanted to monetize it, I'd probably go the 'audio podcast with an ad at the end' route.  I rarely mind that sort of thing w/the podcasts I listen to....
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