Charlie Harvey

My Drupal Life Aggregator

charlies drupal aggregator screenshot

I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with RSS. Its just simple enough that you can make something in an evening. But just complex enough that the thing could potentially be a bit interesting. So, I set out to learn a bit more about Drupal, especially about theming it.

I wanted to build a thing that grabbed all the various bits of stuff that I post on the internet and gathered it together in a single place. Something like the Wordpress Lifestream plugin though maybe not as flashy.

And I also wanted to get my hands dirty with my ox4 hostedDrupal site, , , . Particularly with the Zen theme, which I’ve played round with a little in the past, but never completed anything with. The challenge was to make it look like, which is the admin bit for this website.

I started about two in the afternoon and was all but finished by bedtime (at around midnight). Things that I learned in the process are as follows.

  • The microformatique optimus hAtom converter is very strange about parsing dates. I use it to make the RSS of my archive feed. This was the most headscratchy issue I hit.
  • Switch off caching when you’re changing CSS on a Drupal site. Seriously.
  • The Aggregator module is just good enough for my needs
  • Drupal 6 is a bit all over the place. A cursory glance at D7 seems to indicate that the drupal crew have fixed that.
  • Drupal people seem to like video tutorials rather than written down docs. I’m the other way round. You can’t cut and paste from a video!
  • The Zen Theme is pretty awesome

Well, my aggregator now aggregates and looks like my dotcom site. In a startling burst of poetic genius, I have called it Charlie's Drupal Life Aggregator. Maybe I’ll add other features as I go. Who knows?


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