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Correct RSS2 post times in NetNewsWire2 Apps
I have been experimenting with a few of the features in the public beta version of NetNewsWire 2.0. I have been downloading the RSS2 feeds that robg provides for the MacOSXHintsForums. As he has explained to me, there is a format bug in the way vBulletin (used by the forum) formats post times, and RSS newsreaders (certainly the beta version of NNW2) interpret these times across different time zones. Here in the UK, post times are displayed four hours ahead of my actual time. Which gets a little confusing! Hopefully, Ranchero Software et al will shortly address this issue. There is a workaround however, which demonstrates a new nifty feature of NNW2 - producing feeds via Applescript.

This AppleScript is called by NNW2, and it downloads a user-defined RSS feed with URL Access Scripting, processes the XML so as to correct the times for NNW2, trashes the original RSS feed, and passes the corrected RSS feed to NNW2. I have not employed an XML processing library with the AppleScript, not because I thought that users might not have one, but because the vBulletin feed wouldn't validate in any library I tried. Fortunately, the necessary changes aren't too complicated.

The correct time can be made to display by editing the time given in the date-time fields to GMT -- i.e resetting the given time zone offset to "00:00" gives NNW2 a benchmark from which it can calculate the correct post time for your system relative to GMT. Save the script as a compiled script in the place of your choosing. I have used the folder '~/Library -> Application Support -> NetNewsWire -> Scripts.' RSS feeds will be downloaded to '~/Library -> Application Support -> NetNewsWire.'

To get NNW2 to actually run the script, follow the instructions given in help under "What's New in NNW2" -> Script Subscriptions. To get the right feed, enter the RSS URL as the only argument. Although not mentioned, the script will not run while the argument remains selected, so be sure to deselect before trying. The script has been written to be as general as possible. I notice the same issue seems to occur with feeds from some other sites, too. Hopefully, the above script will work on them as well. Undoubtedly, the format issue will be resolved fairly shortly, but hopefully by then some cool applications will have been produced for using the script subscription feature.

[robg adds: See this thread on the forum site for the specific URLs for the various RSS feeds available...]
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Correct RSS2 post times in NetNewsWire2
Authored by: bluehz on Sep 29, '04 12:43:55PM

This is FANTASTIC! Mainly because I never knew there was an RSS feed for the forums. Rob - maybe you could make that a bit more clear - link easily visible, etc. Just an idea.



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Correct RSS2 post times in NetNewsWire2
Authored by: dogboy on Sep 29, '04 01:21:20PM

Yup. Great news on the RSS feeds from the Forums.



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Correct RSS2 post times in NetNewsWire2
Authored by: Dale Mox on Sep 29, '04 05:41:40PM

great... i really needed that rss feed... now all i need is a feed for macbytes.com and I'm only going to have to launch safari for actual web-browsing and not for only checking for updates

Dale



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Correct RSS2 post times in NetNewsWire2
Authored by: blalor on Sep 29, '04 03:19:14PM
Hopefully, Ranchero Software et al will shortly address this issue
huh?! How about the people who wrote the bulletin board software!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Correct RSS2 post times in NetNewsWire2
Authored by: paulrob on Sep 29, '04 05:21:04PM
Correct RSS2 post times in NetNewsWire2
Authored by: blalor on Sep 29, '04 10:27:08PM