The uSDLC News Feed


The uSDLC blog is now used for headlines on http://usdlc.net. This means more frequent articles with a news and progress focus.

Sites using uSDLC can change the feed address to display local or project news.

Adding news to an ajax site was interesting. WordPress has an RSS feed, but the necessary sandbox means we can’t just pull in this feed on the browser and use it. XHTML requests do not work cross-domain.

Easy – suck the feed in server-side and act on browser requests. Requirements include displaying on static page, no delays waiting for external sites and a nonintrusive display on the working page.

uSDLC news is not a minute-by-minute feed, so I chose to cache the items and update once a day. The static page will be slow if it loads an external feed, so I only display it from the cache. There was free space to the right of the button bar for changing headlines. I used jQuery for a less intrusive fade in and out – once every 30 minutes. It is more likely to go unnoticed than annoy with flashing changes. That is the effect I wanted.

Oh, and don’t use Jsoup to parse well-formed XML. Some XML tags are special in HTML, causing a poorer interpretation. It as easier to use the Groovy XMLSlurper, but because it doesn’t know CDATA, I could not retrieve the full article contents.

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