This is my blog and I’ll be contrary if I want to

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Given this is my blog I can write whatever I want to, including flip flopping madly between different points of view. Previously I wrote these posts:

Today though I’m in love again with RSS and APIs can go take a jump.

2 things:

I’ve moved our neglected of late team blog over to our new blogging service, and started encouraging some new colleagues who have their own blogs to consider syndicating any relevant posts in. We’re back to using good old FeedWordPress and I am reminded how easy this stuff is to do (okay, configuring FeedWordPress the first time is a bit of a pain, but afterwards, it works just fine).

A colleague also pointed out an example of where WordPress blog content was already being integrated with our main University website (Drupal). My posts above ponder various options, but this example is super-simple. It uses a Drupal content type called ‘web application’ which if memory serves me right was developed here. Looking over the info on our support wiki I very much suspect it was based on some uPortal portlet functionality. I say this because (a) the developer who did the work and I used to work on uPortal together (b) the functionality includes an XSLT transform option, which is *very* familiar to me. Indeed, that’s *exactly* what’s going on in the example that my colleague found.

I’ve done some preliminary snooping and that EdWeb page I showed you is a “web application” content type:
https://www.ed.ac.uk/literatures-languages-cultures/teaching-excellence/teaching-matters
It takes in a teaching-matters-blog.ed.ac.u RSS feed for an LLC category and uses XSLT and CSS to recreate an EdWeb overview page.

Yep. RSS, transformed into HTML output and embedded within a Drupal page, using XSLT and CSS. I used to love writing XSLT templates for lovely well-formed XML. So maybe RSS and some standard XSLT / CSS is the way to go for this after all.*

* I’ll admit I can still see some scope for APIs in here to produce the WP output more easily that configuring FeedWordPress, but the principles are sound, tried, and true and I’m basically sorry for ever really doubting RSS.

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