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RSS News Aggregators


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howard.a.s's Avatar
howard.a.s howard.a.s is offline
Member with 326 posts.
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: U.K
Experience: Intermediate
16-Aug-2012, 06:31 AM #1
RSS News Aggregators
My current web site includes a page dedicated to rss health news feeds. The page in question has been active for several years and until recently had been using rss display containers generated using a system provided by RSS Include https://www.rssinclude.com/. Unfortunately, RSS Include appear to have recently withdrawn the free service which I had been using, and consequentely all of my news feeds have now ceased to display.

I am still able to use the service provided by RSS Include, but in order for me to be able to adjust the widths and heights of containers, scroll speed, pause length, etc, etc, I will now have to pay an annual fee. As my web site generates little income, I am not really able to justify this expense.

Because of this (and also because I don't really like the idea that when using the likes of RSS Include, the continuing functionality of my feeds rests entirely in their hands, and should they decide to again withdraw the service they provide, or increase their charges, I would again be left without a service) I decided to look for an alternative solution.

Before I progress further, I should perhaps make it known that when it comes to programming, my level of understanding is zero, and while I am able to successfully build web sites using html and css, I understand very little about javascript or php.

I have done some serious Googling for news aggregators, but have not yet found a suitable free alternative to the RSS Include option which I had been using. Becoming rather frustrated, I recalled how some years ago I had purchased a program called CoffeeCup New Flash, which is supposed to produce a similar effect to that which had previously been achieved using RSS Include. After locating and installing the software, I had an experiment.

Initially, all seemed okay, with the only apparent downside being that the CoffeeCup readers appear to display text, whereas the RSS Include system displayed text and images (where available). Given my limited level of technical knowledge, the CoffeeCup system seemed to perhaps be my best option, so I proceeded to generate and upload some files to my hosting account and to conduct some further tests so as to be certain that all worked correctly before I went as far as embedding the readers into my web page.

When I display my test page using Firefox, which includes a whole group of readers generated using CoffeeCup, only some of the readers display, with others having been replaced by a message saying something like 'oops, failed to load data'.

After some additional research I have reached the conclusion that this problem isn't due to my error in incorrectly setting up the necessary files, but is apparently due to some issue with the php code itself.

Check out my test page http://www.corncreations.co.uk/test/rss/rss.html and you will see that each time the page loads, different readers fail.

I Googled the problem and found this thread: http://www.coffeecup.com/forums/flas...ad-data-error/ and also this: http://www.coffeecup.com/forums/news...s_per_page=all, which mention that the problem I am experiencing is due to certain server settings not having been actived - only after checking, I can confirm that the settings said to cause the problem are in fact enabled on my hosting server - so this cannot be the case? Here is a link to display the settings of my host server. http://www.corncreations.co.uk/test/phpinfo.php

Someone who has posted in the above threads mentions how the php coding is to blame, and that it is not compatible with later versions of PHP? I cannot say whether this is the case and I cannot ask the creator of the CoffeeCup software for advice, as they apparently discontinued the project in 2009, with support no longer being available.

Here is an example of each of the files generated by the CoffeeCup program. I get one of each of these for every single reader I generate using the program.

-------------- HTML ----------------

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<head><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" /></head>
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><p align="center">

<!-- Here is the HTML that you need to copy and paste into your page -->
<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"
codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=7,0,0,0"
width="450" height="118" id="CoffeeCupNewsReader" align="middle">
<param name="movie" value="mynews.swf"/>
<param name="quality" value="high" />
<param name="scale" value="noscale" />
<param name="salign" value="lt" />
<param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" />
<embed src="mynews.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="450" height="118"
name="CoffeeCupNewsReader" scale="noscale" salign="lt" align="middle" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" /></object>

</p></body></html>



------------- PHP ---------------


<?php
/****************************************************/
/* CoffeeCup Software News Flash */
/* (C) 2005 CoffeeCup Software */
/****************************************************/
/* - Companion Program For News Flash - */
/* Visit - http://www.coffeecup.com */
/****************************************************/
/* Constants */
/* Version */ $version = '1.1';
//only works with php 4.0.3 and above

$dataURL = urldecode($_REQUEST['url']);
readfile($dataURL);

//XML file must be in the same directory as this file
$debug = (isset($_REQUEST['debug'])) ? $_REQUEST['debug'] : $debug;
if ($debug) error_reporting(E_ALL);

//...... Display debugging information
if ($debug)
{
switch($debug)
{
case 'info' :
phpinfo();
exit();
break;

}
}

?>


------------------- TXT --------------------

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="2.0">
<channel>
</channel>
</rss>

------------------ XML --------------------

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<coffeecupnews
mainwidth="450"
mainheight="118"
bkcolor="0xFFFFFF"
bkgdtclr1="0xFFFFFF"
bkgdtclr2="0x0000FF"
bkgdtclr1a="100"
bkgdtclr2a="100"
bkborderlightcolor="0xFFFFFF"
bkborderdarkcolor="0x000000"
bkdrawbk="true"
newshorz="true"
bkgdt="false"
bkdrawborder="false"
entryonlyshowheadline="false"
external="true"
scrollspeed="30"
scrollpause="120"
fn=""
fd=""
newsurl1="http://dsc.discovery.com/news/subjects/health/xml/top-stories.xml"
newswidth="448"
newsheight="116"
entrybkimage=""
newsx="1"
newsy="1"
entrybkcolor="0xFFFFFF"
entrydrawbk="true"
entrybkalpha="100"
entrybkgdt="false"
entrybkgdtclr1="0xFFFFFF"
entrybkgdtclr2="0xC0C0C0"
entrybkgdtclr1a="100"
entrybkgdtclr2a="100"
entrydrawborder="false"
entrybdrclr="0x808080"
entrybdrdashed="false"
titlefontname="Arial"
titlefontsize="10"
titlefontcolor="005b9c"
titlefontstyle="bold"
titlefontitalic="normal"
authorfontname="Arial"
authorfontsize="8"
authorfontcolor="808080"
authorfontstyle="normal"
authorfontitalic="normal"
datefontname="Arial"
datefontsize="8"
datefontcolor="000000"
datefontstyle="normal"
datefontitalic="italic"
textfontname="Arial"
textfontsize="8"
textfontcolor="000000"
textfontstyle="normal"
textfontitalic="normal"
linkfontname="Arial"
linkfontsize="8"
linkfontcolor="000080"
linkfontstyle="normal"
linkfontitalic="normal"
></coffeecupnews>


------------------ SWF -------------------

<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"
codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=7,0,0,0"
width="450" height="118" id="CoffeeCupNewsReader" align="middle">
<param name="movie" value="mynews.swf"/>
<param name="quality" value="high" />
<param name="scale" value="noscale" />
<param name="salign" value="lt" />
<param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" />
<embed src="http://www.corncreations.co.uk/test/rss/discovery_channel_health/horizontal/mynews.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="450" height="118"
name="CoffeeCupNewsReader" scale="noscale" salign="lt" align="middle" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" /></object>

------------------------------

Can anyone please offer any advice as to whether the problem I am experiencing with the CoffeeCup News Reader can be easily overcome by perhaps tweeking the code? If so, how is this possible to do? Also, can this reader be made to display images when available, and if so, how?

Perhaps, after reading this post you might suggest that I be best to completely abandon the CoffeeCup software and use a different method to display news feeds on my web page?

When all is said and done, I would prefer a proper system which is installed on my hosting server and over which I can have complete control. Nevertheless, with my level of programming knowledge, I cannot see how this is going to happen. In addition, I also like the idea of the sliding news bars, which I am currently using. Most of the other systems I have looked at display only static lines of text and seem quite boring by comparison, so I guess I would need to stick with a free and simple to set up system using flash - which I understand is not the best way to go, as search engines prefer php versions?

I have experimented with some of the following, but found that they were either beyond my understanding, or failed to deliver anything other than a static textural display - whereas I would prefer a display that slides or scrolls.

http://www.google.com/uds/solutions/...reference.html
http://www.feedforall.com/php-documentation.htm
http://feed.mikle.com/en/?gclid=CMCO...FQNY2godQ14IPw
http://feed.informer.com/
http://magpierss.sourceforge.net/
http://www.feedzilla.com/
http://www.feedforall.com/more-php.htm
http://www.rss2html.com/

Any help or advice would be very gratefully recieved.
JiminSA's Avatar
JiminSA   (Jim) JiminSA is offline JiminSA has a Profile Picture
Computer Specs
Member with 1,739 posts.
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Experience: Intermediate
17-Aug-2012, 09:41 AM #2
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