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Creating a RSS aggregator with Simplefeed module

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We aim at creating a RSS aggregator similar to CISMeF actualités (CHU Rouen) or FeedNavigator (Terkko). This requires more advanced functionalities that those provided by the core module "aggregator".
We thus tested one of the previously identified third party module that could provide sufficient functionalities to reach this goal.

Material

SimpleFeed is a third party module available for Drupal 5 and 6 (dev) from [http://drupal.org/project/simplefeed].
It allows to

  • create a feed node
  • create one node per feed item
  • add tags to feed items nodes: the tags are inherited from the feed node itself, the taxonomy may be used for other node types
  • add tags to feed items nodes imported from the feed publisher site:
    this requires to use a specific taxonomy with free tagging on

Results

The implementation of Simplefeed is very easy. We created a feed from the KCE english webite rss feed.
We associated this feed and feed items to a MeSH taxonomy created within Drupal (an alphabetic list).
We refreshed the feed and got the news from KCE within our Library 2.0
site. Those are categorised and searchable via the search module.

Discussion

The Simplefeed module allows to get what gregarius provides to CISMef actualités:

  • Record feeds
  • Search the feed items

Unlike to the core aggregator module, Simplefeed allows to
categorized feed items with the core taxonomy module: that gives some
opportunities to list different document types within the same page.
The Feednavigator from Terkko has also some portal functionalities
allowing the user to select feeds and adapt the site to what he needs.
To reach this with Drupal, some other modules should be identified and
tested.

Conclusion

Simplefeed allows to develop within Drupal a centralized and
integrated feed aggregator that record news from other sites,
categorized them automatically and make them searchable within the
Library site.
With Drupal and Simplefeed module, Librarians may thus select pertinent
Feeds for their users and integrate them into their library 2.0 website.

Links

SimpleFeed (Drupal 5 and 6-dev) [http://drupal.org/project/simplefeed].

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