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Preview: Eric Hartwell: InfoScraper

Eric Hartwell: InfoScraper

Tools and techniques to extract information from web pages and newsletters

Last Build Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 22:47:16 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 2005 Eric Hartwell

Thu, 05 May 2005 19:12:34 GMT

Infoscraper update
  • RSS Bandit is a desktop news aggregator written in C# and .NET under active development at SourceForge. See Revamping the RSS Bandit Application for a 2003 MSDN article about RSS Bandit.
  • Creating a generic Site-To-RSS tool [9/29/2003] describes a generic HTML-to-RSS scraper tool that uses regular expressions with VB.NET.
  • Template Based Scraping [10/28/2002] A quick overview of screen scraping.
  • RSSxl is an HTML to RSS converter that will generate an RSS feed from pretty well any HTML web page - with no requirement to edit the source HTML first. It is a free online service that translates HTML to RSS.
Now to put it all together ...

Tue, 03 May 2005 23:41:52 GMT

Data integration can be a hoot with OWL [ 2/17/2005] The movement to standards-based computing that XML and Web services herald is eerily analogous to the work done in the first half of the twentieth century to establish international long distance telephone standards. The use of semantic integration technologies, like Web Ontology Language (OWL), can solve the problem of data composition. Using ontologies as an abstraction layer for enabling automated information exchange is analogous to the use of Service contracts to abstract the implementation of service providers from consumers. However, just as SOA requires an advanced investment in architecture, the creation of ontologies are quite time-consuming, and require a leap of faith by implementers before they can realize their value.

Tue, 03 May 2005 23:35:14 GMT

Beating the RSS crunch with aggregation/bloglines [ 10/20/2004] Bloglines has created a freely available, simple and straightforward set of APIs that developers can use to access their aggregated blog database and relieve congestion problems. What Bloglines does for RSS feeds is very much like what Google and Yahoo do for popular Web pages and information: they compile this content into their databases, so that accesses to frequently requested pages are satisfied from a local cache, instead of requiring the original server to handle yet another update or access request.

Wed, 20 Apr 2005 19:44:07 GMT

(image) Target Remakes the Pill Bottle - sensibly and beautifully [New York Metro 4/18/2005 via Gizmodo, Boing Boing 4/19/2005] The standard-issue amber-cast pharmacy pill bottle has remained virtually unchanged since the second World War. An overhaul is finally coming, courtesy of Deborah Adler, a 29-year-old graphic designer whose ClearRx prescription-packaging system debuts at Target pharmacies May 1.
  1. Easy I.D. The name of the drug is printed both on the top and side.
  2. Code red. The bottle is Target’s signature red color - and a symbol for caution.
  3. Information hierarchy. Most important information (drug name, dosage, intake instructions) above the line, less important data below.
  4. Flat sides for readability; Upside down to save paper.
  5. Green is for Grandma. Different colored rubber rings for each family member.
  6. Info card that’s hard to lose tucked behind the label.
  7. Take “daily.” Avoids the word "once" on label, since it means eleven in Spanish.
  8. Clear warnings. Revamped the 25 most important warning symbols.

Thu, 24 Mar 2005 21:54:56 GMT

43 Folders "Life Hacks" Wiki. [Street Tech 3/24/2005; 2:53:38 PM] The getting things done gurus over at 43 Folder have just put up a Wiki for collecting "life hacks," cool little tips and tricks for making life easier and more manageable. Right now, the hacks are uncategorized -- it's just a dump list -- but they plan on

Sun, 13 Mar 2005 12:30:40 GMT

Perspective Wiki is a .NET-based, GPL Wiki that uses IIS and Indexing Service. Features include: User login and control of what can be edited, with support for transparent logins in Windows; Full version history of pages and their attachments so it is clear who did what; WYSIWYG formatting of and editing; easy attachments including embedded images and searchable documents (including searching over MS Office documents). Currently under active development.

Tue, 08 Mar 2005 15:10:43 GMT

Using Google Desktop Search engine to scan mapped network drives

I tried to find if there was a way to change some of the Google Desktop Search settings to allow for indexing network drives. According to the FAQ the tools will not index a network drive. But with some registry setting changes we can have the Google Desktop Search engine scanning mapped network drives. For example, locate the following registry key:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Google/Google Desktop/HistoricalCapture/Crawler]

By entering the !C:!M: (where C: and M: are drives to index) into CRAWL_DIRS and removing DONE from CRAWL_FILE we can instruct the engine to actually index remote drives. Note that is the TAB character. Best way to enter it is using Notepad, type !C: and press the TAB key. Then CTRL-A (Select All) and CTRL-C (Copy). Paste into the key.

Using Google Desktop Search as a network search server [Geekzone BlogBlog, 15-JAN-2005]

Sun, 06 Feb 2005 14:47:21 GMT

Advanced Security for Outlook. Use Advanced Security for Outlook to learn what programs are trying to access Outlook and permanently allow or deny access to the program and the next time it requests access, the action you choose will be automatically executed and Outlook Security will not annoy you with messages about trying to access e-mail addresses you have stored in Outlook. Freeware, available in English, German and Russian. Version 1. [Slipstick - Outlook and Exchange News 12/7/2004]

Tue, 01 Feb 2005 12:53:22 GMT

New York Times weblog-safe link generator. Mark Frauenfelder: Jon Lasser let me know about the NYT Permalink generator, which generates a non-decaying link to New York Times stories. When readers click on one of these links, they don't have to sign into the NYT site, and they won't have to pay a fee to read the story, even if it's in the archives.  [Boing Boing 1/25/2005]

Sun, 02 Jan 2005 15:43:21 GMT

RS3 - The RSS Aggregator Killer?. I've been trying to get the word out (specifically to Adam Curry) about a project I've created on SourceForge (link here), called RS3, that takes a set of RSS feeds, crawls and scrapes the _original_ article linked to in each feed item, summarizes that page, and then optionally converts that text summary to speech and a playlist. A set of ogg files is created from this which is wrapped up in an M3U playlist which can be copied to your favorite media player. So, in essence, you can have your RSS feeds actually read aloud to you through a podcast on any media player or PC. [Doc Searls' IT Garage - News, ideas and real world stories about how IT folks solve their own problems 11/11/2004]

Sat, 04 Dec 2004 14:28:34 GMT

The feedmesh group at Yahoo is working on a distributed system for weblog pinging. It wasn't started in a very nice way, but now they seem to have turned the corner. If you're interested in pinging systems like, check it out. At some point we're going to need a distributed system, and this may be a good way to get there. I monitor the list through its RSS feed. [Scripting News 12/4/2004; 8:53:06 AM.]

Sat, 04 Dec 2004 14:27:31 GMT

And thanks for all the interest in helping with the rewrite. I got over a hundred emails from qualified developers. That's totally amazing, and totally appreciated. We were able to fix the existing system, so we can now easily handle the flow of pings (there was an unobvious performance bug). If you want to participate, I recommend joining the group, above. [Scripting News 12/4/2004; 8:53:06 AM.]

Fri, 03 Dec 2004 20:31:43 GMT

(image) It's worth noting that in the last three weeks we've gotten some remarkable support from Microsoft. First, Halo 2 shipped with RSS 2.0 support. Who thought of RSS for games? It wasn't even on our radar. Then yesterday MSN Spaces, a blogging system, shipped with RSS 2.0 support. And the third bit was pinging Now I'm sure we'll be able to turn the corner for two reasons. First, we got a huge response from serious developers, and several credible projects started today, in a variety of environments. Since eventually this will have to be a distributed system, like DNS, it's important to have a variety of compatible implementations. Second, Andre and I did a back and forth on this over a few hours. Andre used to be responsible for the kernel at UserLand years ago, and now is back in the loop after the Frontier open source release. He asked me some questions, I sent him the source, we put in some diagnostics, tested a theory and boom, all of a sudden the server is performing beautifully. We still have the scaling issue but we got some breathing room today. Anyway, thanks to Microsoft for trusting us and using our formats and protocols. [Scripting News] 12/2/2004; 8:53:00 PM.

Fri, 03 Dec 2004 20:30:40 GMT

I've been getting lots of mail about the programming project described below. My challenge will be to try to organize the energy to actually create the needed software. People ask if C# or Java would be okay, and the answer is, of course. I basically meant "compiled code" as opposed to interpreted code. Static instead of dynamic. We have to cut to the metal. I also need to write up a spec that explains what the software does. Anyway, let's give it a couple of days to gestate. In the meantime you might start writing code. ";->" [Scripting News] 12/2/2004; 2:53:20 PM.

Fri, 03 Dec 2004 20:30:04 GMT needs a rewrite.

With Typepad, MSN Spaces and Blogger and a gazillion other blogs pinging, the server, which is written in scripts, has met its match. It's needed a rewrite in C for some time, now it really needs a rewrite.

I've been trying to get help with this privately, I personally don't have the requisite skills to write the code. If this were 1994, and I had Think C (a development environment I was expert in) the project would take a couple of days. Today, in a modern environment with even deeper libraries, it might take even less time.

I'd be happiest if this could be done as an open source project, the lots-of-eyeballs thing is particularly suited to this kind of project. It has to scale well, obviously, from Day One. No time to ramp up.

I have a full modern server to host this application, with no other apps running on the machine. Right now it's running Windows 2000, but we could switch over to any other operating system.

What I don't want: Offers from companies to buy It's important that this resource stay independent. The only reason companies would want to pay so much for this service is if they planned to take it private.

Anyway, please send me an email if you're a skilled C programmer who would like to work on a such a project to help out the weblogs community.


[Scripting News] 12/2/2004; 8:53:09 AM.

Sun, 10 Oct 2004 15:28:55 GMT

AimAtSite IE Toolbar - the complete search solution provides History search, Favorites search, Current page search, Words highlighting and it helps you query search engines, dictionaries, encyclopedias and other Web search sites. The toolbar is available for free download [no feature limitations for a 30-day trial period]. It uses Microsoft Indexing Service to index the content of Web pages you are visiting to perform fast History and Favorites search. Unlike the Internet Explorer's built-in history search tool AimAtSite IE Toolbar provides better performance, sorting by rank or title or date of visit, pages abstracts and flexible queries. No favorites search feature is available in Internet Explorer. But our toolbar provides you with such functionality. With AimAtSite IE Toolbar you will never lose important information!

Mon, 27 Sep 2004 23:49:13 GMT

Create a randomized RSS feed: XML developers can leverage their existing knowledge to use RSS in a novel way, such as creating a randomized RSS feed. Rather than showing the top content items as ranked by your third-party RSS sources, you can randomize the selections to create a new listing of RSS content for every page refresh--giving site visitors a reason to keep coming back. []

Fri, 24 Sep 2004 22:14:23 GMT

TabTag. TabTag turns Outlook into a flexible SQL database solution, adding a range of features to classify, link and edit data as required. Easy to install, use and manage, TabTag saves valuable resources and improves productivity. Free single user version now available. [Slipstick - Outlook and Exchange News 4/22/2004]

Fri, 24 Sep 2004 16:30:39 GMT

(image) DateLens: Zoom in / out on Outlook's calendar. What makes this application different is that it provides a fisheye representation of dates as it is called. Just click on the days, months, icons, to zoom in / out of the calendar. DateLens has a Mondrian skin (not the default) to give it character. If you're already using Outlook, this is a great add-on feature. It also has a Pocket PC version, but it's not free and it supports Tablet PC's Ink. Requires .Net framework v1.1 and Outlook. [via Lockergnome Windows Fanatics 3/17/2004]

Fri, 24 Sep 2004 02:23:29 GMT

(image) CSS Creator helps generate styles and layouts for your projects. You just choose from a number of values, and the code is written for you. The site features links to other sites that will be of benefit to you as well. You'll find resources that contain articles, tools, templates, and much more.

Thu, 23 Sep 2004 21:32:24 GMT

Building Your Own ASP.NET Feed Parser. John Crocker writes in an informative article on The Code Project: “After seeing numerous applications available on the Internet to download and view RSS Feeds off the Internet, I wondered what would be needed to develop a .NET component to Read, Parse and Display RSS Feeds in aspx Pages. The Component development is beyond the scope of this article, Which will cover the base class that is used by the component to render the detail…”By (Daniel Henry). [Lockergnome’s RSS & Atom Tips 4/21/2004]

Thu, 23 Sep 2004 17:19:46 GMT

Replace MSNBC's Outlook Today page. Outlook MVP Diane Poremsky provides a replacement for the now-discontinued MSNBC customized Outlook Today page. [Slipstick - Outlook and Exchange News 12/11/2003]

Wed, 22 Sep 2004 14:40:23 GMT

Creating a Generic Site-To-RSS Tool. This in-depth article provides you with all of the technical information, examples and references you need to taste the flavour of true site scraping. [via Lockergnome's RSS & Atom Tips 5/30/2004]

Tue, 21 Sep 2004 15:00:50 GMT

Turn FedEx tracking into RSS. Ben Hammersley has hacked a way to turn the tracking data from your FedEx package into an RSS feed. [via Boing Boing 7/5/2004]

Mon, 20 Sep 2004 23:39:18 GMT

Details on my link blog
Yes, I'm addicted to reading RSS. It's 2:33 a.m. and I just got done with looking through my 808 NewsGator feeds (representing about 2000 blogs). OPML file here. Feeds.Scripting list here. Just uploaded a bunch of good stuff to my link blog. I haven't talked about how I do my link blog lately so my newer readers might have missed that.
First, I'm reading all 808 feeds in Outlook. They come into 808 folders. If someone updates their blog, their folder turns bold. I click on the folder. The new items are also bold. I'm reading Techdirt right now and three items just were posted in the past hour or so. So, I read those.
If I like an article, I drag it to a folder named "Blog This." For instance, I just read the Techdirt article titled "Who Do You Trust, The Wiki Or The Reporter?" I think that article belongs on my link blog. So, I drag it to my Blog This folder. Then a tool named "OutlookMT" takes over. It is a .NET app that watches the Blog This folder, and posts anything dropped in it. Now, notice that's all I do. Just drag-and-drop. No editing. No commenting. No linking. OutlookMT does it all.
Outlook MT can either repost the entire original post, or it can try to quote a little bit of the post. I used to have it quote the entire post, but people complained that I was stealing their content. So, Kunal Das (the guy who wrote Outlook MT) rewrote his tool to pull only a portion of the original post and put that up there. Either way, this lets me scour a large number of weblogs and pick the best stuff and put it up on that blog. I call this my "magic folder." It's totally changed how I blog and lets me share my favorite stuff with you in a very efficient way. [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger 8/27/2004]

Mon, 20 Sep 2004 22:38:16 GMT

RSSCalendar is an exciting new way for individuals and organizations to share their calendars with family, friends, and colleagues - utilizing the latest in RSS technology, including RSS channel creation and aggregation. Not only is RSSCalendar easy to use, but it is also easy to administer, and setup is a snap. RSSCalendar is well-suited for a variety of uses, including: Individual calendars Company calendars School calendars Organization calendars Team calendars City calendars…

Tue, 14 Sep 2004 16:39:02 GMT

An Overview of Web Browser Express. Build your own Web browser that supports tabs and an integrated link to a search engine. [MSDN Just Published 7/20/2004]

Sun, 12 Sep 2004 00:39:02 GMT

Calendar Updates TV Listings. Calendar Updates provides TV Listings that can be viewed directly from within Microsoft Outlook. Each listing in the TV grid includes a calendar icon that allows you to add your favorite shows directly to your calendar. Just click the calendar icon on the TV grid and the show is added to your calendar with a convenient reminder. Free, requires .NET Framework. [Slipstick - Outlook and Exchange News 8/23/2004]

Mon, 15 Mar 2004 23:38:18 GMT

Jeff moves to Das Blog: My mentor and co-worker Jeff Sandquist moved his weblog from Radio UserLand to Clemens Vasters' "Das Blog" (which was written in .NET) over the weekend and writes about the experience.[Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger 2/23/2004]

Sat, 13 Mar 2004 11:31:30 GMT

The Future of Blog Tools. Lisa Williams has been going through all the notes of ideas that people left on Dave Winer's blog about "the future of blog tools." She's written up this awesome summary. Thanks to Amy Wohl for pointing to this.[Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger 3/13/2004]

Sat, 13 Mar 2004 11:30:44 GMT

Ian Hanschen: "Presenting BlogNavigator. The ultimate in RSS experience." Very cool looking. Anyone try this yet? Ian's stuff always looks so cool. [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger 3/13/2004]

Fri, 12 Mar 2004 21:51:39 GMT

New version of SharpReader ships. Luke Hutteman has released a new version of SharpReader (an RSS News Aggregator done in .NET).[Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger 2/29/2004]

Wed, 03 Mar 2004 12:56:20 GMT

Creating a Generic Site to RSS Tool. Roy Osherove writes, “I’ll show how to use regular expressions to parse a Web page’s HTML text into manageable chunks of data. That data will be converted and written as an RSS feed for the whole world to consume. Finally, I’ll show how to create a generic tool that enables you to automatically generate an RSS feed from any website, given a small group of parameters. At the end of the day we will have a working RSS feed.” [3/1/2004]

Mon, 23 Feb 2004 22:16:37 GMT

.NET Screen Scraping in depth by Damian Manifold 30 Oct 2003 Everything you need to know about screen scraping, from simply pulling down a page to more complex issues like submitting forms and cookies. Here you will learn how to use the Webclient and httpWebresponse classes and which is better for what task

Sat, 14 Feb 2004 22:35:54 GMT

RSS 2.0 Framework. The RSS 2.0 Framework. Enables .NET programmers to add syndication to their apps.[The Scobleizer Weblog 12/16/2003]

Fri, 13 Feb 2004 13:08:30 GMT

RSS self-defense. Now that I'm accumulating my inbound feeds as XHTML, in order to database and search them, I find myself in the aggregator business, where I never planned to be. The tools I'm using to XHTML-ize my feeds are Mark Pilgrim's incredibly useful ultra-liberal feed parser and the equally useful HTML Tidy, invented by Dave Raggett, and maintained by folks like Charlie Reitzel, one of CMS Watch's Twenty Leaders to Watch in 2004 (along with yours truly). ... [Jon's Radio 2/8/2004]

Fri, 09 Jan 2004 21:44:18 GMT

Eclipse RSS Reader. Eclipse RSS Reader: Publishing web-based news of all kinds via a summary format (RSS) is becoming increasingly popular. The applications include regular headline news (Yahoo! News), web logs (, professional bulletins (IBM developerWorks), and project updates ( A variety of RSS formats currently exist, which increases application complexity. Often, a reader capable of understanding one format cannot handle another.... [Lockergnome's RSS Resource]

Sat, 15 Nov 2003 23:04:09 GMT

intraVnews vs NewsGator. In short: intraVnews competes directly with NewsGator as an RSS reader for use on desktops for private (FREE) as well as corporate (licensed) use. It is 100% .Net based, developed in C# using Microsoft's Interop libraries, works on Outlook XP and 2003, Windows 98SE and up (.Net Framework v1.1). They are trying to take a fresh approach based on the following principles: (1) RSS is what counts, NNTP is not interesting; (2) the user must never be hampered when they are using Outlook for real work (things other than RSS);...

Sun, 19 Oct 2003 22:09:30 GMT

Generic Site-To-Rss Tool. Via the MSDN Academic Alliance: "I got to thinking: 'All the data on the site that’s important to me seems to be arranged in an orderly and predictable manner. I should be able to parse it in a fairly easy manner and make it into an RSS feed.' So I started trying. It worked out pretty well. So well that I’ve come up with a way to let you do your own site scraping using a generic tool, providing it with only simple rules expressed as a single regular expression."... [Lockergnome's RSS Resource]

Fri, 17 Oct 2003 14:23:33 GMT

Generate an RSS file from Exchange. Scott Hanselman, fellow RD and a .NET guru, shares the source to a very cool idea.  The application pulls items and mail out of Outlook or Exchange Public Folders and creates an RSS (rich site summary) XML feed that can be aggregated by anynumber of Blog/RSS Aggregators.  You can find the ZIP at the RD Code Center.  There are some other cool .NET examples there as well.
[Jon Box's Weblog]

Fri, 17 Oct 2003 13:59:25 GMT

RSS2Mobile is an RSS-to-WML service. Coool! [Scripting News]

Fri, 17 Oct 2003 13:54:19 GMT

RSS via Mobile Phone. "If your website is available in RSS format, you can easily make [it] available to mobile phones, PDA's, and WAP-enabled pagers using this tool. Simply enter the URL of your RSS document (0.91, 0.92, 1.0, or 2.0) below to create a .ZIP file containing a WML (Wireless Markup Language) version of the data."... [Lockergnome's RSS Resource]

Thu, 02 Oct 2003 11:55:25 GMT

Blogging: Design Your Own Weblog Application from Scratch Using ASP.NET, JavaScript, and OLE DB. In this article the author builds a full-featured blog application to illustrate the use of the Repeater and DataList controls that render nested data in a master-detail relationship. [MSDN Just Published]

Mon, 22 Sep 2003 19:23:21 GMT

CSS is a beautiful thing. The Zengarden site demonstrates "what can be accomplished visually through CSS-based design."

Mon, 22 Sep 2003 19:19:29 GMT

XML Schema Regular Expressions While the built-in datatypes and constraining facets are a great start, they are often insufficient, especially for string values. Regular expressions provide a powerful mechanism for restricting data values in XML.

Mon, 22 Sep 2003 00:11:41 GMT

Coding4Fun: Developing Priorities: Fun First. Duncan Mackenzie shows how the coolness of a feature can increase its chance of being finished early in a development project, as he creates an application to retrieve and display a RSS feed his way. [MSDN Just Published]

Sat, 20 Sep 2003 23:29:20 GMT

Extreme XML: Revamping the RSS Bandit Application. Dare Obasanjo revisits his RSS Bandit C# application and improves on its previous design by using various XML features of the .NET Framework to build a rich .NET client application. [MSDN Just Published]

Sun, 07 Sep 2003 18:59:48 GMT

Gary Burd explains how Amazon's RSS feeds work. [Scripting News 7/26/2003]

Sat, 06 Sep 2003 20:38:51 GMT

Freemind: an incredible thought organization tool. I've been using an open-source tool called FreeMind for the past couple of days. This is hands-down the most incredible brainstorming / thought organization tool that I've ever seen. FreeMind is essentially a fancy XML editor. It lets you create single-rooted recursive hierarchies of information. But the presentation and editing is so powerful and intuitive that it pretty much eliminates any friction involved in restructuring your XML document. You also have the ability to link to external URL's and external files. The way I use FreeMind is to initially capture a mind-dump of ideas relating to a single topic. Then I start noticing clusters of ideas that relate to one another and I use FreeMind to reorganize those ideas into their natural order. See for yourself. Surf over to the FreeMind homepage on SourceForge. Make sure that you check out the screenshots of the program. It was worth reinstalling the Java runtime on my computer just to run this application.[] 7/28/2003

Mon, 11 Aug 2003 18:45:18 GMT

MSDN: Creating an RSS News Aggregator with ASP.NET.

Mon, 26 May 2003 00:56:03 GMT

Build inexpensive portals using open source Slash Consultants who are comfortable with Perl, Linux, MySQL, and Apache may find opportunities to set up portals for their clients using Slash, an open source platform that runs the discussion site Slashdot. Learn how it can work for you and your clients.

Wed, 07 May 2003 22:30:39 GMT

Ripping Data on the Web - How to recover and repackage information on the World Wide Web

Wed, 07 May 2003 11:13:50 GMT

YARR Yet Another RSS Reader. While preparing for our one day pre-conference tutorial at VS Connections, I decided to build YARR (Yet Another RSS Reader) as a sample application. I felt it was a particularly interesting sample application since it represented the intersection of four different technology spheres: XML, [D]HTML, SQL, and C#. I presented it to our students in the class in about an hour or so. I also presented it as an application that is ripe for code generation since I feel that code generation lets you efficiently capture cross-technology abstractions. I'm placing a drop of the source code for YARR here, for anyone who may be interested in taking a look. To install / setup the code, you need to run the SQL script from solutionsql in the ZIP file. I have a nice little command-line batch file that will run the osql command line utility from you. Just modify the script to point to your SQL server, and optionally change the login that you want to use to create the database schema. The only other bit of tweaking you might want to do is to copy the included default.htm file to the c:temp directory (or modify the sources to read the default HTML page that is displayed in IE from somewhere else). Comments / feedback would be welcome. Next up tomorrow is to rewrite this sample app using code generation.[ John Lam's Weblog on Software Development]

Tue, 29 Apr 2003 11:43:51 GMT

Sam R on RSS. Sam R has a lot to say today about RSS: RSS Namespace Proposal / RSS: it's not just for syndication anymore / Ghosts of RSS past / Future of RSS    RSS is becoming a very important part of my day. I agree with Sam that there are a lot of other places RSS can/could/should/will be used. I am 100% in favor of anything that will enable RSS to continue to grow. [ScottW's ASP.NET WebLog]

Fri, 18 Apr 2003 11:16:20 GMT

OneNote FAQ. A pretty good OneNote FAQ here. [Sean 'Early' Campbell & Scott 'Adopter' Swigart's Radio Weblog]

Tue, 15 Apr 2003 00:27:44 GMT

SgmlReader (was HtmlReader). Wow, this is even better!! [Don Box's Spoutlet]

Tue, 15 Apr 2003 00:27:19 GMT

Chris Hollander's comments on SharpReader. All you need is love [Don Box's Spoutlet]

Mon, 14 Apr 2003 12:16:02 GMT

Automated vanity-googling. Googlert is a new Google API tool (you need to supply a key) that emails you regularily with changes in the first 100 results in a Google search for a term you supply. It's automated vanity-search. Link Discuss (via Megnut) [Boing Boing Blog]

Mon, 14 Apr 2003 12:15:03 GMT

RSS Heck (not quite Hell). Conformance issues from around the globe [Don Box's Spoutlet]

Mon, 14 Apr 2003 12:12:31 GMT

Wildgrape NewsDesk is a "simple and fast RSS reader for Microsoft .Net." [Scripting News]

Thu, 10 Apr 2003 11:58:18 GMT

Validate With Regular Expressions
Learn how to use the most versatile tool at your disposal for checking user input against a variety of possible formats. Leverage Regular Expressions  /  Analyze Source Code With Regular Expressions  /  Use Declarative Field Validation

Tue, 08 Apr 2003 13:02:25 GMT

How to design a suit-proof P2Pnet. My colleague Fred von Lohmann has revised and condensed his seminal white-paper in which he explains to P2P developers what the law actually says about P2P systems and how to design your technology to minimize your chances of getting (successfully) sued. [Boing Boing Blog]

Tue, 08 Apr 2003 12:56:14 GMT

Bloglet offers an "email subscription service for your blog." [Scripting News]

Tue, 08 Apr 2003 12:48:32 GMT

Office Talk: Build Your Own Research Library with Office 2003 and the Google Web Service API. Chris Kunicki shows you how to build a research library, which is a built-in tool that allows users to access various information sources from within Office. [MSDN Just Published]

Sat, 05 Apr 2003 01:36:24 GMT

Nice article on Office 2003, Research, and Google API. Only in C# of course because it's new technology :-) [Sean 'Early' Campbell & Scott 'Adopter' Swigart's Radio Weblog]

Fri, 21 Mar 2003 13:07:55 GMT

George Tsiokos did a chart comparing versions of RSS. [Scripting News]

Thu, 06 Mar 2003 01:07:19 GMT

Chris Pirillo sends a pointer to this MSN article that explains how to build a desktop news aggregator. And they say Microsoft isn't paying attention. [Scripting News]

Thu, 06 Mar 2003 00:58:23 GMT

Four Models for Aggregating and Publishing RSS Headlines. The State of Utah is reviewing options for creating, aggregating, and publishing news from state agencies. The decision of which technology to use to create RSS feeds can be made independent to the decision regarding a technology for aggregating and publishing (parsing) the feeds. I'll address the later first and write about the creation/CMS end tomorrow. There seems to me to be at least four models for aggregating and publishing RSS headlines. This lengthy article describes these four models with examples of each. [RSS in Government]

Wed, 05 Mar 2003 14:48:31 GMT

Marc Barrot: Outlined RSS Comes to the Browser. [Scripting News]

Wed, 05 Mar 2003 14:46:24 GMT

Jon Udell lists ten things we should know about Microsoft's InfoPath. Here's what it looks like. [Scripting News]

Wed, 05 Mar 2003 14:45:39 GMT

Jon Udell: "NewsGator is a fabulous hack." [Scripting News]

Wed, 05 Mar 2003 14:45:01 GMT

Mary Jo: Microsoft Tests the Blogging-Tool Waters. [Scripting News]

Wed, 05 Mar 2003 14:44:17 GMT

Marc Barrot is rendering RSS in an outline in a browser. [Scripting News]

Tue, 04 Mar 2003 11:59:26 GMT

RSS... Oops! What?. (For RSS weenies only). Sam Ruby thoughtfully pointed me at the RSS Validator, which whined at me that my RSS was broken, which it was, so I fixed it, so if your feed reader is showing everything here unread that may be why. Except for I'm resisting one change that the validator wants.... [ongoing]

Thu, 23 Jan 2003 11:08:52 GMT

Mark Pilgrim: Parsing RSS At All Costs. [Scripting News]

Fri, 17 Jan 2003 01:01:50 GMT

Syndirella is an RSS aggregator for .Net. [Scripting News]

Fri, 10 Jan 2003 16:56:46 GMT

Posted on, the Circus-DTE (Data Transformation Environment) programming language is available for testing. Circus-DTE is intended for environments in which document portals abound and documents and data must move on the Web or in business processes, according to Xerox. The language is intended to provide a middle ground between a general-purpose, low-level language that needed lengthy development of complex algorithms and a high-level, but inflexible, approach to build applications that translate documents and data among different formats so that they can be read by any application or on any device.

Fri, 10 Jan 2003 16:42:06 GMT

Build Inexpensive Portals Using Open Source Slash. Consultants who are comfortable with Perl, Linux, MySQL, and Apache may find opportunities to set up portals for their clients using Slash, an open source platform that runs the discussion site Slashdot. See how it can work for you and your clients. [TechRepublic - 16 Dec 02]

Fri, 10 Jan 2003 12:38:03 GMT

Wiki Eases The Burden Of Creating Documentation. WikiWikiWeb is an authoring tool that provides an easy, collaborative way to create browser-based, organic documentation. A Wiki may be the answer to your documentation woes. [ - 12 Dec 02] [Eric's incoming newsletters]

Thu, 09 Jan 2003 16:41:48 GMT

Sumod and Dejan Jelovic have RSS aggregators for .Net. [Scripting News]

Mon, 23 Dec 2002 18:04:00 GMT

I have some time to spare this morning, and thought of an interesting thing to do. I'm going to figure out which Creative Commons license should apply to the module I designed last week, and then, following Denise Howell's advice (she's a lawyer) apply it. The first thing I did was run the CC license chooser, it suggested the attribution license. My intent is to let people do anything they want with my module, change it, enhance it, commercialize it, but I want credit for originating it. The next step is to get a bit of HTML code to put on the page. The CC site supplies this code here. I added it to a section at the end of the module. Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome. [Scripting News]

Sun, 22 Dec 2002 17:30:57 GMT

Washington Post: "Since many bloggers have no background in publishing, they often come to the medium unaware of the rules that apply." [Scripting News]

Mon, 02 Dec 2002 19:48:36 GMT

Using VBScript to run a program

VBScript can be used instead of a batch file to perform setup and cleanup operations before and after running another program.

For games, we might need to:

  • load the CD image
  • change controller preferences
  • change screen resolution

The VBScript syntax is:
     object.Run(strCommand, [intWindowStyle], [bWaitOnReturn{=false}])

Dim oShell
Set oShell = WScript.CreateObject ("") "cmd /K CD C:\ & Dir"
Set oShell = Nothing

For Paragon CD-ROM Emulator, the command line would be:
    Cdman /command:e'-”T”,i-"T=E:cdthe image.cdi”

This "ejects" any CD already in drive T (the ' in e' is an optional apostrophe used to tell it to continue after any errors - like no CD mounted).




Fri, 29 Nov 2002 01:59:33 GMT

January 2002;|  Sue Mosher  |  Outlook Tips and Techniques  |  InstantDoc #23147 Outlook Tips--Displaying Multiple Folders Within a View Can I show more than one folder within a view—such as the Day/Week/Month view that combines Calendar and Tasks, only with different folders? —Brud Rossmann Aside from the built-in Calendar + Tasks view and the Outlook Today page, Outlook out of the box provides no views that combine data from multiple folders. The solution is to use the Outlook View Control (OVC) in a folder home page. The OVC is an ActiveX control that displays a specific Outlook page. Folder home pages are simply Web pages, and they can host multiple copies of the OVC, each displaying a different folder. You can add the OVC to a Web page, just as you would any other control, and set the necessary properties. The original version of the OVC had a security vulnerability. For Outlook 2002, visit the Microsoft Office Download Center and download and install the latest update for Outlook 2002. Any update after August 16, 2001, has the more secure OVC. After you use the OVC to create a Web page, make it the home page for an Outlook folder by bringing up the folder's Properties dialog box and entering the path to the Web page on the Home Page tab. For more information about the OVC, including sample code, see the Microsoft article "OL2000: General Information About the Outlook View Control"[...]

Thu, 21 Nov 2002 14:33:24 GMT

Public development for the enterprise?. Public development sites such as and Microsoft's forthcoming GotDotNet Workspaces provide many tools for collaborative development. But Larry Seltzer has a hard time imagining enterprises using them. [ZDNet Tech Update Today - 21 Nov 02]

Wed, 20 Nov 2002 01:15:53 GMT

Footbridge is "a lightweight tool to mirror Radio categories to Advogato, LiveJournal, and Blogger API sites." [Scripting News]

Tue, 19 Nov 2002 13:07:14 GMT

Take A Manageable Approach To Reading Html Page Data. Analyzing a Web site for valid data and errors can be time-consuming, but HTML scraping streamlines the process. Here are some tips and downloads to help you extract data easily from HTML pages. [ - 19 Nov 02]

Tue, 19 Nov 2002 13:02:11 GMT

Outlook 2002: Save Your Custom Apps With Redemption. Have Outlook 2002's new security features rendered your custom applications useless? Find out how you can bypass these security measures
and breathe new life into your custom applications. [TechRepublic - 18 Nov 02]

Tue, 05 Nov 2002 20:45:54 GMT

XML News Feeds and weblogs RealWorldASP Newsletter 10/24/2002 - is my new weblog where I, um, talk about stuff. If you want the raw news without my spin on it, check out where I aggregate several XML news feeds for general consumption :O) Talking about XML News Feeds and weblogs, if you want to display news from an RSS/RDF XML news source then check out my ASP.NET XML News control. This control is how I created those news pages above really quickly. Just drag the control onto your project and set the url of the feed and you are away. All source code is included for both normal projects and IBuySpy portals! Another control written by little ol' me is my ASP.NET picture gallery! Again, all source is included for both IBuySpy portals and normal projects. This control automatically displays pictures as thumbnails allowing you to click to get the full view in a new window. See it in action at Both controls we written in VB.NET but work in C# projects. ASP Tutorial -- Chris Garrett :OD--[...]

Thu, 31 Oct 2002 13:59:17 GMT

Working in a New Way. For the past few days an ardent discussion on the OSAF design mailing list has revealed there is no consensus... [Mitch Kapor's Weblog]

Wed, 30 Oct 2002 13:45:01 GMT

Phil Hewitt: Blogger XML-RPC Tools in VB. [Scripting News]

Wed, 30 Oct 2002 02:30:06 GMT

Jon Udell: "The Xopus demo is, indeed, an eye-opener." [Scripting News] The Xopus demo is, indeed, an eye-opener. Runs in the browser, without plug-in support, toggling between WSYIWYG and XML modes, enforces schema, has multilingual support both in the UI and the document. Includes a competent table editor. The developers of this open-source project have even built a prototype of the MSIE ContentEditable feature for Mozilla, in advance of official support in Mozilla for that feature. Impressive!

Sat, 26 Oct 2002 12:12:58 GMT

Radio Userland enhancements

News Aggregator

  • Update Now button
  • Check all buttons in this channel (to left of globe)
  • Ability to tag items by category
  • Ability to edit items without posting first (philosophy?)
  • Sort by channel


  • Edit items without complex dance to home page and back
  • Edit-in-place
  • Combine / copy / delete
  • Edit date/time


  • Basic security on a directory level



  • HtmlTidy

Thu, 24 Oct 2002 19:41:36 GMT

Newsletter-to-RSS update

The Outlook email security update (see Q262700) means you get a popup dialog box every time a script tries to access the email address of a message. We need to know the address to handle email parsing without needing a separate rule for each and every source.

various approaches

OL2002: How to Create a Script for the Rules Wizard

Finally decided to use a rule to Forward the message back to myself (a special pseudo-account). When Outlook forwards a message, it adds the Original Message header:

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: October 18, 2002 11:03 AM
Subject: Tips from our experts, Oct. 18, 2002

Now, the news-to-rss rule can parse the original message header without using programming tips to access it.

Thu, 24 Oct 2002 19:13:17 GMT

Daves Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar. I've added a couple of searches to Dave's Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar . One is for searching Arin whois database and another for searching place names at the Getty Thesaurus of Georgraphic Names. The searches are provided here in the form of an XML file that you just drop in the searches directory. Arin XML file is here . Getty XML file is here. If you are unfamiliar with Dave's Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar its an absolute must have utility on Windows. [TechnoMagician's Weblog]

Thu, 24 Oct 2002 19:13:06 GMT

Finding More Channels - a great page on finding RSS feeds from Morbus Iff . It’s geared toward amphetaDesk users, but it’s useful for users of any RSS reader.

Wed, 23 Oct 2002 17:36:06 GMT

NewsScraper: check for xxxx. where the last "." was a period.