An RSS FOSS newswire?

I've been wondering how to connect communities and remembered a project which had a newswire in a sidebar. Wouldn't it be great to have one of those which was a stream of FOSS in AEC related stories? It could just pick up stories from pre-selected websites with RSS feeds as long as they hit some keywords. @tetov @SigmaDimensions is that realistic?

While I disagree with @yorik decision to make it simply means we have to find innovative ways to connect our communities. bimlivre isn't the first or last of that type of project we need to connect to.
I've been rediscovering RSS recently as an antidote to Google/Facebook/Twitter driven content curation and I think it RSS needs attention.



  • Sure, no problem. Please provide me with a list of feeds & keywords that you would want to use and I’ll set up a feed that includes all and add it to the forum.

  • I know you would have preferred a portuguese section here on osarch @duncan but I thought it was really important that people can consider as their own, brazilian thing. But yeah, having some box in the side panel with, say, the last 5 posts would be great! I installed the pocket plugin on bimlivre, and I think it would be doable to fetch the osarch rss feed and turn its 5 first elements into a nice html list to display on the side panel. Still need to find how to fetch an external rss feed from javascript, which is apparently forbidden. Maybe passing through some rss2json utility, or some little side php script that would display in an iframe...

  • Is this something the developers of the vanilla forum could be interested in working with us on?
    @yorik I also prefer milk in my coffee, that doesn't mean milky coffee is the only good coffee. Movements always suffers from fragmentation. We need to work hard against that tendency.
    @yorik what's the rss feed address of bimlivre? I can't find it. @tetov, once you have that shall we try this idea of showing a short bit of the last five posts?
    Once we've got a few relevant sites working on the bottom/side of the forum we can start adding them other places and maybe a dedicated newsfeed which mixes them together.
    After bimlivre we can try and add the FreeCAD FEM & BIM forums

  • @duncan said:
    Is this something the developers of the vanilla forum could be interested in working with us on?

    The devs have added a pocket widget for that in release 2021.005. We need to update the installation for that though. There are some (quite old) plugins too:

    @yorik what's the rss feed address of bimlivre? I can't find it. @tetov, once you have that shall we try this idea of showing a short bit of the last five posts?

    There one feed available from bimlivre from what I can tell. I'll do some tests to see if I can get only announcements or something similar.

  • @tetov so how do we go about making an update of vanilla. I assume that's the most prudent way forward.
    As for the contents of the feed from bimlivre I don't think it needs to focus on any one thing. It's just there to remind people that other things are happening and maybe catch their eye with something they think is interesting.

  • Ok I started something, check the side column of .
    Basically I used the "pockets" plugin, which shows this content:

    <div class="custombox">
      <div class="title"><a href=""></a></div>
      <div class="contents">Não deixe de dar uma olhada no equivalente em inglês (e inspiração!) deste site: <a href=""></a>. Últimos artigos do</div>
      <iframe id="osarch" src="/parserss.php" title="last posts"></iframe>
        var iframe = document.getElementById("osarch");
        iframe.onload = function(){
 = iframe.contentWindow.document.body.scrollHeight + 'px';

    The javascript is to resize the iframe to its contents to eliminate the scrollbar.
    And this calls a parserss.php file that I uploaded on the same site, which contains this:

    $url = "";
    $xml = simplexml_load_file($url);
    if($xml ===  FALSE)
       echo "error parsing XML";
    $html = "<html><body style='margin:0;'><ul style='list-style: none; padding: 0;'>";
    for($i = 0; $i < 5; $i++){
        $title = $xml->channel->item[$i]->title;
        $link = $xml->channel->item[$i]->link;
        $description = $xml->channel->item[$i]->description;
        $pubDate = $xml->channel->item[$i]->pubDate;
        $description = strip_tags($description);
        $html .= "    <li style='margin: 5px 0;'>";
        $html .= "        <a target='_blank' href='$link' title='$description - $pubDate' style='font-family: Open sans; font-size: 0.9em; color: #008833;'>$title</a><br/>";
        $html .= "    </li>";
    $html .= "</ul></body></html>";
    echo "$html";

    It's still a bit clumsy, the styling needs to be done by hand apparently, but it works ;)

  • @Moult: Would you be OK with me updating Vanilla?
    @yorik: Thanks for sharing.
    I thought announcements might make more sense than all discussions (for sidebar on this forum). What do you think @duncan?

  • @tetov let's try something and see what we think over time.

  • edited January 10

    Sorry for the late reply. @tetov let's update vanilla together, since we're a few versions behind and I'd also like to do some PHP 8 testing. Give me a ping when you're around on the live chat.

    Is what you're describing an RSS planet (feed aggregator)?

    If so, isn't it better to put on the OSArch main site? The OSArch community would be one source, but it would also include blogs and microblogs?

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