2009-01-09 Planet Venus

The guys from RPG Bloggers seem to have some site issues [1] [2] In the first post talking about it, Dave says they’ll “probably have to accept advertising” in order to develop some code. I mentioned I’d rather have fewer features and less ads and pointed to Planet Emacsen which runs Planet Venus, but apparently “it’s a matter of needing custom code to handle the specific demands of the network”. Oh well.

Just to figure out how difficult it would be to setup up Planet Venus I spent some time investigating it. One of my sites is hosted by HCoop which uses the Andrew File System. I lost quite some time trying to figure out why my planet was not being published until I found a workaround leading to http://planet.campaignwiki.org filled with some sample blogs. After all, it’s just a proof of concept.

Ok, I’m also procrastinating because I ought to be translating Labyrinth Lord from English to German. :)

Anyway, so now I have convinced myself that I could do it. I also like how Planet Venus lets me produce custom output using XSLT and other stuff I have used very rarely.

Here are some things I’m thinking about:

  1. Should I just use my own preferences when choosing the feeds? After all, as long as RPG Bloggers is working just fine there’s no need for me set up a similar service. As you can tell from the sample blogs, I prefer that old school vibe. :)
  2. In a similar vein, assuming I keep building on it: The current code doesn’t categorize posts. Such a thing would be interesting to add, but to be honest, I never use the various categories provided by RPG Bloggers (and my own category tags don’t seem to work).
  3. I would like to have a public source for feeds – a wiki page or something similar. Anybody should be able add or remove blogs from the list. I miss Grognardia on RPG Bloggers, for example.
  4. Alternatively, we could use a list of OPML files and automatically generate a planet based on the reading lists of a smaller number of people.
  5. I’m not sure what sort of load issues the existing RPG Bloggers network is running into. Should I just try adding tons of blogs to my RPG Planet and see how load develops?

It has been an interesting technical challenge and I appreciate the work that went into Planet Emacsen and the RPG Bloggers a lot more, now. (Those are the only two blog aggregations I read.)



It turns out that it was really easy to tell Planet Venus to read a config file from a wiki. So now we have the list of feeds on a wiki page. Anybody can edit it.

AlexSchroeder 2009-01-10 23:55 UTC

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