Posting to Blogger/Blogspot using the Atom API

Ok … I was able to get my first “test” post through late last night
… well … early this morning.  I now have a basic framework of
code for Radio that is able to post to or using the Atom API.  Woo hoo!

I do not yet have this completed for redistribution … but soon
will.  I was able to do this by creating hacked copies of Dave
Winer’s blogger.newPost methods, and creating a blogger.newAtomPost
method.  I did one quick test post, and then headed to bed. 
There are a couple of bugs that I have to work out, and then I was to
see if I can hack this into the #upstream.xml
file processing.  I’d like to simply be able to put a line in the
#upstream.xml file that indicates that I want to upstream using the
Atom API.

If not, then I’ll still end up creating a seperate tool that will be a fork of the xManilaBloggerBridge
tool written by Steve Hooker.  Fun stuff … I’m glad that I took
the time to write this … it was a good learning experience.

P.S. For anyone who wants to use the xManilaBloggerBridge tool with
Radio and Blogger, I found that there are two core changes to get this
working … I had to search for “metaWeblog.” and comment out the calls
to these methods, and then look right next to them and un-comment the
“blogger.” methods.  Once I had done this, the basic Blogger API
stuff started to work just fine.  There is not support for
‘titles’ in the Blogger API though … this is why I pursued the Atom
API support.

Posting to Blogspot using Radio

I am trying to get my blogging tool – Radio – to post to Blogspot …
and I think that I just got it working.  I’m going to do some
experimentation over the next few days, but this first test
worked.  I was able to get a tool called the xManilaBlogger
Bridge, and then hack the code to get it to use the Bloggr API.

At some point in the future I’ll be modifying the code to see if I am
get this same tool using the Atom API … this will allow me to add
titles, etc.

Cool … this will make it so much easier to keep my Tablet PC Thoughts blog going …

Radio Love/Hate Relationship

Yes … once again … my Radio Love/Hate Relationship.  There are
so many things tht I love about Radio, however I am here at the
O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego, and I have not
been able to blog all week.  Well … I can actually blog, but I
can’t upstream.

I’m not sure why, but the Radio FTP is not working, and fails with a
stupid, non-descriptive error telling me that some sub-table doesn’t
exist.  By now, I know that means that I can’t get to the FTP
server.  There are just too many little problems like this that
really bug me.

What is Funny/Sad is that I have had many people here at the conference
tell me about Radio … and their frustrations.  I have heard
person after person talking about how they left the application due to
the same sorts of issues.  It’s sad to see the momentum that this
product had, fall by the wayside in disrepair.  It still has more
advanced features than anything else that I can find … but I am
slowly beginning my search for something else.

I hope Userland can do something soon … I feel that time is running out for Radio.

Pictures and Radio … duh!

Ok … as of last night I found a quick way to get images and pictures
into my blog posts.  I am taking a lot of these with my cell
phone, which I then e-mail to my laptop.  I save the picture to my
Radio “images” directory and they are automatically copied up to my web
server.  I can then use the Radio UI to go to the Folder page, and
browse to the picture … there is an icon next to the name that is the
URI of the picture on the server.

I can then create an HTML IMG tag like this:

<img src=”” align=”right” height=100 width=100>

the Radio rich editor, I select to “View HTML Source” and can
copy the tag into the HTML!  Of course I have to say that it could
be much easier!  I’m surprised that Dave Winer didn’t add a button
to the toolbar, similar to the “Insert Link” button, that would be a
“Insert Image” button.  It could pop a dialog that would prompt
for the URI, and a couple of these other values, and then simply insert
the formatted tag at the cursor location.

By the way, this particular image is my son Sam on his first time out
skiing at Park City Ski Resort here in Utah.  I took him skiing in
January and he had a blast.  At this time is was not quite two and
half years old … and he loved it.  I can’t wait to get him out
skiing more next year!

Ken Novak, Bloglet, and virtualization …

I was in the middle of debugging my problems with Radio categories last night, when in walked Ken Novak.  I met Ken Novak a number of
years ago at the Foresight Institute conference. He is always
involved in some interesting and exciting areas … I always like to
hear about his work. Last night as we talked about our use and
experiences with RSS, Radio, and various RSS related companies and
products. I have been looking at an idea that I described to Ken
and he pointed me to Bloglet … my idea already exists! This is a very cool idea … a variation on what News Gator is doing … converting RSS feeds into e-mail messages.

We also spent some time laughing about the current state of Userland’s
Radio … it is becoming clear that most experienced users just plain do not mess with it
once it is working well for them.  I’m going to keep pushing the
limits to get my categories going … and I’ll keep backing things up
on the way.

We also talked about virtualization technologies … his interest and
recognition of the value, and my experiences with Virtual PC
2004.  We talked about how we both expect to see people begin to
trade in Virtual Hard Disks … the large files created by Virtual PC
that contain the hard disk information.  We both see that this
goes another step beyond the current file-trading that people are doing

I had hoped he would be here the rest of the weekend … we’ll have to catch up on-line …

Radio still not baked …

I have to say that I really like Userland’s product – Radio – and I
really hate it. It is *almost* the solution that I am looking for
… it just doesn’t seem completely baked. I recently updated to
the latest version – and paid for it – and the basic functionality
works … some advanced stuff is crippled.

I am using it for the management of several blogs that I create – for
both public and private consumption – and it is the “category”
capabilities that just are not there. For the first time I
started to configure the various categories, and the pages just do not
render properly. I get back cryptic error messages that are
completely misleading and incorrect. Searching on-line there are
numerous people having these same problems … the solutions are seldom
related to the error message … many are never fixed. I’m looking
for where I am
suppoed to go for support …

This sucks … ;-(

Migration to Radio 8.0.8 …

I have just completed my migration from Radio 7 to Radio 8 . It
has been a long time coming, and was quite a pain to do. There
were far too many details that I had to manage … I wish they would
have had some sort of upgrade program. They actually did … it
upgraded the blog database and some other things. It left my HTML
templates to me, and the HTML templates were not compatible between

I’m postin this tonight to watch and see that my new format is
working. I still have one more change that I want to make to the
item template. I might try it tonight.

I actually ran into a nasty problem last night, however I believe that
I now have that resolved. I had modified the opening “body” tag
to add a new background image. When I commented out an older
attempt at this (it includes a Radio macro to reference the images
folder correctly) it seemed that Radio had a real issue with processing
the macros when they existed inside of commented HTML.

Anyhow … back to blogging …

ATOM to RSS Conversion

I found this ATOM to RSS Conversion service today … it is extremely helpful for subscribing to ATOM feeds being produced by Google/Blogger.  They recently chose to drop support for RSS feeds, and are only providing ATOM feeds for subscription.

With all of the “wars” going on over these protocols, I’m a little disappointed that Google/Blogger has gone this direction … however it was only a matter of time before a service like this one showed up.  Blog on …

The coming of Dynamic Blogs, and Log Blogs
In following the evolution of the “blog”, I have been thinking about a lot of advanced services that could be converted into “blogging” and “aggregating”.

For example, I am currently involved in a wireless networking project. The wireless access points use the Syslog protocol to send event notifications to a central server for monitoring. I recently realized that it would be great to convert these Syslog events into a blog! So instead of running a conventional “syslogd” on my server, I would instead run a version that created it’s output in RSS format.

Upon thinking about this further, it became obvious that another possible solution would be to instead create a simple log-file-to-RSS engine. It would be given tasks to “tail” a particular log file, and then convert the output into RSS format. This could even be done on demand by a script …

What is very interesting are the number of these “dynamic” blogs that are appearing, and what other possibilities exist …

RSS in my heart.Wired News has a beautiful new (beta) application for RSS. Give it a search term, and it returns articles that include the term. For example, this feed shows all the articles that contain my name; subscribe to it, and you’ll be informed of anything new written about me on Wired News. We used to call this ego surfing, now I have an ego aggregator. Progress is amazing. As Steve Gillmor says, aggregators are the new desktop, RSS the format that ties together information flows. We call this information routing. Powerful stuff.   [Scripting News]