RSS feeds and WordPress plugins

I’ve set up my homepage to show some RSS feeds. One from this blog. One from my OSM user diary.

Showing multiple RSS feed is kind of the most basic example of a “mashup”. A web development problem you can solve with five minutes of tinkering. Sure enough I did manage to find a free script from somewhere and get a feed showing in five minutes, but only because I consciously said to myself that I wasn’t going to spend hours choosing which free script to go for. I knew this was a danger from past experience of wading through all the websites offering free scripts, looking for the right one. So I then spent a while tinkering because it wasn’t quite right, then regretted my choice of script, and wound up accidentally spending several hours re-coding it from scratch. This was mostly an irritating kind of tinkering, but…

I also had a go at making a WordPress plugin (to extend the features of my blog). This was fun, and amazingly easy. There’s tutorials about coding wordpress plugins, but I didn’t need to read any of that. I just fiddled with someone else’s code. It’s nifty the way wordpress automatically latches onto your php file and presents meta-information like the title of the plugin within the admin interface, and gives you the option to “activate” the plugin. I called mine “Harry’s cache deleter”, and made it delete the cache of my homepage RSS feed whenever I add or edit a blog entry. Just a matter of calling the add_action function to have my code invoked on add/edit events.

So let’s test it out right now… Publish!

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