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Feedfeeder has just a few things it needs to do:

  • Read in a few ATOM feeds (not too many).
  • Create FeedFeederItems out of the entries pulled from the ATOM feeds. Any feed items that contain enclosures will have the enclosures pulled down and added as File items to the feed item.
  • This means figuring out which items are new, which also means having a good ID generating mechanism.

Wait, no existing product?

There's a whole slew of RSS/ATOM reading products for zope and plone. None of them seemed to be a good fit. There was only one product that actually stored the entries in the zope database, but that was aimed at a lot of users individually adding a lot of feeds, so it needed either a separate ZEO process (old version) or a standalone mysql database (new version).

All the other products didn't store the entries in the database, were old/unmaintained/etc.

In a sense, we're using an existing product as we use Mark Pilgrim's excellent feedparser ( that'll do the actual ATOM reading for us.

Product name

The product feeds the content of ATOM feeds to plone as document/file content types. So "feedfeeder" sort of suggested itself as a funny name. Fun is important :-)

Product structure

I'm using archgenxml to generate the boiler plate stuff. There's a '' shell script that'll call archgenxml for you. Nothing fancy.

The feedfeeder's content types are:
  • folder.FeedfeederFolder
  • item.FeedFeederItem

How it works

A feedfeeder is a folder which contains all the previously-added feed entries as documents or files. It has a 'feeds' attribute that contains a list of feeds to read.

Feedparser is called periodically (through a cron job?) to parse the feeds. The UID of the items in the feed are converted to a suitable filename (md5 hex hash of the atom id of the entry), that way you can detect whether there are new items.

New items are turned into feed items. Feed data are filled into feed items (see field named objectInfo).

Scheduled updates for feed folders

Zope can be configured to periodically trigger a url call. In zope.conf you can use the <clock-server> directive to define a schedule and url with the following data:

   method /path_to_feedfolder/update_feed_items
   period 3600 # seconds
   user admin
   password 123
   host localhost:8080

Updating all feeds once

If your site has several feed folders and you want update them all once you can do:

  method /yoursiteid/feed-mega-update
  period 3600 # seconds
  user admin
  password 123
  host localhost:8080


  • Targeted at Plone 3.3 or Plone 4 (might work on earlier Plone 3 versions, but this is not tested). Compatibility with Plone 4.3 has been checked.


The look-here-first test is the doctest at 'doc/feedfeeder-integration.txt'.

Assuming you have a buildout, testing is best done something like this:

bin/instance test -s Products.feedfeeder

or if you have a bin/test command properly set up:

bin/test -s Products.feedfeeder
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