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Stalla

Stalla logo
Podcast RSS Feed metadata Parser and Writer

GitHub Workflow Status Coverage Status Codacy Badge

An RSS 2.0 feed parser and writer library for Podcast metadata on the JVM. This library is written in Kotlin and has a Java-friendly API.

Supported standards

Scheduled:

Feel free to open an issue if Stalla is missing support for a relevant namespace.

Usage

Distribution

Stalla is distributed via Maven Central.

Maven:

<dependency>
  <groupId>dev.stalla</groupId>
  <artifactId>stalla</artifactId>
  <version>1.0.0</version>
</dependency>

Gradle Kotlin DSL:

implementation("dev.stalla:stalla:1.0.0")

Parsing an RSS feed

To parse an RSS feed, you need to use the PodcastRssParser object. Parsing an RSS feed is as easy as picking the overload of parse() that fits your needs:

val rssFeedFile = File("/my/path/rss.xml")
val podcast = PodcastRssParser.parse(rssFeedFile)

The parse() function will return a parsed Podcast?, which may be null if parsing was unsuccessful. It will also throw an exception if parsing fails catastrophically (e.g., the source is a File that doesn't exist).

In Java, all overloads of parse() are available as static methods.

Writing an RSS feed

To write an RSS feed, you need to use the PodcastRssWriter object. Writing an RSS feed is as easy as picking the overload of write() that fits your needs:

val rssFeedFile = File("/my/path/rss.xml")
val podcast: Podcast = // ...
  PodcastRssWriter.writeRssFeed(podcast, rssFeedFile)

The write() function will throw an exception if writing fails for whatever reason.

In Java, all overloads of write() are available as static methods.

Data model

The two central entities in Stalla's entire data model are Podcast (abstracting the RSS <channel>) and Episode (abstracting an RSS <item>).

Model construction in Kotlin

All model types are Kotlin data classes. Their properties are always un-reassignable (val), and the constructors have default values for optional fields (null) and lists (emptyList()).

val someEpisode: Episode = // ...
val podcast = Podcast(
  title = "The Stalla Show",
  description = "A show about Stalla development",
  link = "https://stalla.dev/podcast",
  language = Locale.ENGLISH,
  episodes = listOf(firstEpisode)
)

Model construction in Java

⚠️ Direct instantiation of model class objects is discouraged in Java.

The Java language does not provide named arguments. Some of Stalla's model classes take huge parameter lists. To mitigate this limitation, every model class provides a static builder() method that returns a builder instance enabling expressive construction in Java.

Episode someEpisode = // ...
Podcast podcast = Podcast.builder()
  .title("The Stalla Show")
  .description("A show about Stalla development")
  .link("https://stalla.dev/podcast")
  .language(Locale.ENGLISH)
  .addEpisodeBuilder(firstEpisode)
  .build();

Note that builders validate lazily upon calling build(), i.e., the constructed model instance may be null if:

  • Not all required constructor properties of the backing data class have been initialized in the builder (technical requirement by the type system).
  • Not all mandatory information bas been provided with respect to the backing specification (RSS or other XML namespace). For example, a Podcast needs at least one Episode (i.e. one <item> within the <channel>), so while technically an empty list satisfies the technical requirement (required to be not null), it however violates the logical requirement (at least one element).

Enumerated types

The supported XML namespaces declare several elements that only accept a finite set of predefined values. In Stalla, these values are usually modeled via enum classes (e.g., GoogleplayCategory or TranscriptType). However, some elements, like the Categories of the iTunes namespace, have a more complex structure (i.e., a hierarchy) that cannot be modeled via enums. These types still try to provide an interface that is close to that of enums for consistent usage. For example, ItunesCategory exposes all possible values as members of the companion object (Kotlin) or as static class members (Java).

Note that the instances exposed by MediaType are not the finite set of possible values, but only predefined instances for convenience.

Convenience features

Builder factory: builder() method

All model classes expose a builder() method as a member of the companion object (Kotlin) or as a static class method (Java). These methods return an implementation of the respective model classes builder interface. The builder pattern enables expressive object construction using named attribute initializers, and compensate for the lack of named constructor arguments in the Java language.

Builder mutation: applyFrom() method

All builders expose an applyFrom(model) method that takes an instance of the builder's model class as argument, and returns the builder instance. The method applies all values of the provided model to the builder's state. This is therefore a mutating operation. The returned builder instance is the mutated state of the builder on which the applyFrom method is called, and not a new instance. The operation does not result in any structural sharing, e.g., references of lists, etc.

The generic use case of this method is the convenient construction of a new model object based on the properties of an existing model instance:

Episode oldEpisode = // ...
Episode newEpisode = Episode.builder()
  .applyFrom(oldEpisode)
  .title("The latest episode")
  .build();

In Kotlin, you can also use the copy() method exposed by all data classes to obtain a new model instance with some of its properties mutated.

Type factory: of() method

All enumerated types expose an of(String) method as a member of the companion object (Kotlin) or as a static class method (Java). This method is a factory and produces an instance of the type if possible, otherwise null. In contrast to the enum classes' valueOf() standard method, of() is case-insensitive and also available for non-enum class enumerated types (e.g., ItunesCategory).

Additionally, Stalla has some types that validate a string for certain patterns, e.g. MediaType models media types as defined by RFC 2046, and StyledDuration describes values in several supported time formats (14:02:56 or 5:23 or 33.833). These types also provide the of() method as the only means to obtain an instance of the class.

Generate the documentation

The project uses Dokka to generate its documentation from the KDoc comments in the code. If you want to generate a fresh version of the documentation, use one of the Dokka Gradle tasks:

$ ./gradlew dokkaHtml
$ ./gradlew dokkaJavadoc
$ ./gradlew dokkaGfm
$ ./gradlew dokkaJekyll

License

Stalla is released under the BSD 3-clause license.