Ultra-lightweight RSS reader for R
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r-does-rss: an ultra lightweight RSS reader for R

r-does-rss is an incredibly lightweight RSS reader for the R statistical programming language . It will parse RSS and Atom feeds and return a named list consisting of header information and a list of items.

Package information

Package: rss
Title: Lightweight RSS/Atom reader for R
Version: 0.1
Date: 2011-03-04
Author: Noah Lorang
Maintainer: Noah Lorang <noah@noahhl.com>
Description: This is an ultra-lightweight RSS / atom reader for R. It will parse RSS 2.0 and earlier and Atom feeds. Support is provided for feeds that require basic HTTP authentication.
Depends: RCurl, XML
License: MIT

Installation instructions

Clone this repository, install the rss package and load it into your workspace:

git clone git://github.com/noahhl/r-does-rss.git
R CMD INSTALL r-does-rss

Usage instructions

The RSS reader can be loaded as library(rss).

rss has a single function, getFeed(feed, auth), where auth represents an optional basic HTTP authentication string of the format "username:password". It may be omitted.

getFeed() returns a list containing a header and a list of items.

Two demos are provided: GetCrantastic() and GetRBloggers(). These example get the Atom feed from Crantastic.org and the RSS feed from R-bloggers.com, respectively. They then display any new updates since the last time ~/.Rapp.history was last updated, or from the last week if unable to establish when ~/.Rapp.history was last updated.


The specific contents of the items returned will vary based on the specification of the feed used as well as the constructor used in generating the feed. An attempt is made to unify the format of basic fields (published date, categories, description, etc.), but less common fields may differ (with the Atom specification diverging from the base RSS fields)


Please create issues using the Github issue tracking. Reproducible examples and pull requests are most welcome.