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A Happy Tail

Wagging a tail normally means something is happy, so why not make a cool rss feed reader that works just like tail.

You can call tail on two types of things, names and urls. A name is the alias you want to call from the command line. For example you could call wag http://superlongurl.com/ --template sometemplate or you could map a name to those options and only have to type wag short-name. Names are setup in the .wag/feeds file. The config file follows the ini format. The sections are the names. Each section has the following options:

url - the rss/atom feed url

template - the file name for the jinja2 template you want have rendered by default(you can override this with --template).
Also must be in your template_path (currently ~/.wag/templates and '.'). If no template is defined we use the default template. The default template just displays the title of each entry.

title - The title you want to use when displaying a list of feeds

Example Config File layout:

[knobe]
url=http://github.com/knobe.atom
template=knobe-template
title=knobe's github feed

If you need to figure out the keys to generate that template just run wag <url|name> -k and it will spit out the keys and example data assocaited with them.

Setting up your config and templates

Ok, so I have realized that setting up your configs and templates may be a bit confusing if you have never used a python templating engine. We use the jinja2 templating engine in ours. So for those who want to get really creative with their templating you can read the jinja docs at http://jinja.pocoo.org/2/documentation/.

Setting up that github rss feed

First create the directory ~/.wag and open the file ~/.wag/feed. Put the following into ~/.wag/feed:

[github]
url=<your personalized github feed>
template=github-template

WTF?? github is the name you can call from wag when you want to run it. This makes it nice so you don't always have to put in the feed when you want to tail it. github-template is the template that wag will use for that feed. It will look for this template in your current directory and ~/.wag/templates/

To setup up that wonderful template, you need access to certain keys. To get the keys run wag github --keys. This will give a print out of keys and a sample of what is in each key. The format is <key>: <example>. Your keys should look something like this

updated: 2010-03-01T11:49:20-08:00
published_parsed: time.struct_time(tm_year=2010, tm_mon=3, tm_mday=1, tm_hour=19, tm_min=49, tm_sec=20,
tm_wday=0, tm_yday=60, tm_isdst=0)
subtitle: <div class="details">

  <div class="message">

      friendly's description:
      <blockquote>           
        NoSQL with MySQL in Ruby
      </blockquote>             

  </div>
</div>
updated_parsed: time.struct_time(tm_year=2010, tm_mon=3, tm_mday=1, tm_hour=19, tm_min=49, tm_sec=20, tm
_wday=0, tm_yday=60, tm_isdst=0)
links: [{'href': u'http://github.com/jamesgolick/friendly', 'type': u'text/html', 'rel': u'alternate'}]
title: rkh started watching jamesgolick/friendly
author: rkh
content: [{'base': 'https://github.com/knobe.private.atom?token=6bab0fd63748b7584b11b68706baf952', 'type
': 'text/html', 'value': u'<div class="details">\n  \n  <div class="message">\n    \n      friendly\'s d
escription:\n      <blockquote>\n        NoSQL with MySQL in Ruby\n      </blockquote>\n    \n  </div>\n
</div>', 'language': u'en-US'}]
title_detail: {'base': 'https://github.com/knobe.private.atom?token=6bab0fd63748b7584b11b68706baf952', '
type': 'text/plain', 'value': u'rkh started watching jamesgolick/friendly', 'language': u'en-US'}
link: http://github.com/jamesgolick/friendly
published: 2010-03-01T11:49:20-08:00
author_detail: {'name': u'rkh'}
id: tag:github.com,2008:WatchEvent/151460011

Nads, that is a lot of data to process. For now just look at the first part of each line( the words before the colons ). You have title, links and many other keys. We are going to use title and links for this short intro.

So now that we have the keys lets use them. Put the following lines into ~/.wag/templates/github-template:

{{ title }} - {{ links[0].href }}

My friend Jeff, might think that {{ title }} make sense since the keys are are the part of a hash, or dictionary in python. Now Jeff would definatly question the {{ links[0].href }}. Well links is a hash that maps to an array with another hash table in it. So we grab the first item in the array and then use a key from the hash. So the output of the template would be:

rkh started watching jamesgolick/friendly - http://github.com/jamesgolick/friendly

Tada now you have a basic template that will be called on all entries of your github feed.

If for your output is printing all on the same line adding a blank new line to the template should resolve that issue.

For other help please run wag -h

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