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Archive for February, 2009

Importing RSS Feed Into FileMaker with XSLT

February 23rd, 2009 7 comments

Update:

Per popular request I am revisiting this article. I made some edits and also now you can download the the demo file.

Someone sent an email to our FileMaker group to request information about importing RSS feed into FileMaker. Since I have done this and it’s actually quite easy, I thought I’d post the method here.

Ingredients

  1. FileMaker (8.5 or later because you need Web Viewer);
  2. A FileMaker database ;
  3. An XSLT style sheet; (I found this style sheet somewhere some time ago; didn’t write it myself)
  4. A web host where you can post the XSLT file;
  5. An RSS feed that actually works with this (e.g. Yahoo Stocks: http://rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/stocks);
  6. A script that pulls the info (which now can be run on server if you have FMS 9 or 10);
  7. A table in your DB for storing the RSS feeds;
  8. A portal on your layout that shows the list of RSS feeds;
  9. A web viewer in your database that can display the resulted web page;
  10. A script that tells the web viewer to show the requested article.

Directions

  1. Create a new table called ‘RSS_Feed’ in your solution (since this only works in FM 8.5 and later, there’s no need for a separate file). Create the following fields: ID, Title, Description, Link, PubDate, SelectedLink;
  2. Link the new table to your preferred table (Global, Solution, etc.) by showing all records (‘x’ symbol);
  3. Create a new layout in your solution, place a portal on it showing the records from the RSS Feed table (link and description fields, minimum). Place a web viewer next to it. Name your web viewer object “article”;
  4. Create a script similar to this example to refresh the feed (you can run this script from a button on your layout or at certain intervals from the server):
  5. Go to Layout [ “Layout Name” (Table Name) ]
    Enter Browse Mode
    Show All Records
    Delete All Records
    [ No dialog ]
    Import Records [ XML (from http): http://rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/stocks; XSL (from http): http://www.website.com/folder/rss2fmp.xsl ]
    [ No dialog ]
    Go to Layout [ original layout ]
    
  6. Create a script for showing the article:
  7. 
    Set Field [ RSS_Feed::SelectedLink; RSS_Feed::Link ]
    Set Web Viewer [ Object Name: "article"; URL: RSS_Feed::SelectedLink ]
    
  8. Turn your title field on your portal into a button and link to perform the script above.

This is most likely not the only method; it may not be the best method either. It is, however a working method.

Any questions, suggestions, feel free to respond.

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Reminder, anyone?

February 17th, 2009 3 comments

There’s a really nifty apple Dashboard Widget called Reminder. That’s exactly what it does: you tell it what you want to be reminded of and when and it will remind you. 2.0 only runs on Leopard, but they have a 1.0 version for Tiger users.

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Quickoffice to demo Office apps for iPhone and Google Android at MWC 2009

February 11th, 2009 No comments

One of the features that has made the Blackberry (among others) the ultimate business device was the ability to create and edit office documents right on the handheld. (I’m not going to get into the differences between Palm and Blackberry. Having had multiple versions of both devices, the Blackberry is superior to me for a lot of reasons.) Then came the iPhone. With its lacking business capabilities, a lot of companies and IT departments had to wait to upgrade because it would not meet today’s business needs. We are officially one step closer. According to ZDNet, Quickoffice will be demoing their new office suit for the iPhone at MWC. They already have office products for the Symbian, Blackberry and Palm OSs, and now they are expanding their offerings for the iPhone. They already have one iPhone app: MobileFiles.

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MIT Students Invent Wearable Computing System

February 11th, 2009 No comments

LONG BEACH, California — Students at the MIT Media Lab have developed a wearable computing system that turns any surface into an interactive display screen. The wearer can summon virtual gadgets and Internet data at will, then dispel them like smoke when they’re done.

The technology’s use is endless. I already love the idea of going to stores and checking out products. Although, reading reviews on everything you buy can significantly slow down shopping. The thought of knowing everything about a person you’re just about to talk to might be daunting. On the other hand, knowing the person you’re just about to leave your kids with is not a sex offender is priceless.

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Want to know who’s doing what in your neighborhood?

February 6th, 2009 No comments

I tend to think of myself as a forward thinker. Having worked in technology for many years, I have the latest gadgets, and even if I don’t have them, I try to to follow technology, so I know what I’m missing.

I’m not a fan of too much control. I know people need to learn things from their own mistakes, even though I try to prevent the foreseeable. All of these new social media concepts and applications are great if you are into educating yourself, want to see what’s hip, who’s doing what, who’s eating what, etc. I haven’t decided if this is scary or a good idea.

I recently discovered two new ways of getting info about your neighbors:

  1. Klick, an iPhone app to show you can pictures of your neighborhood from flickr (and your neighbor’s kids)
  2. nearbytweets.com, as the name suggests, tweets of your neighbors

If you have nothing better to do with your time, you can certainly be a voyeour without leaving your armchair. Let’s just hope sex offenders won’t find smart ways of collecting and analyzing the data to fit their needs.

Having trouble managing domains and websites? DomainBrain will come to the rescue!

February 5th, 2009 No comments

Are you managing your friends websites or are a professional developer managing tons of websites? Do you find it difficult to remember their FTP log in database access, which MySQL table their data stored in? I have just some across this handy application called DomainBrain that will do just that for you and even more. It can even tell you (through a WHOIS query) when you need to renew the domain.

The image below will tell you what type of information you can store in DomainBrain. Then with a mouse click on the arrow icon next to the URLs, it will launch your FTP program (Fetch, e.g.) and log you in automatically. Now, I know, we all have our login information stored in our FTP programs (rather in our Keychain App), bu having everything centralized is worth the exploration.

With the free version you can manage up to 4 domains, or if you have more to handle you can have unlimited domains with a mere $14. It is Mac ONLY.

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Importing Feeds from Google Reader to NetNewsWire

February 4th, 2009 No comments

After reading several articles on Google one would think it’s a horrendous task to get all your feeds from Google Reader to NetNewsWire. But, really, it isn’t. Export your feeds from Google Reader, then import them into NetNewsWire. It’s that simple. You’ll get a folder with the freshly imported feeds, then you can just do a little organization. Then you can sync your feeds with NewsGator and read them on any computer or your iPhone. It’s that simple!

Download NetNewsWire

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