Exploring gRSShopper

I knew that gRSShopper is able to harvest RSS feeds, but it is much more powerful than that.

I wondered if it could replace my local WordPress note-taking, where I display my small note snippets on categoy pages. As a first test, however, I used the excerpts of my public blog.

Here is how I pieced the building blocks together. (Don’t be confused because all my tables and fields are prefixed with “x28”, just to tell them apart from the built-in stuff.)

1. Got a “Reclaim Hosting” webspace, so I have now a database with a database password, and a folder “public_html/” where I can transfer files.

2. Installed gRSShopper (following the instructions here).

3. Created two SQL import files of my data, using a quick utility intended for my own think tool — but it can also be used as standalone Java program (wxr2sql.jar, source here WXR2SQL.java) which converts the WordPress export format to SQL.

4. Using the phpMyAdmin tool from the Reclaim cPanel, I imported this SQL into my database.

5. Learn how to create a “view”:

  • navigate to your PLE: https:// yourservername/cgi-bin/page.cgi?page=PLE
  • in the upper left, click the green database icon to reveal the navigation pane
  • in the top left menu, click the “Make” tab;
  • in the row saying “[New][List] View”, click “New”;

6. Create a view with the View title of x28text_html and the following View text:

<h2>[*x28text_title*]</h2> 
<p>[*x28text_excerpt*]</p>

(To save, just click somewhere outside the entry fields. You should see a wait (spin) indicator somewhere below. Also, your new view should appear in Make > [List] View ).

7. Now you can try to retrieve a text, say, text number 3, by typing this URL into your browser: https:// yourservername/cgi-bin/page.cgi?x28text=3

8. Create a view with the View title of x28cat_html and the following View text:

<h3>[*x28cat_cat*]</h3>
<admin x28cat,[*x28cat_id*]>
<keyword db=x28text;cat=[*x28cat_cat*];format=html;>

9. Try to retrieve a category, say, category number 3, by typing this URL into your browser: https:// yourservername/cgi-bin/page.cgi?x28cat=3

Done. The magic is in the “<keyword ” construct.

To add even more subtle accelerators, I created a view called x28cat_list containing

<li><a href="<st_cgi>page.cgi?x28cat=
[*x28cat_id*]">[*x28cat_cat*]</a></li>

which is called from a new page

<keyword db=x28cat;format=list;></keyword>

Here is my page: page

Of course there was more cosmetic work to be done, such as finding and adapting the page_header, page_footer from Make > [List] Templates, and publishing the page to a “Page location” (.htm) via Make > [List] Page and the Page tab.

But the main building blocks are the colored ones that fit to each other as shown in this diagram:

Four code snippets with colored arrows connecting the matching terms.

Which is not very different from this:

Clipping from an IKEA assembly instruction, showing a screw and two holes, and an arrow through the first hole to the second hole.

(Source: IKEA)

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