Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Homebrewed RSS feeds

Some time ago, the BBC redesigned their news site and, for some unfathomable reason, removed most of the RSS feeds for their reporters’ blogs.  Being a fan of Brian Taylor, I grumbled at this for a bit and eventually wrote a little scraping script on my Raspberry Pi that polls the appropriate page and turns it into an RSS feed that I could consume in my preferred reader.  Later, the (excellent) NHS Behind the Headlines news site did the same.  Upon enquiry, they offered a private API that would let me recreate an RSS feed, and, again, I wrote a little script to manipulate this into the shape I required.  However, until now, I’ve kept these on my private web server, but always meant to move them to somewhere more public so that others could use them if they wanted to.  So without further ado:

Feel free to use any of these with your own reader.

(Usual disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with either the BBC or NHS, and these feeds could go away at any time if any corporate lawyers start getting angry). Enjoy!

(Edit 2019-03-06: added feed for NI political correspondent Mark Devenport)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Improving the new Google Reader

Google recently updated the look and feel for several of their web applications, including Reader (the one I use the most) in a way that I find makes it uglier and less usable.  A quick google web search reveals that I’m not alone in this but unlike some of the other apps there’s no way to revert to a “classic” look.  The new UI is unnecessarily large, with lots of wasted space, which is especially bad for netbooks, smaller screens and those of us who like making the most of larger screens.

This annoyed enough that I spent some time with SeaMonkey’s DOM Inspector to help trim some of the wasted space.  If you’re using Firefox or SeaMonkey, you can add the following rules to your userContent.css file:

@-moz-document url-prefix("") {
   #lhn-add-subscription-section {height: 50px !important;}
   #viewer-header {height: 50px !important;}
   #sections-header {height: 50px !important;}
   #entries.list .entry .collapsed {padding-top: 0 !important;
   padding-bottom: 2px !important;} #nav {width: 230px !important;}
   #chrome {margin-left: 0 !important;} #entries {padding-right: 0 !important;}
   #search {padding-top: 10px !important;}
   #top-bar {height: 45px !important;}

Tweak as required. I hope someone else out there finds this useful.

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