It's all spinning wheels and self-doubt until the first pot of coffee.

INN + blagg + plugin = News Aggregation via NNTP

I couldn't resist a bit of tinkering with NNTP, partly to follow up a little bit myself on RSS to/via NNTP, but mostly in fact to re-acquaint myself with the wonderfully arcane configuration of the majestic beast that is inn . In addition, there's been talk recently of aggregators moving out of the realms of satellite applications and into the browser itself. The Blagg and Blosxom powered Morning Reading page - my personal (but open) news aggregator - is already web-based, so I thought I'd have a look in the other direction.

I've been toying around with doing this with inn for quite some time now, so I'm happy to see someone else actually follow through and give it a whirl. And, using blagg with a plugin to do the posting seems just the right twist of clever.

Yeah, inn's a beast and meant for Usenet-scale beating, but it's Just There on many Linux installations. And blagg seems to do a decent job of prying content out of RSS feeds, with just a few regular expression incantations. DJ didn't have to reinvent an NNTP server, or create a brand new aggregator - just a few tweaks and glue, and two existing apps are joined in a completely new and interestingly complementary way.

Though one thing he says: "As I saw it, there are two approaches to newsgroup article creation ... Send items from all weblogs to the same newsgroup ... Send items from each weblog to a separate newsgroup." First thing I was wondering is: Why not cross-post the articles and have both?

And then there're the ideas for experimentation that come first to mind: "... Combining the various weblog trackbacking mechanisms with NNTP article IDs to link articles together in a thread; replying (to the newsgroup) to an article might send a comment to the post at the source weblog."

Kinda retro, kinda nouveau, joining the new distributed RSS net up with the semi-distributed NNTP net.


Archived Comments

  • Just yesterday I compared RSS and aggregators to usenet, so I find it particularly amusing that someone is now using NNTP for the purpose... http://blog.cfrq.net/chk/archives/20030128170223.html
  • On the topic of the RSS and NNTP couple, you may want to check this: http://www.methodize.org/nntprss It really works like a charm...