[amsat-bb] Re: rss feed

Joe Veldhuis kd8atu at gmail.com
Sun Apr 12 10:57:05 PDT 2009

If the data were complete and kept reasonably up-to-date (new launches added and dead birds removed within a few days), this would be EXCELLENT. I'm all for it. Would be nice to throw a script together to update the Predict DB and sat list automatically on each startup...

-Joe, N8FQ

On Sun, 12 Apr 2009 13:38:55 -0400
Joseph Armbruster <josepharmbruster at gmail.com> wrote:

> All,
> The purpose of this email is to find out if anyone at Amsat would be 
> interested in a satellite status rss feed.
> I am reasonably new to Amsat (and sat stuffs) and thought it would be 
> useful to have satellite summary and mode data available in an xml 
> format.  I felt RSS combined with some custom amsat tags would be a good 
> fit.  It would essentially be a regular rss feed (xml file) that will be 
> extended with some amsat specific tags for satellite summary and mode 
> data.  This data could then be used by the community for obtaining 
> satellite status updates if they'd like.  This would definitely be a 
> nice resource for anyone in the community, especially developers.
> To date, i've mentioned the idea to Andrew G and David J and both have 
> seemed open to have open arms to the idea (Andrew / David, correct me if 
> i'm wrong :-))  I wanted to open this idea up to others at Amsat.org in 
> order to get more input.
> There are probably quite a few challenges here, including:
> A) Determining where all the sat status data originates and figuring out 
> how it should all be aggregated
> Notes: Andrew indicated there is quite a bit of manual work that takes 
> place to obtain this data and make it available on amsat.org.  I haven't 
> solved this problem, I still need to do my homework here :-)
> B) Determining the format of the amsat specific tags to be used in the xml
> Notes: I mentioned the idea to Andrew G. and David J briefly over email 
> and started proposing some ideas.  I attached a sample rss xml file to 
> this email.  This is by no means comprehensive or complete, but simply 
> exists to provide some insight into what the custom tags could 
> potentially look like.  If i've left anything out that may be of 
> interest, please let me know.
> C) Getting all the data into the RSS feed to start out
> Notes: I created a python script that walks through all the amsat.org 
> satellite status pages and scrapes the summary and mode data.  It then 
> aggregates it all into a text file for now.  I can very easily use a 
> template engine to get this data into the rss xml format, once it's 
> agreed upon.  This should drastically reduce the amount of effort to get 
> this feed started.
> To give everyone on the list an idea of what i'm talking about here I 
> attached both the sample rss file and status.txt file generated by my 
> script.  The status.txt file as I mentioned is just what the "scraped 
> out" data looks like.  This file would then be translated into the final 
> rss xml format to get things started.  If you have any questions or 
> comments, do not hesitate to contact me.  The main question I would like 
> to have answered by the community are:
> 1) Is anyone in the community interested in an rss feed like this?
> 2) Would anyone have a use for sat summary, mode and keps data being 
> provided in such a way?
> Let me know,
> Joseph Armbruster, KJ4JIO

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