[amsat-bb] Re: rss feed

Edward Cole kl7uw at acsalaska.net
Sun Apr 12 12:12:05 PDT 2009

Well, I have never used rss feeds nor even how you get 
them...therefore, I do not miss whatever they are!  (HINT: maybe need 
a tutorial, here?)

Your example does give nice links to summary info for each satellite, 
but the status links are empty.  Would I guess that current info on 
what modes are activated show up  in them?  For active satellite 
operators that would have the most value.

I guess I'm neutral on the idea.  The history of Amsat's website and 
information system is that it is inconsistent (ANS an Journal have 
been great, though).  Guru's come and it's great; they burn out and 
leave and it's not.  I realise this is a pretty brutal evaluation, 
but one should examine their commitment level before starting.  I 
think this is why Amsat-NA volunteers are thoroughly vetted.  Big 
reponsibility to maintain what you start!

But we welcome your enthusiasm!!!

73, Ed - KL7UW
Amsat Member #3212
AK Field Op since 1997 (in neutral at the moment...mainly, a Heo enthusiast)
But I have sponsored several AK Field Ops over the last decade and 
they are doing great!
PS:  I bought materials for 2m Lindenblad antenna this weekend so 
will be making a 2m/70cm pair for Leo Sats.

At 09:38 AM 4/12/2009, Joseph Armbruster wrote:
>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
>=== STATUS 
>OSCAR Designation
>    Weber-OSCAR 18
>Oscar Number
>    WO-18
>    777.00
>    22.6 x 22.6 x 22.3 cm
>    16.030 Kg
>Satellite Type
>    Microsatellite
>Launch Vehicle
>    Ariane 4
>    100.57
>    794.00
>Launch Location
>    French Guiana
>International Designator
>    1990-005F
>Common Name
>    WeberSat
>Launch Date
>    22 January, 1990
>Norad Number
>    20441
>    98.20
>Mode U Imaging:
>    Downlink
>    437.0750 MHz AFSK 1200 BPS
>    Downlink
>    437.1020 MHz AFSK 1200 BPS
>=== STATUS 
>=== STATUS 

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