Rawdog is a server-side RSS aggregator "Without Delusions Of Grandeur". It was written by Adam Sampson in Python to be used as cron job on the server to collect data from RSS 0.9, 1.0, 2.0 and Atom feeds specified in the user's configuration file and generate a static HTML page in the directory of the user's choice. New items are listed first. The program is based on Mark Pilgrim's feed parser (http://diveintomark.org/projects/feed_parser/ and it is said that it probably only runs on UNIX or UNIX-like machines. The project's web page can be found at: http://offog.org/code/rawdog.html and new versions will be posted there for download.

Quick Feature Rundown and Requirements

  1. First, download the latest gzipped tar file from Adam Sampson's Rawdog page: http://offog.org/code/rawdog.html
  2. Decompress the file. For a number of command line UNIX users this will mean: tar xvvzf rawdog-X.XX.tar.gz
  3. Enter the rawdog-X.XX directory.
  4. Type: "python setup.py install" at the prompt, adding --help if you need it. This installs the required library modules and the binary you will be using.
  5. Create the .rawdog directory in your $HOME directory. Copy the file called "config" from the rawdog-X.XX directory into this new directory. Edit this file to customize your output. Make note of where you told rawdog to output the static HTML page to.
  6. Copy the "style.css" from the rawdog-X.XX directory to the directory rawdog will be writing the static HTML file to. Customize this file if you'd like to change the look of the formatting on the statically generated HTML page.
  7. Run from the command line using "rawdog --SOMECOMMAND" to make sure it works. The list of commands can be found in the rawdog-X.XX/README file.
  8. Create a cron job for rawdog by using something based on the following: 0,10,20,30,40,50 * * * * /path/to/rawdog -uw Man crontab if you need cron assistance.
  9. Read away!

Personal Comments

Of all of the server-side aggregators I've seen for RSS and other feeds, this is the one I've found that's easiest to use, upgrade and customize. There are more and more client-side aggregators these days, but I find the convenience of just opening up a web browser on any computer and reading your feeds unbeatable. Not to mention that you can share what feeds interest you more easily. I highly recommend this to both advanced users looking for a starting point to jump off of for a highly customized aggregator and to the beginning server admin.

Personal Experience
Sampson, Adam. rawdog. 20 July 2004 <http://offog.org/code/rawdog.html>

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