Integrating with your weblog

January 31, 2005

As I touched on yesterday, I moved my 'linkblog' over to and was working on a way to merge those bookmarks with this site. After thinking about the various ways to do this, I came across an HTML generator on the site. It certainly isn't the prettiest solution, but I figured it was something I could get up and running in a matter of minutes.

The basic idea is that will return a chunk of HTML as per the arguments you supply it. The URI for my request looks like this: &rssbutton=no&bullet=&divclass=bit&aclass=bit_link

After figuring out the syntax it was just a matter of coming up with a way to pull it off the server. I decided to use Perl and the following is all the code that was needed. [Note that this could be done in one line with something like curl: curl https://address -o file.txt]

use LWP::Simple;
$bits = get "";
open(FILE, ">/path/to/the/file/you/want/to/write/to");
print FILE "$bits";

You could obviously use PHP or JavaScript to yank this information down each time the page is loaded, but why hit the server every time someone requests a page from you? Instead, just create a cron job that runs the above script every 15 minutes or so and then include the returned file in pages that are requested by your users. I use PHP for the include:

<?php include('/path/to/file'); ?>

Finally, you'll need to modify your CSS so that the text you've pulled down from gets styled inline with the rest of your site.

Like I said, there are a million different ways to bring your bookmarks into your site, but this seemed like the simplest to me. If I decide on a different method in the future, I'll be sure to outline instructions for that method here.

You should follow me on Twitter here