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Display RSS Feeds on Your Site

Convert your RSS feeds to JSMsg feeds for easy web-page display

Display RSS Feeds Using JSMFeed is a Perl script that converts RSS XML feeds into standard browser side JavaScript in JSMsg convention. It takes a URL to an RSS feed as input and outputs a JavaScript file containing all the information from the RSS feed in JSMsg format. It can be called directly from the <SCRIPT ...> tag of a static web page to be run every time the page is displayed, or it can be run occasionally from cron to output an updated JavaScript file. In the latter case, the static JavaScript files can be linked directly by your pages as well as by other sites if you choose to share it with them.

The JSMsg convention permits using standard DOM markup in a browser-neutral way with great flexibility. For content sources that provide an RSS feed but do not publish in JSMsg, can be used to dynamically or statically convert that RSS feed into JSMsg files. Since JSMsg files are standard browser-side JavaScript, they can be shared with webmasters, even if they don't have access to server-side scripting.

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Using can be used in two different ways to convert the XML of RSS feeds into JSMsg JavaScript.
  1. you can run it from cron a few times a day to update static JavaScript files which you then access from your pages. You may also share the JavaScripts produced with other webmasters, even if they don't have access to server-side scripting, or

  2. For testing, you can run it right from the web page where it is needed, letting it dynamically create a JSMsg JavaScript "on the fly" (this method is not recommended for production).

In either case, once you've created a JSMsg file from an RSS feed, displaying information from that file is very flexible. You can be as fancy or as simple as you want. It is entirely up to you.

. . . . . . .
Running from cron or CL can be used to convert RSS feeds and output the resulting JSMsg as a static JavaScript file. You can output this file to your document area and access it as you would any other JavaScript file on your site. This is also a great way to share your RSS feeds with the many webmasters who don't have access to server-side scripting. Another advantage to creating static JavaScript is that the script will not be run every time a page with an RSS feed is displayed.

To invoke in this way you specify the namespace ("ns") and source URL ("url"). Just add a dash in front of these parameter names when providing them on the command line or to cron. For example, with:




You may also tell it the name and path of the file you want the output to be placed in:


If you don't provide an output file will send the file to stdout, so you can pipe and redirect. This is an example of what it might look like when your run it from your command line.

$./ -ns=np -url= -o=/doms/me/www/feeds/np.js

In the above example was run from the same directory it is in. You may choose to run this automatically from cron once a day, or a few times a day to update your JavaScript links. If you are running this from cron you must replace './' with the full path to the directory where is kept.

Special Note: If the RSS feed you are converting is stored locally on your server, you may use in place of to access it directly. In this case, when composing your command line, you will replace -url=url to content with -file=full file path and name. This has the added benefit of producing JSMsg feeds without the need for the special perl module: LWP::UserAgent

. . . . . . .
Running From HTML

Once you've produced a JavaScript file you (or outside webmasters you wish to share with) may access the JSMsg feeds with a simple <SCRIPT> tag. Like this:


. . .
There is another less than ideal way to use to get a JSMsg file in your HTML. Because outputs JavaScript, you can simply include it in the HEAD section of your HTML webpages using a <SCRIPT> tag, just as you would a satic JavaScript file. This is not the recommended way to use because some browsers will try to begin running dependent scripts before dynamically generated scripts have been fully loaded. Another disadvantage of running dynamically is that the script will be re-run every time your page is viewed. But, if you still want to do it this way, here's how:

</script> takes two parameters in the SCRIPT tag.

  • url
    The URL of the RSS feed from which you'd like to display content. This parameter is required.
  • ns
    The namespace to use when refering to JSMsg functions that retrieve content from the RSS feed. This parameter is optional. If you don't specify a namespace it will default to "rss". If you want to display content for more than one feed on a single page, you will need to provide a unique namespace for each one.


. . . . . . .
Displaying JSMsg content in your HTML

In the above examples, the namespace was selected to be np. This allows you to access the provider's content by preceding the JSMsg access functions with "np." e.g.


     var msg;
     msg = "Top Story:<BR><B>";
     msg += np.GetN( "Title", 0 );
     msg += " </B><BR>";
     msg += np.GetN( "Month2N", 0 );
     msg += "/";
     msg += np.GetN( "Day2N", 0 );
     msg += "/";
     msg += np.GetN( "Year2N", 0 );
     msg += "<BR><I>";
     msg += np.GetN( "Desc", 0 );
     msg += "</I><BR>";


Top Story:
NewsPeak Considers Publishing in JSMsg
New syndication format will allow webmasters to show our content directly in HTML without need for special software.

For more information about how to use JSMsg to display content on your D/HTML pages see the JSMsg Basics help reference. For more, VERY detailed information on the JSMsg convention, see the JSMsg definition document.

Why Use JSMsg?
  • Webmasters can access your content with only client-side scripting
    The most important reason to publish your feed in JSMsg is so websites with no ability to run server-side scripts can still display your feeds.

  • JSMsg is flexible and powerful
    Webmasters who use JSMsg files to display dynamic content on their pages have complete control over how that content is displayed and presented.

  • JSMsg is "REST"ful, standard, and cross-browser
    Webmasters who use JSMsg files need not be concerned with cross browser issues because it works on any browser with JavaScript enabled.

  • JSMsg does not rely on proprietary software
    Webmasters and content providers need not be concerned with whether a visitor has installed the proper plug-ins or DLLs in order to see their content.

Why Are We Doing This?

There is no catch! JSMFeed will always be freely licensed for you to use. There is no ad-ware, no trial period, and we do not share, sell, or rent your registration information.

We distribute JSMFeed as a way to drive traffic to this site. We are currently charged anywhere from five cents to fifty cents for each click-through (visit) to our site. The monetary value of this free licensing offer for us is that it drives visitors to our site for the cost of development and support. Whether or not this is a cost effective way to drive traffic remains to be seen (we'll be tracking it to be sure). The current trend is about five visits for each actual download. Of course, we're just getting started so those figures may change.

So ;-) while you're here, why not have a look at our home page, or contact me.

Licensing and Permissions is a free download file produced by Creativyst, Inc. You may use Creativyst® when producing Internet or intranet based web sites for yourself, your employer, or your clients, but you may not distribute it or derivatives as downloadable content, or part of a package.

JSMsg is a shared convention developed and published by Creativyst, Inc. You may use JSMsg in commercial and open source projects, provided you give credit to Creativyst, Inc. and follow the conditions set forth in the convention document.

This document is © Copyright, Creativyst 2002 - 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Links to this page are always welcome.

However, you may not copy, modify, or distribute this work without first obtaining express written permission from Creativyst, Inc. Those wishing to obtain permission to distribute this work or derivatives in any form should contact Creativyst.

© Copyright 2002 - 2010 Creativyst