list.blogug.ch updates

Posted by Patrice Neff Thu, 07 Sep 2006

This morning in the train I finally came around to fix a few issues with list.blogug.ch that had prevented a release for a while. The big change: search is now fast!

the search uses a Ferret index with the acts_as_ferret module. Ferret is basically the Ruby version of Lucene.

And the URLs are normalized when a new entry is added. This should leave us with far fewer duplicates than we now have. I find most of the duplicates when checking the new submissions but it still was an annoyance.

freeflux.net and the Swiss feed directory

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 25 Mar 2006

Chregu follows Antonio's lead (see monblog.ch and the Swiss feed directory) and now also provides an OPML feed with the active blogs on freeflux.net. This OPML feed is automatically imported to the blog list once a day. Thank you Chregu!

In Chregu's feed all blogs with 10 posts or more and at least one post in the past 30 days are included.

My original call to arms still holds and I will cite it here:

If you are a blog provider in Switzerland or have an easy way to extract only Swiss weblogs, feel free to publish your active weblogs as an OPML feed. It's probably best to follow the format I use for the feed directory OPML. Once you have done that, send me a mail with the feed's URL.

Translating Web applications for the Swiss market

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 25 Mar 2006

When I create a new Web application I usually try to implement translation right from the start. For example as the Swiss blogosphere has four significant languages, I translated both the blog list and the Swiss weblog statistics. The list is available in English, German and French (thanks to Jérôme for the French translation!) and the Stats are available in German and English so far. I'd like both applications to be translated into more languages. And potentially other future applications as well.

So I'm proposing a simple small "project": a contact point for translators. I want to collect some addresses of people who are willing to provide translations for free - for free applications of course. This would be used only for projects in the Swiss blogosphere (blogug.ch for example or swissblogs.com once that rock starts rolling again).

If you are willing and able to provide translations between German, English, Italian or French (pick two or more ;-) please contact me with a list of your languages and I'll note you. I'll just keep you in my personal address book, so your name and address won't be made public. And I won't spam you, honest!

If you need a translation, also contact me and I will forward your project to everyone who has announced willingness to translate between the required languages.

There is no commitment for the translators. So they can decide every time if they have time for that translation or not.

That's basically a braindump of an idea I just had. So what do you think? Is the idea sensible or complete rubbish?

Blog list now allows entries without feed URL

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 25 Mar 2006

Jan Zuppinger contacted me today about a problem they had with the Swiss weblog directory. For a weblog to be nominated for the Swiss Blog Awards it has to be listed in the blog directory. So we currently get many new additions to the list. Great!

But one problem surfaced. There are weblogs that don't have an XML feed (RSS or Atom). But the feed URL was obligatory in the list and I even actively deleted submissions without feed URLs. After all, the list is mainly for the aggregators. Or is it?

I currently know of the following services consuming the provided OPML feed:

I just now realize that there are already quite some applications using that OPML feed. Cool! But anyway, of the seven sites listed, only about two really care about the feed URL (planet and blog.ch). I assume for the others the page URL is sufficient.

In short, after the inquiry by Jan I quickly rethought my previous stance on the topic. Feed URLs are no longer obligatory for listing your blog in the blog directory. Though personally I still believe a blog isn't a blog without a feed, the minority of blog tools who thinks otherwise is sufficiently large for me to feel tolerant and include them.

The OPML feed by default only exports blogs with a feed URL to maintain backward compatibility. To include all blogs without feed URLs as well, just append "?nofeed=1" to the URL. For example http://list.blogug.ch/opml?nofeed=1. There is an extended OPML help on the blog directory site.

How this explanations weren't too geeky and complicated.

What are your comments about this change?

monblog.ch and the Swiss feed directory

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 18 Mar 2006

After my State of the Swiss blogosphere article, Antonio contacted me about his blog platform monblog.ch which is popular in the French part of Switzerland. Basically none of the monblog.ch blog was represented in the feed directory.

I suggested he provide an OPML feed that I can import and so he did. So starting today, monblog.ch weblogs are automatically added if they have at least ten articles, are older than three days and have published an article within the last month. I don't check those conditions myself, but Antonio only corresponding publishes weblogs in the OPML feed.

If you are a blog provider in Switzerland or have an easy way to extract only Swiss weblogs, feel free to publish your active weblogs as an OPML feed. It's probably best to follow the format I use for the feed directory OPML. Once you have done that, send me a mail with the feed's URL.