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Recently I've been working on building a Flash RSS aggregator. I'm mostly interested in the visual and interactive side of things (as this is Flash's strong point). But I've come up against some of Flash's technical limitations.
My main problem is with HTML tags in the XML. I wanted to parse these out or at least exert a bit of control over them. But Flash has no regular expressions (yet). I've also noticed that in some feeds the html tags in the content are all encoded as html special chars (eg <a> for <a>)
My question is are there any rules/guidelines that govern the formatting of rss xml feeds? If I am to write some parsing actionscript I needed to know what I'm going to be up against..
Well thanks a lot everybody.
Site may be use to you:
It may also be easier for you to parse the rss feeds server side and pass only the data you really need in a simplified format to flash.
SourceForge [sourceforge.net] have a lot of rss parser projects that my aid you.
Thanks a lot for the links.
The RSS specification on the Harvard page had a section which answered my questions:
Sadly the idea of writing a parsing function in actionscript which catered for all these variations made me want to cry.. I was looking at some code people had posted on php.net, but a lot of it made use of regular expressions.
Regarding making use of PHP to parse the feed before handing it over to Flash, I was hoping on avoiding a server side script so that bandwidth was incurred at the client side, and also was hoping to turn it into a desktop app.
But thanks a lot for answering my original question about how html tags are handled in feeds. The next step in my project is finding or writing a script for parsing these tags in AS, which is a question for Flash forums I guess.
All the best!