I’m feeling pretty good about myself. For the longest time I was trying to get the headlines from my blog to show up automatically on my website. I started by figuring out that Blogger.com had a setting that allowed you to publish an RSS feed for your blog.
Then I got stuck.
I have a news ticker Java application on my website, and I emailed the developers asking if there was a way to fit the RSS feed right into the news ticker. I got the typical developer answer: “Yes. But no.”
Meaning, “yes, of course it is technically possible, IF you are a web programmer familiar with certain technologies like PHP and if you were you wouldn’t be asking me so for YOU the answer is ‘no’.”
Well I decided to show that guy what was what. I started reading up on PHP. Now I don’t know shit about web development languages. I barely understand HTML. But PHP sounded like it could do some pretty cool stuff… if you were a web programmer. Which I wasn’t.
So I foundered for a few weeks. Then I got my courage back up, got back on the Internet, and started scrounging for answers. I found a great utility that some great people had written and put up on the internet for free (don’t you just love the world we live in) that did exactly what I needed: it took an RSS feed and turned it into PHP.
Great. But I still didn’t know what to do with the PHP.
A few hours more digging, some reading on some ‘tutorial’-type pages, and I thought I had it. I started copying and pasting other people’s code (hey, that’s how the Internet works man, don’t look at me like that…).
To make a long story short, I got it to work.
And there was much rejoicing.
But then I decided that I didn’t like the way the dates were displaying. I mean, who wants to read “2005-05-08T13:45:32Z” right?
And then I got stuck. Apparently that’s the format for date the Blogger.com uses. So to change it I would need to know how to manipulate the data in PHP arrays.
And cue exploding head.
So I found a developer’s forum, signed up for their discussion board, and posted a message. Within an hour I got two replies. One guy pointed me to an article about how to ask questions on discussion forums and made a cryptic remark about “check out the date() function”. Fucking know-it-all developers.
But the second guy, Alan Levine, wrote me a very succinct email telling me what the general theory was, and then (thank God) giving me a suggested piece of code to copy and paste into my existing code.
And therefore, Alan Levine is now my new hero. Thank you Mr. Levine, you are a savior on the order of the Messiah and Maxim magazine.
BOOYA! I AM THE PHP MASTER!!!