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Styling a remote RSS feed

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

Video: Styling a remote RSS feed

In this exercise, we're going to focus on doing an XSL transformation on the server side rather than the client side as we done previously. Now to explore that concept, we are going to focus on a very real world example, styling a remote RSS feed. Now before we can do our server-side transform, we need to create an XSL file to transform an Art News blog that we want to display on our site. So I have got the news.php file opened and if you are following along with the exercise files, you want to open it up. Really all we're looking at right now is structure. The way I want the post to appear on the page then we will have the news headline followed by the date and then the text. At the end of the text will have a link to the full story, if somebody wants to read it? We want this information to repeat as it's coming in from the RSS feed. To understand the RSS feed a little better, let's go ahead and take a look at the raw RSS feed. This is the RSS feed for the arts journal and this just happens to be their visual feed and you can see in the address bar, it says artsjournal.com/artsjournal1/visual.xml.

Styling a remote RSS feed

In this exercise, we're going to focus on doing an XSL transformation on the server side rather than the client side as we done previously. Now to explore that concept, we are going to focus on a very real world example, styling a remote RSS feed. Now before we can do our server-side transform, we need to create an XSL file to transform an Art News blog that we want to display on our site. So I have got the news.php file opened and if you are following along with the exercise files, you want to open it up. Really all we're looking at right now is structure. The way I want the post to appear on the page then we will have the news headline followed by the date and then the text. At the end of the text will have a link to the full story, if somebody wants to read it? We want this information to repeat as it's coming in from the RSS feed. To understand the RSS feed a little better, let's go ahead and take a look at the raw RSS feed. This is the RSS feed for the arts journal and this just happens to be their visual feed and you can see in the address bar, it says artsjournal.com/artsjournal1/visual.xml.

Listed below the subscription information is the blog in its raw format and actually this isn't in its raw format, in its raw format, this would just show up as XML. But they're actually doing some server transformations to make this a little bit more human readable. Well, I am going to go ahead and select my address and copy this. So go ahead and highlight your Address Bar and copy this. In a moment, we'll be creating an XSL page to consume this feed. So having that path is going to be very handy. If you haven't got a copy, just go ahead, pause the video and write the path down. So let's go back in the Dreamweaver. We don't actually create the XSL file here inside our news.php. We're going to create another XSL document and this time, instead of creating an entire XSL page, we're going to create a fragment. So let's go to File, choose New and I want to choose XSLT Fragment from the list that comes up and make sure you are choosing to do a blank page and not anything from a template. So XSLT Fragment, go ahead and click Create.

Again, immediately Dreamweaver is going to prompt us for an XML source. Now instead of the way we did last time where we attached a local file, we are going to choose to attach a remote file and I am going to paste in the path of the XML feed that we were looking at earlier, again if you have wrote it down, go ahead and pause here and type this in and we will just go ahead and click OK. Now it's going to parse that information and depending on the speed of your internet connection, it may take a little while or it may show right up like mine did, but what we're seeing is we're seeing a listing of all the XML data in the external XML file. Now, I mentioned before that we are working on a fragment. So I am going to switch over to Code view, so that you can actually see this.

As I scroll up and down the code, there is no head tag, there is no body tag it's just an XML document that contains the XSL fragment information. So now we need to go ahead and create our placeholder elements on the page. So at the very top of the page, I am going to type in Article Headline and I am going to hit Enter and go in the next line and type in Posting Date. Now, I will hit Enter to go on the next line and now I will type in Description and right after Description on the same line, I am going to type in the link. We could go ahead and do a little bit of formatting here. So I will click inside the Article Headline, I am going to format that as a Heading 1 and I need to go ahead and give this a class after we have edited. So what I can do is go down to my Tag Selector and I can either right-click or Ctrl+Click that if you are on a Mac and you want to choose Quick Tag Editor and I am going to go ahead and assign a class value of Headline to that.

So H1 class = Headline. So that's obviously something that's going to respond the styles in our XHTML document. So Posting Date and we are going to format that as a Heading 2, and our Description on our link, we are going to leave inside of a paragraph but there is something very important. As we did last time, we'll be actually taking the information from the Bindings panel and binding it to these elements on the page. Our link information has Href attribute and if we bounded the Href attribute to the test right in it just as a link, then again the only thing it would display is the actual path of the Href attribute. So we need to go ahead, highlight the text link and I am just going to go down to the Link dialog box in my Properties inspector and I will type in a # symbol and what that will do for me is it will go ahead and give me a dummy link and I can replace the current Href attribute with the binding in a moment.

Well, we need to go ahead and save this. So I am going to go to File and I am going to choose Save. So we're going to save this in the XML document and we're going to save it as artnews.xsl. So save it in the XML folder and save it as artnews.xsl. I am going to go ahead and click Save and there is our XSL file. Nothing really new here from what we did earlier. I am going to highlight the Article Headline, I will come over to my schema and I want to browse down through that to actually find the element that I need. I am looking under the repeating element of item and that's where we're going to find all of our news items. So I am going to double-click on Title and it should replace my last headline with rss/channel/item/title.

Now, because we're using an RSS feed, the x-path actually knows to go to RSS and then channel and it's a very standard way of doing things within RSS feeds. As I mentioned earlier in the chapter, some of the XML formats have been standardized and RSS Real Simple Syndication is one of those. I will highlight the Posting Date and I will find the publication date in my XML schema, double-click that. I will highlight Description and I will double-click Description. Now, I am going to switch to Code view to take care of my link and so I am going to switch over to Code view and I am going to highlight the pound symbol and the Href attribute and then I will go up to my XML schema and I will double-click link and I can see what's happening inside that now. I have those curly braces and it should say rss/ channel/item/link. Now if I didn't see those curly braces, I'd want to apply this.

So I am going to go back in the Design view and I will choose Save. After saving it, let's go ahead and preview that in the browser. I will go ahead and preview that in my browser and as you can see we're getting the first item from RSS feed. There is the title, Wrapping One's Head Around Philip Johnson's Glass House. Your title is going to be different than mine more than likely because this is a live RSS feed and these articles are going to continue to change. So there is my Posting Date and then I get a Description and a link underneath it. I can go ahead and check the link just to make sure the link is going to work and indeed, it takes me right to that article on the Arts Journal website.

Perfect. So now let's quit Firefox and go back into Dreamweaver. So we're back in Dreamweaver and we're almost finished. We just have to do one more thing. If you notice, we only saw the first article show up. So we want more than just the first article. We want all of those articles to list. So we are going to encase this in a repeating region, same way that we did in our client side XSL sheet. So I'll highlight all the content on the page, we'll go to Insert > XSLT objects > Repeat Region.

We scroll down to find the repeating area of content, which would be item, select item and click OK. Save this one more time and let's just try to test this one more time to make sure we're getting all of our content. So we'll preview that in our browser and indeed we are getting article after article, fantastic. So we've styled our RSS feed. What we'll need to do now is perform a server-side transformation and that will be the focus of our next exercise.

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This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

102 video lessons · 38726 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 1h 23m
    1. Reviewing the Coding toolbar
      8m 42s
    2. Customizing the Coding toolbar
      9m 52s
    3. Taking advantage of Code Hinting
      7m 20s
    4. Using snippets and shortcuts
      11m 10s
    5. Using the Quick Tag Editor
      5m 18s
    6. Using Find and Replace
      9m 50s
    7. Regular expressions
      5m 39s
    8. Using Bridge with Dreamweaver CS3
      8m 28s
    9. Round-trip editing with Photoshop CS3
      3m 40s
    10. Leveraging image variables in Photoshop CS3
      7m 32s
    11. Integrating external variables into your workflow
      6m 16s
  3. 37m 26s
    1. Understanding the CSS Styles panel
      7m 59s
    2. Understanding the Cascade
      5m 50s
    3. Understanding Inheritance
      5m 8s
    4. Understanding Specificity
      7m 5s
    5. Managing CSS styles
      5m 4s
    6. Using Design-Time style sheets
      6m 20s
  4. 2h 19m
    1. Using the new CSS template pages
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding DIV tag structure and layout
      12m 0s
    3. Understanding the CSS box model
      10m 0s
    4. Using absolute and relative positioning
      8m 35s
    5. Understanding floating elements
      7m 9s
    6. Clearing floats
      7m 19s
    7. Using floats to control page layout
      3m 45s
    8. Building structure and assigning IDs
      10m 19s
    9. Applying basic styling to structured content
      11m 14s
    10. Positioning container elements
      11m 4s
    11. Enhancing layouts with background graphics
      11m 48s
    12. Creating faux columns with background graphics
      8m 55s
    13. Creating rounded corners with background graphics
      9m 17s
    14. Building navigation with CSS
      16m 57s
    15. Using Dreamweaver's Browser Check feature
      5m 31s
  5. 53m 22s
    1. Creating properly structured forms
      6m 30s
    2. Creating accessible forms
      6m 41s
    3. Using CSS to lay out form structure
      7m 40s
    4. Creating vertical columns for form elements
      7m 48s
    5. Adding user feedback
      5m 52s
    6. Applying advanced styling to forms
      8m 11s
    7. Client-side form validation
      4m 17s
    8. Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools
      6m 23s
  6. 1h 20m
    1. Understanding the Spry framework
      3m 43s
    2. Defining a data source for use in Spry
      3m 56s
    3. Creating a Spry table
      8m 8s
    4. Using the Spry widgets
      8m 11s
    5. Connecting various data sets
      4m 50s
    6. Understanding Spry widget structures
      7m 1s
    7. Applying custom styles to Spry widgets
      6m 24s
    8. Applying additional custom styles to Spry widgets
      8m 46s
    9. Controlling Spry widget behaviors with JavaScript
      6m 0s
    10. Controlling Spry widget animations with JavaScript
      9m 31s
    11. Creating effects with Spry behaviors
      4m 42s
    12. Hand-coding Spry
      9m 11s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Creating a base template
      8m 6s
    2. Creating editable attributes
      6m 26s
    3. Creating a new page from a template
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a template to an existing page
      4m 36s
    5. Creating nested templates
      5m 24s
    6. Using repeating regions
      6m 34s
    7. Creating editable and non-editable optional regions
      6m 0s
    8. Using template parameters
      7m 26s
    9. Using template expressions
      9m 59s
    10. Using conditional template expressions
      8m 54s
  8. 54m 40s
    1. Examining XML structure
      2m 44s
    2. Creating an XML document
      9m 9s
    3. Using the CDATA structure
      5m 7s
    4. Creating an XSLT file
      4m 33s
    5. Binding data from an XML to an XSLT document
      5m 6s
    6. Inserting repeating regions into an XSL document
      5m 16s
    7. Creating a client-side XSL transformation
      2m 52s
    8. Styling a remote RSS feed
      7m 29s
    9. Creating a server-side XSL transformation
      5m 31s
    10. Writing XSL expressions
      6m 53s
  9. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of building dynamic websites
      1m 35s
    2. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Mac
      3m 22s
    3. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Windows
      3m 54s
    4. Creating a MySQL database
      3m 16s
    5. Defining a testing server and database bindings
      6m 14s
    6. Creating a database recordset
      4m 35s
    7. Adding dynamic content to the page
      5m 14s
    8. Creating repeating regions of dynamic content
      7m 6s
    9. Filtering database records
      7m 39s
    10. Using the Live Preview
      10m 22s
    11. Passing URL parameters
      4m 23s
    12. Dynamically generating links
      5m 18s
  10. 57m 9s
    1. Understanding behaviors
      5m 16s
    2. Installing additional behaviors
      3m 39s
    3. Planning to create a custom behavior
      3m 42s
    4. Examining existing behaviors
      5m 32s
    5. Building a behavior function
      7m 23s
    6. Creating an Action file
      6m 48s
    7. Enabling behavior functions
      9m 1s
    8. Initializing the user interface for a behavior
      3m 9s
    9. Loading behaviors in Dreamweaver
      6m 47s
    10. Testing and debugging behaviors
      5m 52s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Running reports
      7m 41s
    2. Checking and validating links
      3m 40s
    3. Using cloaking
      5m 42s
    4. Using Check In/Check Out
      4m 3s
    5. Using Design Notes
      6m 6s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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