A Perl script for Automatically Collecting News Headlines

Spot Reporter

Article from Issue 51/2005

Instead of visiting news sites periodically to pick up the latest reports, most people prefer to let a news aggregator do the job.The aggregator automatically draws your attention to incoming news. If a website does not have an RSS feed,a new Perl module simplifies the task of programming an RSS feed for private use.

The sheer bulk of information on the Internet means that nobody can read it all. Visiting a couple of dozen websites a day to pick up the latest news is so time consuming that you would need to quit your job to get finished. This prompted many news sites to introduce RSS feeds with headlines and links to articles in machine-readable format. RSS is short for RDF Site Summary, where RDF means Resource Description Framework. RSS files use XML – a format that so-called news aggregators can easily parse. Articles that users have not yet read are served up as clickable headlines.

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