Something New On This Site

I remember the battle cry of the Internet entrepreneurs of the late 90’s: “Content is King!” I’m not sure whether that’s true, but I do enjoy adding fresh content to the website, especially if it is ‘live’ data.

That’s what I did today in adding weather advisories from Connecticut, where I live, and the rest of the United States. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. It was important to me that the data fit in with the look and feel of this site and that it be as fresh as possible.

The Weather Service has just started producing RSS feeds of this data. All I needed to do was find a way to convert it to a web readable format and I’d be on my way. I found a Perl program called and installed it on the server. It produces a javascript file which can then be converted and inserted into my pages.

All I had to do was write the few short lines of code to do it. Considering I can’t explain any of what I wrote in the previous paragraph, this was going to be tough.

Javascript is a language I don’t know and have never written in. Luckily, once you know one programming language, you have an idea how to write in all of them, and the web is loaded with resources to help show you the proper usage.

Unlike high school, spelling and proper syntax do count. Misspell anything, or misplace anything in the program, and it won’t work… or worse, it will work but will subject your computer to an endless stream of gibberish.

My friend Kevin, who speaks a little javascript, was my mentor this afternoon. He’ll tell you he didn’t show me what to do. But having him on the phone allowed me to bounce ideas and move the process forward. Without Kevin, this wouldn’t have worked.

I also have to thank the folks (or person – who knows) at Creativyst, who donated this program for others to use for free.

If you’d like to try this new addition out, it’s on the right hand side of the screen. Just click a link and have fun.

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