With any web project it just makes sense to utilize a lot of the existing software out there to help speed up development time. With LockerPulse in though, I feel particularly indebted to several of the libraries that we use. Many are open source, some are not. Either way, we would not have been able to develop a full fledged RSS reader in such a short time without these projects that have been being developed for years. In almost every case we had to hack things up to get them just the way we wanted for our usage, but the time savings were still immense. In particular, the “polling” process where we go out and fetch new news took us a few months to get to the point where it was good enough to go live with, whereas it easily could have taken a year or two if I started from scratch. I figured the least I could do was write a “thank you” post and show some support for these projects.
- SimplePie RSS parser- this is the core of our RSS importing.
- HTML Purifier – after parsing, the HTML we get is a mess. This filters the input into clean, safe, valid HTML for the site.
- Shadowbox media viewer – we use this to overlay stories when the RSS feed doesn’t contain the full content of the post. Worth every penny for the commercial license.
- Feedburner – we use it to “burn” RSS feeds for each team. We also use it to send out the daily newsletters for each team.
- Twitterfeed – this takes the Feedburner feed and auto-posts it to each team’s Twitter page.
- PayPal - makes automating subscription management a breeze. Essentially I just ported over the SportsLizard Price Guide script and modified it slightly.
- CSS Resizable Background Image tutorial – not a project like the rest, but this tutorial was the basis for how we were able to get full screen, resizable background images using only CSS. Also I want to recognize designer Amber Weinberg. I read her blog and we got the original idea for full screen background images by seeing some of her beautiful full screen designs.
There are a lot of little other tools/scripts that we use in all of our projects, but these are the ones that really made LockerPulse become a reality. Thank you to everyone who contributed to these projects over the years and made it possible for me to develop my dream site!