27 October 2006

How can I do a list like this?

There's a good question to start this off. I used to gaze in wonder as students merrily added a bundle of code to otherwise usually poorly designed web sites and created these lists of headings, some moving too. No idea how they did it then. Anyway, a couple of new web tools do it all for you - the smart bit is linking them together.

First create a web log like this. In Blogger there is an automatic production of what is called an RSS Feed. You don't need to know what that is but you can impress some friends by explaining that RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Somehow all your headings and entries, or part of them, get bundled into some code that lurks at an address like http://faqica.blogspot.com/atom.xml - the faqica bit will change for your own list but the rest will be the same.

Now go to http://www.rss-to-javascript.com and, after a suitable title, there's a box where you can enter that 'atom.xml' address. You can leave all the other settings as they are, or experiment with changes if you're brave / know what you're doing. Click on Generate . . . and there'll be a small box of code that you need to highlight and copy.

Paste the code into a web page where you want the list to appear. In Dreamweaver you'll need to use code view to do this. In Moodle it could go into an html box, or you can even enter the atom.xml address directly into an 'Insert newsfeed' resource but that won't scroll.

Save the page and publish it. Now I'll see if I can follow my own instructions!

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