[Announce] Urchin RSS Aggregator (v. 0.92)

Hammond, Tony T.Hammond at nature.com
Mon Aug 23 11:21:38 EDT 2004

This announcement may be of interest to this list. - Tony


Nature Publishing Group (NPG) are pleased to announce the lastest release of
their open-source RSS aggregator 'Urchin' to SourceForge
(<http://urchin.sf.net>). Initially funded by the UK Joint Information
Systems Committee (JISC,  <http://www.jisc.ac.uk/>) as one of the Publisher
and Library/Learning Systems (PALS,
<http://www.jisc.ac.uk/index.cfm?name=programme_pals>) Metadata and
Interoperability Group projects, Urchin has been substantially improved.
Version 0.92, the current stable release, introduces the following changes:

	* A mod_perl front end for performance and persistence 
	* Using XML::LibXSLT to improve performance 
	* A new option for using HTTP status codes for error reporting 
	* Old items can be now be expunged after an update via an
administrator-defined query
	* Access, admin and error logs 
	* Web-triggerable remote refresh 
	* Configurable RDF output by adminstrator-defined inclusion or
exclusion of namespaces 
	* The ability to combine several simple RDF query conditions using
boolean AND and OR 
	* Numerous bug fixes 
Urchin is a Web based, customisable, RSS aggregator and filter. Its primary
purpose is to allow the generation of new RSS feeds by running queries
against the collection of items in the Urchin database. However, other
arbitrary output formats can be defined and generated using XSL
transformations or HTML::Template templates. In other words, the collection
of Urchin Perl modules form a foundation for building an RSS aggregation or
portal service. 

Urchin is a classic LAMP implementation written in Perl using, wherever
possible, pre-existing Perl modules. It uses MySQL for its database
functionality and can run using either Apache with a mod_perl handler or any
CGI-enabled web server using the CGI script that is included with the
distribution. While Urchin is developed on a Red Hat Linux system, it has
been ported to Mac OS X, and earlier versions have run successfully under
Windows 2000, XP and CygWin.

This code has been tested on Red Hat Linux 8.0 running Apache version
2.0.40, MySQL version 4.0.13 and Perl version 5.8.0, and on Mac OS X 10.3.5
running Apache version 2.0.49, MySQL version 4.0.16 and Perl version 5.8.1.

Urchin's feature set includes:

	* Reads RSS 0.9*, 1.0 and 2.0
	* Stores all incoming data in RSS 0.9x and 1.0 feeds
	* Queryable on arbitrary data fields
	* Supports boolean, simple RDF, full RDF querying
	* Arbitrary output formats

Alongside version 0.92, a development code snapshot has been released that
includes support for importing Atom feeds, new administrative commands for
defining feed aggregates, and the ability to use RSS and Atom auto-discovery

Urchin is Free Software. Portions of the code are licensed under the GNU
General Public License, the rest under the GNU Lesser General Public


Tony Hammond

New Technology, Nature Publishing Group
4 Crinan Street, London N1 9XW, UK 

mailto:t.hammond at nature.com

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