Thursday, September 18, 2008

DOPA announcements as RSS feeds

I usually manually checked the website of the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) to see if anything interesting happens. They have three sections there where they post new topics - one for commands (หนังสือสั่งการ), news (ข่าวประชาสัมพันธ์) and a miscellaneous section (เรื่องน่ารู้). The first two sections have also subpages with the older topics. But - opening a website in the browser only to check if any new announcements were posted is not necessary anymore since the inventions of RSS feeds. Just sadly DOPA did not provide any feeds for their site - but it's not the only such Thai website where a feed would be handy.

Now, by coincidence I found the Yahoo pipes, which make it very use to mash-up several feeds into one, or to filter for specific keywords. That is already helpful as I have some feeds on general topics where I want to filter out those about Thailand, as it is those I am most interested in. But those pipes can do much more than that, following a great tutorial I have been plumbing around for some hours and finally succeeded to create RSS feeds for those three sections of the DOPA website and one for the news on As long as they don't change the HTML framework on their sites these pipes now automagically parse and convert the HTML tables into the RSS XML. Just one thing is missing - the automatic translation of the titles into English, I still have to check with a dictionary if the new topic is anything important to me.

Of course everyone is free to use these feeds, and any help to improve them further is welcome. And now finally, here is the link to those pipes.

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