Announcing Antenna

warmedal.se/~antenna/ (only on gemini://)

But What Is It?

It's a feed aggregator that stays fresh, as long as we as a community want it to!

A common feed aggregator polls all its known feeds at least once a day (often four to five times a day), but most feeds rarely update even daily and many feeds become stale or disappear. You could improve this by some exponential back-off strategy and maybe dropping feeds that have been repeatedly unreachable. But what if a gemlog that hasn't posted in months publishes a new post? Your back-off strategy could cause the feed to lag a long time behind before seeing this post.

Antenna works differently. It doesn't remember feed URLs. It doesn't intermittently poll feeds. Instead it relies on publishers' willingness to add an extra step to their publishing process: when your Atom/RSS/gemsub feed has been updated, make a gemini call to gemini://warmedal.se/~antenna/submit with the URL to your feed as the query string. I do it by using my gemcall:

gemcall -u gemini://warmedal.se/~antenna/submit?warmedal.se/~bjorn/atom.xml

When you do, the URL will be added to a queue. Every ten minutes this queue is read, the feeds in it fetched, parsed, and added to the Antenna database. Then the queue is emptied and the page regenerated, showing all found entries from the past week.

I've seeded it with all 311 feeds known to CAPCOM (of which only 223 even still exist), but if we want to keep it fresh henceforth we'll have to keep sending it new content!

As you may have noticed the page is formatted as a gemsub feed, so that your gemini browser can subscribe to it and thereby get all the news from geminispace in a timely fashion.

Did you submit a feed but nothing happened? You can actually check the log, and maybe figure out what went wrong from that:


The about page lists the most common errors I've found so far:


I hope you're as excited about this as I am. See you on Antenna!

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal