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A good discussion if you live in the D/FW area or are a member of a game development club of some type. I'm trying to come up with the "spark" that'll get D/FW gamedev gatherings off the ground.

Right now we're having the opposite problems that most clubs have. Most clubs have the content but not the infrastructure. I have the infrastructure but not the content.

Anyway, I'm not gonna try to shoehorn content into a meeting. If it happens it happens. If there's no content, I'll just bow out. Having a club without a direction is like having a stamp collection without the stamps.

As to the responses to yesterday, yes I know it's easy to make XML files with PHP. It's just a text file, so there's no magic there. What I was looking for was an elegant way to generate the tables on a schedule. I think the Yahoo widget would work, but it's overkill. Even easier would be to write a little batch file that calls wget or geturl or some other kind of command-line port-80 caller, then using the scheduler built into Windows to run it in the middle of the night. What I didn't like was that it added another point of failure to the equation. If I ever have to take my machine to the repair shop, the high scores will stop updating.

What I'll probably end up doing is making the high score table generator something that still gets called every time a game runs. It'll work similarly to the current scheme (compare file date to server date, generate if dates don't match). That way I'll have a "backup" if my machine doesn't force table generation. The first person to play for that day will unwittingly do my work for me :)

And somebody did confirm my suspicions that they'd probably ignore 5 of the 6 games if I made a single uber-table, so I'll probably have the thing broken up into one uber-table RSS feed and/or 6 smaller feeds for the individual games.

Actually, I have one question about RSS. How robust can the content be in my RSS body? Should I go with just text, can I put HTML into it, or can I pull out all the stops?

What I'm asking is, if I just drop the tables I currently generate (CSS, HTML tables, and Flash applets) into the body of an RSS feed entry, would I completely choke Big Bob's Standalone RSS Reader version 1.0?

I'm using Bloglines as my RSS reader, so the "viewer pane" is just an HTML frame. Hence you can put anything into that that you can put into a web page. I see all kinds of formatting going on there (or at least pictures and links).

The ultimate question is, what subset of HTML am I allowed to use that won't break any RSS readers?
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I recommend not using any HTML, but you can get away with any kind you like (depending on the reader). Opera's reader (the one I use) is generally intelligent enough to strip whole tags, but if you don't close your tags, it won't.

I don't know enough about RSS; I've only used it once or twice and I think it's super-undocumented.

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Once you've got the script written to generate the xml you should be able to just add the script to the cron file on the server and set it up to run once a day. Not sure who you're hosting with, but you should have access to a cron file or equivalent for your account.

EDIT: check this out and see if it helps: http://www.scriptwiz.com/tutorials/cpanel/cronjob.htm


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