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Author Topic: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews  (Read 2879 times)

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calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« on: June 07, 2016, 05:41:55 pm »
Introducing calc.news, which is a website that does one job, and does it well: it's a simple feed aggregator, or as some would call it, a planet (nothing to do with TI-Planet, though). It have all your favourite calculator-related websites' news all in one place and many more! It follows on the steps of ancient TI aggregators such as TI-News, which was open until 2007, spanning multiple incarnations. Have suggestions? Tell us here!



The URL is simple to remember, so visit it here: http://calc.news/
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 02:43:46 am by DJ Omnimaga »


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Re: calc.news
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 06:28:11 pm »
My two cents:

-Maybe some other sites could be added if they have news, such as TI-Planet, TI-BD, Planète-Casio, Casiopeia, Tout-82, TI-Gen, TI-Fr and Casiocalc. It depends if they still are maintained, though.

-Filter out CW music and site maintenance news. (the ones with a music/C icons. It might require something else than RSS, though, like TI-News did with most sites (custom parsers for each site)

-Same with TI-Planet exam news (they have checkboxes to filter news), except maybe the Correction ALGO news, due to the Casio fx-CP400/ClassPad II lulz they sometimes generate.

-I don't know if Cemetech has a filter per category, but you could maybe filter anything that has Unreal Tournament, UT2004 and/Minecraft server in the title.


-Make sure that articles link to original topics and not RSS feeds, for easy and quick access to each forum.

-Maybe navigation block in the sidebar that has direct links to each major site parts (news, forum, downloads), as well as TI-Story.

-Google Translated feeds for non-english news (like TI-News did from 2004 to 2007)

-A logo with calc elements

I like the idea, though, and the domain name. Shame the ti-news domain names were lost to squatters, though. You should cross-post this topic on all conglomerated sites.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 06:32:04 pm by DJ Omnimaga »
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2016, 06:46:56 pm »
Yeah, I'm slowly adding the ones I can. Most have RSS or ATOM feeds, some have feeds for only the complete forum or have it disabled (so I'm not adding them until they add a suitable feed) and some like TI-Planet have feeds for each category (I should look at which category I should disable because they post news as much as every other site combined (EDIT: it did not work so well)). Each article does link to the website. And if someone want to design a logo, then feel free to do so.

For the little history, DJ gave the idea a while ago and I grabbed the domain because it sounded cool, then I tried to find suitable software for that (a Wordpress with plugins? Yeah that didn't work.), didn't found then forgot about it until now when I finally found it.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 07:10:58 pm by Juju »
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2016, 09:03:05 pm »
For sites with no RSS feed, what TI-News did was using an HTML parser script that was different for each site. The requirement was that the site doesn't change its layout. This is also how Omnimaga post notifier used to work. But if you do that you'll need to include the news article content or parts of it in your database or generate your own RSS feed from parsed HTML. I doubt it would be very hard, but you would need to only check like 3 times a day to avoid putting stress on the other site.

For now, active sites seems to have an RSS/atom feed already, so not having those smaller sites in wouldn't be a big issue for now


On a side note, it would be nice if there was a section below the site or an option to enable Wiki edits to be listed in the news conglomerate (perhaps not each edit, but rather grouped by days that have edits). For example, WikiPRIZM, WikiTI, TI-Story, Nspire Lua, Planet-Casio wiki and TI-BasicDeveloper. Or this could be inside the sidebar where the last edits are listed, so that people can see recent WIki activity. I don't know if Wikidot and Mediawiki have RSS/Atom feeds, though.

You could also have recent posts listed in the side bar for all included forums, as links and shortened link titles.


EDIT: @Juju I made some mockups of changes that could be added to the site:






The logo colors are the same as each site's primary colors or close.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 09:50:38 pm by DJ Omnimaga »
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2016, 02:03:05 pm »
Nice, I like the revival (even though I never saw the original :P) personally I only look at CW news but calc.news should make it easier than going to all the sites ;)
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 02:54:27 pm »
It does look nice  :)  It make easy to have all new in on source whereas loading each site could be time-consuming. Keep up good work  :P

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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2016, 06:00:19 pm »
Yeah, that was why many people including myself liked TI-News back in the days. The first TI-News was first known as TI-Net and was active from 1999 to 2004, but they kept moving from one URL to another until they died for good due to lack of activity and their second domain name being stolen again. The second incarnation was a restart from scratch that used a similar setup as Calc.news (conglomerate feeds) but it also had discussion forums and Google-translated feeds. Sadly, the author lost interest in 2007 and instead of giving the site to someone else or keep it running as inactive site he just closed it outright.

In the meantime there was also another site called Calcnews, which lasted from 2002 to 2004 I believe, but it pretty much served the same purpose as TI-News at the time. TI-News also had many more conglomerate feeds, such as Omnimaga back when it was just a personal HTML site, GForce Programming and other small pages.

There were multiple proposals to revive it on Omnimaga back in the days, but none ever came to fruition until recently. However, it was agreed long ago that a new TI-News incarnation would not include discussion forums and instead encourage people to use existing forums. While having all news on 1 page made people who only read site news less inclined to visit each site for more content, it gave each site more visibility and after TI-News shut down I noticed that many smaller sites had a noticeable activity/traffic decrease.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 06:02:25 pm by DJ Omnimaga »
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 06:17:04 pm »
Yeah, well, that's the goal. It just do one job, you have to go to the respective website to comment, etc.
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 07:26:38 pm »
That said, I think it needs more site promoting features, hence the mockup I posted above. For example, under or next to site names, I think there should be links to file archives and forums, when applicable, or even tools/tutorials. They could be hard-coded too, as sidebar blocks. Is it easy to add custom sidebar blocks?

As for latest forum posts, there are RSS feeds for that but I don't know if all listed forums have them. That block would need to be hard-coded as well.


My reasoning is that while those sites got news, I think calc.news should take the initiative to also promote other parts of those sites to give visitiors the incentive to visit their forums, etc.


Also, maybe you should limit news to 1000-2000 characters or so to give even more incentive to visit said site for full news, but also to avoid a very long news scrolling.


Another thing: Is the theme responsive?
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2016, 07:51:20 pm »
Well, I can easily add some HTML, add some hard-coded stuff or change the theme completely (because templates!).
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 07:58:02 pm »
Hmm this is interesting.

However, I might want to give you a TI-Planet feed URL excluding our non-calcs stuff (which basically only happens during the french exams period, i.e. these days of the year)
I'll have to find it... or make one if we don't already have that.

Although technically you could also break down some categories so that users could actually filter things out themselves if needed. For instance:
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- Nspire news: https://tiplanet.org/forum/feed.php?f=43
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 08:00:15 pm »
Yeah, I tried that, but seems it also picks replies up.
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 08:14:54 pm »
Hmm this is interesting.

However, I might want to give you a TI-Planet feed URL excluding our non-calcs stuff (which basically only happens during the french exams period, i.e. these days of the year)
I'll have to find it... or make one if we don't already have that.

Although technically you could also break down some categories so that users could actually filter things out themselves if needed. For instance:
- z80/ez80 news: https://tiplanet.org/forum/feed.php?f=41
- Nspire news: https://tiplanet.org/forum/feed.php?f=43
etc.
Yeah that was what I suggested at first, so that the conglomerate feed doesn't get flooded by dozens (or more?) exam news per day. But it would be nice if the feed picked up the Correction Algo news, because those contains calculator-related stuff and occasionally some ClassPad II BASIC rants about its extreme slow speed.

Yeah, I tried that, but seems it also picks replies up.
Do you mean for my suggestion or for Adriweb? That said, if it picked replies up I guess it's fine too, but you would need to make the list larger.
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Offline Adriweb

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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2016, 08:16:18 pm »
Yeah, turns out phpBB can't create a feed with topic only from a certain forum...
I'll try to see if I can mod that a bit.
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Re: calc.news - The revival of TI-News and CalcNews
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 08:18:32 pm »
Ah, sorry to hear. As for CodeWalrus I am surprised that @Juju's feed work, because news can be anywhere on the forums and I didn't know that SimplePortal articles system had an RSS feed.
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