April 25, 2008

Single Item RSS Feeds from OpenLearn Pages

Picking up on Embedding Single OpenLearn Unit Pages in an Arbitrary Blog Post, it seems some people are never satisfied, (?!;-) so here's a bookmarklet (I think) that will take you from a page within and OpenLearn unit, to a Grazr widget containing a single feed item corresponding to that page.

OpenLearn 'embed this page' bookmarklet

What this means is that you can emebed the content from a single OpenLearn unit page in any other page, via an OpenLearn branded Grazr widget. The widget can also be embedded on start pages, web desktops and so on...

The bookmarklet should have been trivial to produce. I had hoped to find meta data embedded within each OpenLearn unit content page containing, for example:

<meta name="unitcode" content="T175_1"> - a nice, easy way to find the course code;
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/file.php/1345/formats/T180_5_rss.xml" /> - I'verecently been thinking this format is useful because it provides a bridge from a unitcode (T180_5) to a crappy Moodle resource ID (1345).


Anyway, I managed to find the unit code for the unit a page comes from by scraping the page (the most reliable place I found was in the tag attribute of the Facebook bookmark URL at the bottom of each page!)

To use the bookmarklet, drag it onto your browser toolbar (Firefox/Flock, dunno in IE); if you want to grab an embeddable version of an page from *within* an OpenLearn unit, just click the bookmarklet and it should hopefully take you to a Grazr widget that displays that page's content (in fact, it's the corresponding item in the unit's RSS feed).

To embed the widget in your own page, from the Grazr menu select File->Add to Your Page or Share->Cusotmize.

The bookmarkelt yet won't do much if you're on the 'main page' for a unit. When I get a chance, I'll try to make script context sensitive so that for whatever OpenLearn page you click the bookmarklet on, the Grazr widget will contain something appropriate...

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Posted by ajh59 at April 25, 2008 02:19 PM