Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Lectionary Readings to your Webpage

One of the cool things about our recent discussion of web services for Christian web sites are a couple of emails directing my attention to some homespun content you might find useful for your church website, or even your personal web blog. Here’s one I received the other night from a gentleman named James Coder:

Our church’s site has just launched a lectionary “feed” service. This permits people to put (shortened) lectionary readings on their computer desktops, and websites also to feature the week’s current lectionary readings.

The lectionary page contains links to info on how to install the lectionary feeds to desktops and websites and is at http://watercourse.net/anglicanleuven/lectionary.php.

Thanks for your own very interesting website. I’ll be trawling it for info on healing our own site.

Last things first. James is going to have to trawl hard. Aside from having to reduce the size of anglican.jpg a bit, the rest of the site is a good implementation of PostNuke for a church web site. Not something I’m a big fan of, but this site shows that it can be done and done nicely. Good job!

And double good job kudos on the Lectionary Readings application. If I could only change one thing, it would be to deliver the information using some other mechanism other than the Javascript docwrite function – for the same reasons I wrote VerseScrape 0.2 to get around the very same delivery method for the Bible Gateway’s daily Scripture. That said, James’ application differs in that he allows you to define the look-n-feel by modifying CSS styles to taste. Moreover, I’m VERY encouraged by a message he left as a comment today on the aforementioned article about web services for Christian web sites.

I had no idea bloggers could so easily parse rtf or rss files, you really think there is so much support for this? As far as I’m concerned, it seems easier to write something in this kind of format than to parse it. Looking at the rtf file your site produces or the standard backend.php of postnuke, this seems easy-peasy, as long as you know what the protocol is.

You got any quick-and-dirty descriptions of what you basically have to output, that are a bit less verbose than the W3C stuff? If there is really so much of a demand for it, I could probably start a “verse-a-day” service myself :) .

Well anyone who uses the phrase “easy-peasy” is going to get my immediate help, just as anyone who emails me with a web service is going to get prominently blogged. Here you go, RSS 0.92, RSS 1.0 and newcomer RSS 2.0 – the jury is still out on this last one – though I like it. But I digress. Here is a link to a program entitled MakeRDF.PHP which was written by the good folks at PHPDeveloper.org to syndicate their news. While it plugs into a database, you can see that there’s not much too it. Moreover, since you use PostNuke, you might want to rummage around the code because as I recall, they have a pretty straight-forward PHP/RDF implementation. If all else fails, the XML Tutorial at the w3schools.com works for me!

One thing that might be nice as a future enhancement would be to extend this sometime downline using XML-RPC so one could query the Lectionary by date. I’d suggest the library provided by our good friend Keith Devens. Its slick, its easy, and Keith is very approachable.

Either way, kudos to James Coder for such a cool tool! And thanks to the rest of you for your input on the topic of web services. Keep’m coming.

One Comment

  1. Minck, who goes by daytime as James, is quite positively blushing. I am indeed more or less the person who came up with the lectionary block, but I’d like to thank Kees and Father Jean-Pierre for their help on the site since the site as a whole is the work of us three.