Lilina and Web Based News/RSS Aggregation

After seeing a couple of posts about web-based news aggregators, I thought I would give a couple of them a try. For those of you wondering what a web-based news aggregator is, let me try and explain. One popular method for distributing content (particularly on weblogs) is called RSS. RSS publishes an article title as well as a summary (or the full text) of an article in a simple method. An aggregator “is a software application or remotely hosted service that collects syndicated content from disparate sources and provides a single consolidated view. ”

I used to use a news aggregator (or RSS Reader) at the office to quickly read a number of different weblogs and news sites. The application I used worked great when I was at the office, but when I was home it was hard to remember what I had read let alone remember the links to all the sites I visited. Enter the web-based news aggregator.

I ended up installing Lilina with this patch (called lilina-head). The patched version is really nice and you can see my installation at Nerhood’s Lilina News Aggregator. Overall Lilina-head works great and has a lot of nice features, but a had to make a couple of corrections in order to get things the way I wanted.

First, there is bug in the code for those sites that don’t publish dates (correctly). The bug is such that their content won’t be shown. In order fix you need to moves lines 75 and 76 of index.php

if ($x['date_timestamp'] == '')
$x['date_timestamp'] = create_time($x['title'] . $x['link']);

before line 70

if ( !($showfeed) && ($TIMERANGE > -1) && (time() - $x['date_timestamp'] > $TIMERANGE) ) continue ;

The second if is a known bug in the base code that has to deal with UTF-8 encoding. It can be fixed be adding the following code to line 2 of the index.php file

header("Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8");

The only other problem with Lilina (that I’ve run across so far) has to do with favicons. These are the icons that people post for their website (I don’t currently have one). The problem has to do with IE. It often screws them up. In the case of Lilina, if it gets a bad one it displays a black box. YUCK!. Luckily, Lilina-head caches these icons. So with a little bit of work, I downloaded each of the messed up ones, fixed it (basically just saved them out again) and uploaded. Now I have nice icons.

Just as a point of reference, I also looked at another popular aggregator, Feed on Feeds, but I didn’t really like the interface. Even the nicely updated one that ColdForged did. The one neat feature that FoF has is the ability to mark articles as being read.



  1. Hello, I’m looking to download the lilina-head patch. Unfortunaly the source web site dotsandloops is offline. Do you still have the source? I will be very gratefull if you mail it to me. Thanks in advance.

  2. I do have a copy you can grab lilina-head-0.3a.tar.gz right from my site.

  3. Great! Thanks a-lot. I was searching cached copy two days. You are saving my dreams;) I will post link of the site when its ready. Again thanks 😉

  4. Glad to be a help, drop a line (link) when you get working.

  5. Ivan

     /  February 5, 2006

    Could you please give me the putch since your link does not work as well.

    Thanks a lot.

  6. Okay, I think I’m 20% ready with my web based rss feed aggregator 😉 you can see it: Mostly news in bulgarian, so won’t be very interesting for everybody. Anyway the idea is to have everything most interesting from bulgarian web. Yes, only this parts of the bg web, which have rss feeds 😛

    @Ivan you can use its the same as I get from kbn.

    Thanks, kbn!! It seem its very hard to find this patch nowadays.

  7. Ivan

     /  February 6, 2006


  8. Passerby

     /  February 8, 2006

    I get this error on a linux localhost installation.

    Fatal error:Cannot redeclare class soapclient in /opt/lampp/htdocs/lilina/inc/nusoap.php on line 4096

    Any clues?


  9. Passerby

     /  February 8, 2006

    Never mind, found a hack.


  10. please give the lilina-head patch for downloading ,thanks!

%d bloggers like this: