Harry Potter, Quick and Dirty

Posted by me on Thursday, the 19th day of July, anno domini 2007 at 11:45 PM, local time.

So, just a quick note to all of you out there scrambling like me to catch back up on the happenings in the Harry Potter series. I determined I didn’t quite have time to reread all the books (since I thought about it last weekend), but I found a site online that had some pretty good but short chapter summaries for the entire thing thus far.

However, the single chapter per page was getting annoying, especially since the site uses frames and whatnot. So, rather than waste my time clicking next every 20 seconds, I wasted it writing a quick script to simple collect all the data and reformat it into an RSS feed, suitable for Google Reader and the like. Point your favorite feed reader at http://www.sessrumnir.net/hpqd.xml.

No this is not actually the script. This is a copy of the output of the script. I thought I would be kind to my web hoster and not make it regenerate the same list every time somebody requested it. Since this was intended as a quick job so I could more efficiently read the summaries in time for the release of the book tomorrow night at midnight, any niceties you might wish from the interface to that feed are simply not there, nor are they likely to be added. Each chapter is an RSS entry, and each chapter was “released” into the feed on the chapter-th minute of each hour, and each hour starts a new book. Completely nonsensical, but RSS made the times all be different and this was a simple way to make them unique. :-)

Anyway, let me know if it is giving your reader too much trouble, I could probably break them down into per-book feeds if there was really that much desire for such things in the next 24 hours and 15 minutes.

* Quick Update *
If you just use firefox (could be my old version) to click on the link above to the feed, it appears to only give you up through book 5, chapter 21. I’m not sure why that is, but if you view the source, it shows you up through book 6, chapter 30 (as it should). Also, google reader gives you all chapters as appropriate, too. Just grab the source and edit out the top bits if you think firefox just doesn’t like the 162 entries in the feed and needs to have fewer of them.

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