HTML is marvelous - TV and News mashup of XML-TV and Google News using XWiki and advanced CSS

Version 4.1 by Ludovic Dubost on 2010/03/27 21:27

This blog post is not published yet.

It's been a long time that I wanted a beefed up screen saver which shows relevant information to me. I like very much the RSS Screen Server of Mac OS X (or the Time Machine version which is also nice) which can display an RSS feed but found it too limited as it does not display enough articles and enough of the content of the feed.

My initial idea is to have a nice graphical display of relevant and LIVE news, which would scroll news and use as much of your screen real estate. In my vision, I'd like ultimately to see this application running on an external screen (a big LCD or an iPad) in my home.

I started doing some research on how to create a relevant live news feed, which at the same time would not be overloaded. After looking at some calendar sources of live events, I ended up looking at XMLTV, which allows to capture TV programs in a standard format. I ended up on, which is a french source for XML-TV.

After looking at the content of the TV programs, I realized that TV program is a cheap and quite ok source for live events tough limited to sports and politics, and has the advantage to avoid too much redundancy.

So I started working on a mashup gathering the currently running TV programs of the correct category (sports and politics) and a set of the major channels running sports. I limited the search to any program that has finished for less than 15 minutes, any program that is running and any program starting in the next three hours (of course these are configurable). This gave me a nice list of running programs:

For instance, right now (Saturday 27th 21.00), it gives me:

  • Sport + 2010/03/27 19:00 2010/03/27 20:45 Basket-ball Hyères-Toulon / Paris-Levallois
  • Eurosport France 2010/03/27 19:00 2010/03/27 20:30 Cyclisme sur piste
  • Canal+ Sport 2010/03/27 20:00 2010/03/27 22:00 Football Real Majorque / FC Barcelone
  • France 3 2010/03/27 20:35 2010/03/27 22:55 Football Bordeaux (L1) / Marseille (L1)
  • Sport + 2010/03/27 20:45 2010/03/27 22:00 Golf Open d'Andalousie

This is not too bad and catches the soccer final playing on the third channel. The next step is to now gather some news concerning these events. I gathered a google news RSS feed with each of the program's title in the query. The result is here:


The next step now is to allow to display this content a little more dynamically. The idea has been to use a News Ticker and to use Apple's RSS Screen Saver. I looked for a few News Ticker including Snakr and NewsTicker. Snackr looked nice, but seemed to not behave very well when the feed was updated, so I finally used NewsTicker. The result is below:

Created by Ludovic Dubost on 2010/03/27 19:52