Sidebar feeds

I did a minor blog re-design the other day.

Some cosmetic font tweaks and removal of a lot of the sidebar content.

I also added a left-hand sidebar (previously there was only one on the right).

This makes the content easier to read as the middle column is narrower and it also gives me an excuse to pull in content from Flickr and Twitter for the new sidebar.

Both Flickr and Twitter offer “badges” which give you a bunch of HTML and Javascript to put on your site and they then pull content in automatically.

They’re great but have one fundamental flaw – if Flickr or Twitter are down then they don’t work.

So, I’ve decided to adopt a more robust approach.

I’ve been pulling in links from my del.icio.us account to make a linkblog for a while so will follow a similar approach for Flickr and Twitter.

This post explains the theory behind it – the only new thing was the XSL stylesheets I used.

The Flickr stylesheet is fairly straightforward, it uses some CSS styles (below) to display the photos in two columns.


.right-box-img
{
float: left;
}
.right-box-clear
{
clear: both;
}

The Twitter stylesheet is a little more complex.

It automatically filters out Twitter replies and strips the username from the text also.

Anyway, feel free to grab them for your own usage – leave feedback about them in the comments below.

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