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Re: [TV] basic qusetion - ireland, listings, howto?

One of the things I think is wrong in the XMLTV format is trying to
contain several dimensions in one XML file - yes storing several days
and several channels is possible via XML, but it's not flexible. Given
there's no relationship between disparate channels, why combine them in
to one file?

How else would you do:

tv_grab_bleb | my_importer_program

Further more, what happens to programs which straddle midnight? What if you want 8 hours worth of programs from 8pm to 1am? What about websites which show 4 hours at a time, and let you use forwards and backward buttons to navigate (ie what happens when they straddle a day?). What about importing your external channels into the Digiguide application, should we really have the user click on 20 channel files, times 7 days = opening that nasty windows file | Open dialog box 140 times...? (Remember windows people have to point and click on everything to make it work)

Again, I think you are thinking far too much about the design of your own website and not enough about the general problem.
...are directly generated using a (customised) fast XML parser from:

Fair enough. It's certainly really fast. However, the point remains that you could start with a do-everything format and split it out into the backend XML ready for super fast parsing later. Who knows, you might find a shortcut in the future where adding stuff as attributes turns out to be quicker to parse than as tags, and so you can now change your super fast format without busting everyone elses parser based on your "bleb" format....

The biggest problem with XMLTV is, I think, it's success - mainly
because it's not stable yet. At only v0.6 with a new file format under
discussion, it's difficult to develop stable applications to an unstable

To be honest, it hasn't changed much for a long time, and the new format has been under discussion for aaaages. If and when it pops out, then it will presumably be pretty well hammered out with an xml parser to turn stuff back into the old format, and it will be a one hit for everyone concerned to update. Crikey, more formats that this change far more frequently and people keep up. I know that you work with some MS stuff so you will know what I mean...!

XMLTV is quite fragile and maintained by only one person. The sites being scraped change their format continuously, and need usually quite advanced scrapers. THIS I think is the problem generally, and it's not really an xmltv problem. At least *he* has stuck a stake in the sand, published a spec and tried to adhere to it, whether it has flaws or not, that's at least better than site X which suddenly decides to go it's own way and start a new format (whether it is HTML or XML). He seems to have a fair bit of movement behind his standard as well, improving it with a new format (eventually) can only make things better I think...

Standards must be good things... Why else would we have so many of them...

Ed W