I spent some time late into the night last night getting my NewsMaker research project dusted off and ready to go to power KatrinaFloodNews.com. NewsMaker is a technology I’ve been working on for a while in my spare time which allows rapid deployment of customized news sites.
<p>It’s far from done, but after bouncing around several news sites looking for Katrina flood news items, I realized I needed to get NewsMaker done so people could have a single, dedicated place to look for flood-related news. This is one of the biggest events of our time and there are many people in need of up-to-the-minute coverage, who have no time or interest in sifting through other news stories. For them, I hope this is helpful.</p> <p>Google has done much of the heavy lifting with Google News and their RSS feeds. Also they fight any potential battles with their screenscraping technology. It would have been much harder to have launched this without Google’s work - in fact, last time I stopped work on NewsMaker it was precisely because screenscraping wasn’t a legal battle I wanted to fight.</p> <p><a href="http://katrinafloodnews.com">KatrinaFloodNews.com</a> was rapidly developed utilizing Open Source technologies, including Mozilla, Perl, CPAN, Apache, and Linux. In the near future it will also use PostgreSQL. This effort would not have been possible without standing on the shoulders of these Open Source Giants, and could never have sprung into life fast enough if it were built of proprietary pieces. Open Source is a competitive advantage.</p> <p>Expect more in the near future at <a href="http://katrinafloodnews.com">KatrinaFloodNews.com</a>, but in the meantime, tell your friends.