Monday, July 15, 2002

The directoryFrame macro needs help

Radio programmers, please help. I want to use the directoryFrame macro to render my list of weblog links. (If you’re reading this in your aggregator – this means you, Jenny – click here to go to the home page and look on the right-hand column under the calendar.) Here’s what’s going on:

Userland (the company that makes Radio) released a new macro for creating distributed directories. I got all excited about this last month, and created a directory of law blogs – presumably, anyone using Radio could just link to my directory file (it’s here) and then their directory would include mine. Pretty cool concept.

But I got to thinking – I want my own distributed directory. I have different collections of links: I keep a master list of law blogs I monitor, but I want to reference it from multiple places (in the Radio for Lawyers site, for example). The directoryFrame macro is perfect for this: I can keep one file – lawblogs.opml – and simply include it by reference. So the frame on the right (on my home page) is one simple file, with pointers to several other files – each of which contains the links that I’m interested in. Rather than maintain the links multiple times, I maintain them once. And Radio takes care of doing the right things (assembling the directory into a folder-like structure).

With me?

Now comes the problems. Visually, this does exactly what I want. It shows a folder-like structure, and doesn’t re-draw the page when you navigate around. But the presentation beyond the folder structure is wrong – I want smaller fonts and I want less spacing between the list items. Also, when you click on a link it opens in the small window the link list is kept in. That’s bad. But Userland doesn’t give me control over the text in the box (at least, not that I can find) – so I’m stuck with their font layout, and the fact that I can’t force clicks to open new windows.

This is driving me nuts. It seems like I’m so close – yet calls to the usual places have gone unheeded. Is someone out there who can point me in the right direction?

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