March 4, 2006

RIP Meerkat

Well, I just discovered that the end of an era is upon us.

For a long time now the site has had news links extracted automatically from O'Reilly's meerkat system. Because the site generation code is still under test I only periodically click a button in its interface that says "Update News", and today for the first time I got a traceback from xmlrpclib complaining about 302 server status.

The redirect (which should really be permanent) is to a page that says
Update: Meerkat was shut down March 2, 2006
No reasons, just that bald statement. Since meerkat was an early exemplar in the web services field I thought it would be appropriate to mark its passing.

Now I have to get serious about a replacement. I have for some time been tweaking a feed extractor using Mark Pilgrim's excellent FeedParser module, so that's now moving up the priority list.

The underlying database is still Access, and so this morning I used DBManager Professional to convert it to PostgreSQL. Still needs changes, but I'm happy to say that at least I managed to generate a local copy of the site with no errors.

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