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Ben Ramsey's Blog:
Create an Image from XML Data
May 19, 2006 @ 05:50:53

In the ever-continuing work that he's been doing with SimpleXML lately, Ben Ramsey shares a new bit of code

It's not really a "problem," but FeedBurner's FeedCount image is a rigid 88 pixels wide, and I wanted to include it on my homepage under the "syndicate" heading, an area that I've defined in my template as having only 80 pixels in width. The 88 pixels were throwing things off, so I used the width attribute of the HTML img tag to solve the problem. Unfortunately, it just squeezes the image, making the text in it appear fuzzy.

FeedBurner conveniently provides what they call their "Awareness API," which is a RESTful interface to retrieve (as XML data) the same exact information displayed in the FeedCountTM image. I simply fired up an image editing program, shuffled things around a bit until the image was a nice, clean 80 pixels wide, and saved it as the base image (shown to the right) I would use for generating an image similar to the one FeedBurner provides.

He explains what the script does via the SimpleXML call and gives the code to accomplish it. It's a short bit of code, but quite powerful when combined with the API from Feedburner - grabbing the data from a local image and integrating the text response from the API. It's great that they have that too - definitely a wise move to allow users even more flexibility in integration for their site.

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