Turn Aggregator items into true Drupal Nodes

Drupal 8 should address the longstanding issue with items from the core RSS aggregator module existing as simple db objects rather tahn nodes, which limits what you can do with them in many ways.

The core Aggregator is really a big deal for me. the db created from these items is one of the biggest draws to my site. So I have tried many things to work around the limitations of DB objects.

I flirted with the idea of dumping the table to a flat file then importing it. That would work, can be CRONed and all that. But I really want to keep my solution specific to Drupal and not engage in a one-off like that.

The core mod has a categorization interface that I really like. It allows me to go through 100s of items every day pretty quickly and assign relevant topics to one of about 20 categories.

So, this is what I did to get the aggregator db items into nodes.

I created a View of the Aggregator Items. I created an RSS feed based on this View. then I used Feeds Importers to import that RSS feed into a content type that I created just for that.  This will work and you will be able to get quite a bit of data from the importer. But it isn’t as flexible as I wanted. UI simply could not get all the fields that I wanted to come across, even when forcing fields. That will work, but I always got undesirable formatting for the links. Or the links would come across malformed, with the name of my site prepended to the URL for example.

I really can’t use the Feeds Importers module to import all of the items in natively either. It will work, And you can build an interface of sorts in Views using VBO to assign taxonomy terms to the items, but it is cludgy and doesn’t scale well. But that can be a viable method too if you don’t have a lot of volume.

So, I want to use the core module for its stability and ease of categorization. but I need to be able to do things like allow users to see the items and make comments on them. I say comments but I really mean take notes. So, I used a Views Content Pane (with override URL and AJAX enabled) with a Node Add/Edit Variant in a Panel Page to allow user to see the Aggregated items, drag URLs from the View, take notes and alter the View (that’s where AJAX is magic) from the same place. Here is a SS of what it looks like.

Image

Then, I created another View of the Content Type “Research” which is used to hold the notes, links and such. I created a simple Content Pane View that shows the title of the Nodes (I use the Private Module to keep these posts completely private) and enabled AJAX so that the View Content Pane refreshes without having to refresh the whole page. Now I have a very nice research interface for my member with an easy way to reference my data.

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