RSS reader in node.js

— 5 minute read

Another week, this week I want to focus on helping myself being more effective and automated. So we are going to build an automated social media publishing tool.

This tool will be build in node.js and will have the following sequence for now:

  1. Get all posts from the websites RSS feed
  2. Loop through the posts and see if they are already published (we keep track of this in a json file)
  3. If not, we get the posts content and publish to Facebook
  4. We also post this to Twitter

Today we will start this process and see how we can read the websites RSS feed.

Creating the basic RSS App in node.js permalink

Note: Make sure you have node.js installed on your machine see nodejs website for installation procedure.

To create a basic app in node.js we run the following command in our terminal:

mkdir rss-app && cd rss-app && npm init

We are doing 3 thins here:

  1. mkdir rss-app this created a directory called rss-app
  2. cd rss-app this command tells us to change directory into a folder called rss-app
  3. npm init this command comes with node.js and created a blank template it will ask a couple questions which you can just enter through.

Read more: Basic Node.js Express application

Creating our node.js entry point permalink

We start off by creating the basic entry point for our app, every node.js project needs an entry point.

touch index.js

Touch mean we create a new file and it's called index.js

Next we install our rss parser

npm i rss-parser

This tells node to install a package called rss-parser. You can find the package here: rss-parser

Read the actually RSS feed permalink

The RSS feed for my website can be found on the following URL: https://daily-dev-tips.com/sitemap.xml

Open your index.js file in your favourite editor and place the following code in it.

let Parser = require('rss-parser');
let parser = new Parser();

(async () => {

let feed = await parser.parseURL('https://daily-dev-tips.com/sitemap.xml');

console.log(feed.title);

feed.items.forEach(item => {
console.log(item.title);
});

})();

Let's go through this code:

let Parser = require('rss-parser');
let parser = new Parser();

The first line tells node.js we are going to use the rss-parser package. The second line defines a new parser.

(async () => {

})();

This block is a shorthand for an asynchronous function. Which we need because we are going to use the await function.

let feed = await parser.parseURL('https://daily-dev-tips.com/sitemap.xml');

console.log(feed.title);

Here we tell the rss-parser package to parse a new feed from my website's feed URL. Next we console log the feed's title.

feed.items.forEach(item => {
console.log(item.title);
});

This is a JavaScript loop that will loop through the feed's items.

It will console log each item's title.

Running our app permalink

To test and run our app, go back to the terminal and run the following command:

node index.js

This tells node to run the file called index.js

It will output this:

Daily Dev Tips
String replace in Vanilla JS
Weekend tip: Watch the Vue documentary
Promise chains in JavaScript
Match all urls from a string in vanilla JS

Conclusion permalink

You can find the GitHub demo project here: RSS-App.

We can now read our RSS feed in node.js tomorrow we will start doing something with this data. In the meantime feel free to send me a message on Facebook or Twitter