August 27, 2003 | Category:

Giving the UGC RSS feeds

I was at the UGC website the other day, looking at the listings for my nearest cinema for the billionth time this month. I suddenly had the thought that it would be great if I could get the show times in an RSS feed. Every day I could see what films are on, and what times they’re showing when checking my email and other RSS feeds.

So I checked the website. Unsurprisingly, they don’t provide any. The only way to get an RSS feed was to do it myself; my first adventure into screen scraping.

Now, screen scraping is a technique that is notoriously difficult to get right and keep right. It also doesn’t help that there aren’t any good tutorials on the subject (expect one soon). The basic idea is to look at a webpage and systematically grab the bits you want.

Long story short: the UGC Cinemas RSS feed creator is a way to generate an RSS feed for any UGC cinema in the UK. All comments are welcome, all feedback too.