I’ve been learning French, on my own at a snail’s pace over the past year or so.
All because I want to read Émilie du Châtelet, Dumas, Verne, and Montaigne in their native tongue.

Since I cannot do immersion nor give regular practice the time it wants, it’s … slow going But I do, do it. Regularly and deliberately. I’ve built up a vocabulary of about 500-700 words by now and I know if I keep this up, I’ll be able to do read well in time.

One way I practice is to take something in French and read it slowly, looking up words and phrases and slowly building up the missing pieces.
And to do that, I need something in French. I stumbled across the France Pittoresque site and fell in love with it. French and History! Just my kind of site.

Being the lazy bum, that I am, I went looking for an RSS feed, so that I could read their daily article in Reeder.
And hit my first stumbling block.
The good folk at France Pittoresque, don’t provide a feed. Or if they do, I couldn’t find it. Even after looking and looking. And then looking some more.1

You know where I’m going with this. This is a job for Huginn!

This is how the site looks today

click to embiggen.

And this little item is what I want to get, on a daily basis.

click to embiggen. Actually click any of them to embiggen!

So I whipped up this scenario.

  1. It scrapes that little section I mentioned above and gets me the title, the url and the description of the article

  1. And generates an RSS feed that I can then use in my feed reader!
    The feed is normally at:

    It looks more complicated than it is. It’ll get generated the moment you create your agent. One advantage of using a vm is that my feed is accessible from any device.

You can find the scenario code here, if you want to play with it.

Huginn has proven invaluable when it comes to doing all the little things, that I’d rather not do :)
Merci beaucoup, Huginn!

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  1. You’re talking to a lazy bum here. So quite possible I overlooked something. ↩︎