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furious_tv is a set of tools to take XMLTV TV listings and enable a UNIX system to automatically record programs off of a TV card. It is written in C and uses a SAX parser for maximum speed and efficiency.

Development: Sensible XMLTV

Last Modified: 2003-08-05T07:17Z

Unless you've been browsing the furious_tv source, you probably haven't seen any of my complaints about the XMLTV format. It has quite a number of problems, one of the most annoying issues from a programming standpoint was the time format. For one thing, it's a non-standard "YYYYMMDDhhmmss TZ" format. But the most annoying part was that it allowed the horrible lettered timezone identifiers. You know, the ones that can mean multiple things (American Eastern Standard Time and Australian Eastern Standard Time) and give no hint as to their UTC offset (some do, I'll give you that, like ZP6).

Fortunately, the XMLTV guys appear to be trying to fix these problems with work on a new XMLTV 0.6 DTD. I found it a bit funny that the new DTD requires that times be given in W3C XML Schema dateTime format (ISO 8601-based, looks like "YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ") in the UTC timezone. This is, by the way, the exact format furious_tv converts the XMLTV 0.5 times into (with much difficulty =).

I should probably be happy that they're trying to fix the format, but that doesn't give me back that hour or so where I puzzled over timezones and whatnot. Either way, XMLTV is still incredibly useful and hopefully furious_tv will expose that usefulness.