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Blog :: Announcing Live Content!

"Live Content" is content you host on your own server, that Cheatography collects and adds to cheat sheets on a regular basis. It's great for things that change often, like league tables, stocks, sports results and even traffic and weather.

Way down here in the Cheatography code mines, the search is constantly afoot for new types of content to add to cheat sheets (recent additions include Bar Charts and Plain Text).

One of the content types we've been working on is one that provides a mechanism for cheat sheets to be updated from a file held on another server - and that is "Live Content".

What is "Live Content"?

Live Content is content which is updated from an external source. Instead of you having to come to Cheatography and update a block of content every time something changes, you can tell Cheatography to visit a special URL that contains content (in a format it understands), and it will do the rest.

How does it work?

When creating a content block, you select "Live Content" as the content type. You then enter the URL of your content. The URL can be a static file that you update manually, or a script (like PHP, Python or ASP) that generates the content on demand (example PHP scripts are available on GitHub).

The URL will need to return data formatted in a way that Cheatography understands - at the moment, that is a JSON array.

Cheatography will collect the file quickly after you update the content settings, and about once an hour after that. Changes should appear immediately after the file is collected.

What can it be used for?

It's great for any information which changes often. So far, we're using it for these types of frequently-changing data:

  • League tables
  • Sports fixtures and results
  • Localised travel and weather
  • News headlines
  • Stock market prices and changes
  • Odds
  • TV schedules

It's also excellent for managing data remotely, so you could use it to pull data out of another system (like a CMS or database):

  • A company could use it to add staff phone extension numbers to a cheat sheet from their internal HR system
  • A developer could use it to provide an API cheat sheet directly from their own API documentation

What formatting does it support?

At the moment, it supports basic columns (one to four columns). We hope to add support for more data types later. Text formatting is supported as with normal content blocks.

How do I get started?

Out Live Content help page is the best place to get started. There is also sample code available for live content on GitHub.

Announcing Live Content! was posted on 14th February, 2012.
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I can see interesting possibilities from this. Thank you.

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