So I've been working like a fiend to import all of my comments from around the internet. It has been a herculean effort because almost everything has to be done manually. One comment here, another there, and no uniform way to extract those comments.
Two sites, however, made comment retrieval easy: Xanga and Slashdot. Both
offer fine lists of my old comments. I first scraped Xanga for all of my old
comments, but stumbled when converting the dates and times of my comments into
a usable format: while Xanga outputs dates and times in the form
1:22 AM, I need output in the form
2006-01-01 01:22:00 for import into the
comment-tracking software I'm writing.
I hacked together some trivial regular expressions and had a solution in about
ten minutes. However, I then wondered if there was software that could convert
the dates and times for me. Surprise, it's already included in Python!
Python's time module includes a
function called 'strptime' that does all of the heavy interpretation and
standardization of the formats. With that in mind, it'll be no trouble
converting Slashdot's comments' dates and times (like
Sunday January 01 2006,
The moral of the story is, do a little searching before writing your own software; somebody else may have already written a solution for you.