htsn: Parse XML files from The Sports Network feed.

[ deprecated, gpl, program, utils ] [ Propose Tags ]



The Sports Network offers an XML feed containing various sports news and statistics. The goal of htsn is to watch the XML feed and parse the individual XML documents into files.

Once started, we will choose an XML feed host to connect to. The choice is made from a list in a round-robin fashion, and by default, the list contains all known TSN feed hosts. Once we have a connection, your username and password are sent. If they are accepted, we begin to parse the feed saving all XML files to the configured output directory (see --output-directory).

If we encounter an error (say, the connection is dropped), then we will attempt to connect to the next host in the list after waiting five seconds. This process continues indefinitely.

The program can run either interactively (that is, outputting to the console), or as a daemon with the --daemonize flag.


The program takes no input; a username and password must be supplied on the command-line or in a configuration file.


Output is not generated when running as a daemon; otherwise, standard out and standard error are fairly noisy. All traffic between htsn and the feed server is displayed on stdout. Status messages are interspersed when they are generated with warnings and errors going to stderr. The following can be expected:

  • The only data we send to the feed are the username and password. These will be highlighted in green on stdout.

  • All data received from the feed will be echoed in the default color to stdout.

  • Informational messages will be highlighted in cyan and sent to stdout.

  • Warnings will be highlighted in yellow and sent to stderr.

  • Errors will be highlighted in red and sent to stderr.


Logging is done either to syslog or a file. The destination and verbosity are controlled by the --log-file, --log-level, and --syslog parameters which may be specified either on the command line or in the configuration file.


--daemonize, -d

Run as a daemon, in the background. When running as a daemon the --pidfile, --run-as-group, and --run-as-user flags become relevant.

Default: disabled


If you specify a file here, logs will be written to it (possibly in addition to syslog). Can be either a relative or absolute path. It will not be auto-rotated; use something like logrotate for that.

Default: none


How verbose should the logs be? We log notifications at four levels: DEBUG, INFO, WARN, and ERROR. Specify the "most boring" level of notifications you would like to receive (in all-caps); more interesting notifications will be logged as well. The debug output is extremely verbose and will not be written to syslog even if you try.

Default: INFO

--output-directory, -o

To which directory should we write the XML files?

Default: .


The password associated with your TSN username. A password is required, so you must supply one either on the command line or in a configuration file.

Default: none


(Daemon mode only) Create a PID file in the given location. This is used by the init system on Unix to keep track of the running daemon.

If necessary, its parent directory will be created with owner/group set to the appropriate user/group, but at most one directory will be created (that is, we won't create an entire directory tree).

Default: /run/htsn/


(Daemon mode only) Run as the given system group. The PID file is written before privileges are dropped, so the only privileges needed by htsn are those necessary to write the XML files and (optionally) the log file.

Default: the current group


(Daemon mode only) Run as the given system user. The PID file is written before privileges are dropped, so the only privileges needed by htsn are those necessary to write the XML files and (optionally) the log file.

Default: the current user

--syslog, -s

Enable logging to syslog. On Windows this will attempt to communicate (over UDP) with a syslog daemon on localhost, which will most likely not work.

Default: disabled

--username, -u

Your TSN username. A username is required, so you must supply one either on the command line or in a configuration file.

Default: none

Feed Hosts:

It is possible to pass a list of feed hostnames on the command-line (see [HOSTNAMES] in the synopsis). By default htsn will attempt to connect to every known TSN XML feed host in a round-robin fashion, so there is rarely a need to do this.

Configuration File:

Any of the command-line options mentioned above can be specified in a configuration file instead. We first look for "htsnrc" in the system configuration directory. We then look for a file named ".htsnrc" in the user's home directory. The latter will override the former.

The user's home directory is simply $HOME on Unix; on Windows it's wherever %APPDATA% points. The system configuration directory is determined by Cabal; the sysconfdir parameter during the "configure" step is used.

The file's syntax is given by examples in the htsnrc.example file (included with htsn).

Options specified on the command-line override those in either configuration file.


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Versions [RSS] 0.0.1, 0.0.2, 0.0.3, 0.0.4, 0.0.5, 0.0.6, 0.0.7, 0.0.8, 0.0.9, 0.0.10, 0.0.11, 0.1.0, 0.1.1
Dependencies base (>=4.6 && <5), cmdargs (>=0.10.6), configurator (>=0.2), directory (>=1.2), filepath (>=1.3), hdaemonize (>=0.4), hslogger (>=1.2), htsn-common (>=0.0.2), hxt (>=9.3), MissingH (>=1.2), network (>=2.4), tasty (>=0.8), tasty-hunit (>=0.8), unix (>=2.6) [details]
License GPL-3.0-only
Author Michael Orlitzky
Maintainer Michael Orlitzky <>
Category Utils
Source repo head: git clone -b master
Uploaded by MichaelOrlitzky at 2014-09-23T13:22:47Z
Reverse Dependencies 1 direct, 0 indirect [details]
Executables htsn
Downloads 8505 total (14 in the last 30 days)
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Status Docs not available [build log]
Last success reported on 2016-12-13 [all 7 reports]