Kijana Woodard

Software Minimalism

Removing Disqus with F#

Thursday, July 28, 2016

In my previous post, I wrote about removing Disqus from this blog. One tricky part was dealing with the comment export data. While you certainly can get your comments out of Disqus, they don't come in a great format. You get a lovely chunk of xml where the posts (called threads) are disconnected from the comments (which are called posts).

I needed something that would let me parse the data without too much effort. This code only needed to be run (successfully) one time. I considered using the C# xml classes or doing something dynamic, but I wasn't thrilled at the prospect.

It turns out, FSharp.Data has an xml type provider. It also turns out that F# type providers are amazing.

Check out this of code:

type Xml = XmlProvider<"kijanawoodard-2015-03-19T23_28_52.887832-all.xml">
let data = Xml.GetSample()

Just like that, with no class definitons and no tedious xml and string parsing, I have a fully typed model that can be used to access the data. For example:


After getting things arranged into yaml format, I wrote out the comment files and was done. I did all the processing and exlporation in F# Interactive, so I never compiled the assembly or started the debugger.

F# could grow on me.

If you see a mistake in the post *or* you want to make a comment, please submit an edit.

You can also contact me and I'll post the comment.