Based on your description, it sounds like what you've got could be generalized to generate a side-bar based on
any RDF feed (allthough maybe not ... I'm not sure where you're getting the comment counts, or topic/image -- since those aren't in the feed [slashdot.org])
"Porting to slashcode" would be very easy ... make it a command line perl script that can read the RDF file from disk, and write out a file in whatever format the side-bars are in, and it can be run as a regular "task"
As for getting people to help you rewrite it in perl, the folks over at PerlMonks [perlmonks.org] could probably lend a hand. If you submit a post that:
You can tell from the filename that we just changed the code for ultramode.txt (which wrote out a preliminary version of an rss feed) and added some html tags for the sidebar. All story information was already in the DB query for ultramode.txt. Our /ultramode.html is in fact just a symbolic link to /ultramode.txt [symlink.ch].
So all that needs to be done is find the place where the rss file is written, and edit it to write out the sidebar file contents in HTML instead of XML. It's probably in a plugin anyway, so copy that and create a new plugin.
-- symlink.ch [symlink.ch]: YAGSS - yet another German slash si
Email me: cliff at slashdot dot org.
Anyone interested in taking a peek can visit the project page I've set up [perldude.org] and feel free to critque or suggest. I'm especially open to slashd coding style guidelines, since this is the first slash task I've made public ;)
-- Kill-HUP.com [kill-hup.com], proudly running Slash since 1/28/2002.