FeedWordPress

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FeedWordPress is an open-source Atom/RSS aggregator for the WordPress blog publishing platform. You set up feeds that you choose, and FeedWordPress syndicates posts from those sources into your WordPress posts table, where they can be displayed by your WordPress templates like any other post — but with additional meta-data, so that your templates can properly attribute the post to the source it came from.

FeedWordPress was originally developed because I needed a more flexible replacement for Planet to use at some aggregator sites that I administered. You can use FeedWordPress to create aggregator sites that bring together posts from many different sources, using the WordPress templating engine to display posts from all around the web. Or you can use it to bring together activity from your blogs, social networks and other online services, into a Lifestream with all your online activity in one place.

FeedWordPress is designed with flexibility, ease of use, and ease of configuration in mind. You’ll need a working installation of WordPress (version 4.5 or later), and the ability to add plugins to your WordPress environment, either using WordPress’s Add Plugin feature or SFTP/FTP uploads. The ability to create cron jobs on your web host is helpful but not required.

FeedWordPress 2009.0707: bug fix eliminates blank “Syndicated Sites” problem and fixes tagging widget

FeedWordPress 2009.0707 is now available for download.

This is a release to fix two bugs, one small and slightly irritating, and the other potentially very irritating, which resulted from changes to the AJAX interface elements between WordPress 2.7 and 2.8.

Let’s start with the more irritating problem which you should be able to eliminate by upgrading to the most recent release:

  • BUGFIX: WORDPRESS 2.8 AJAX COMPATIBILITY ISSUES RESOLVED (blank or
    truncated “Syndicated Sites” administration page):
    Due to changes in the
    AJAX interface elements between WordPress 2.7 and WordPress 2.8, several
    FeedWordPress users encountered an issue where the front “Syndication”
    page in the FeedWordPress administrative interface would come up blank,
    without the normal “Syndicated Sites” list and “Update” control, or
    sometimes wth the boxes visible but one or both of them truncated, with
    only the title bar. This issue should now be resolved: with the new
    version of FeedWordPress, the compatibility issue that caused the
    disappearance should be eliminated, and if boxes are shown with only
    their handle visible, you should once again be able to drop down the
    rest of the box by clicking once on its title bar.

Thank you to the many users who brought this issue to my attention, and supplied some very useful screen shots which helped me reproduce and track down the origin of the problem.

The second problem was with the Tags widget (found under Categories & Tags, where you can set tags to be applied to all syndicated posts, or all posts syndicated from a particular feed). This was also the result of some rather capricious changes to the AJAX interface framework in WordPress 2.8.

  • BUGFIX: TAG SETTING WIDGET FIXED. Due to changes in interface elements
    between WordPress 2.7 and WordPress 2.8, people using FeedWordPress with
    WordPress 2.8 found that the widget for setting tags to be applied to
    all syndicated posts, or all syndicated posts from a particular feed,
    no longer displayed “Add” and “Remove” buttons for individual tags. This
    issue has now been fixed, and the tagging widget should once again work
    more or less exactly like the tagging widget for individual posts in the
    normal WordPress admin interface.

Download and enjoy! As always, you have any issues with the release, or if there is anything that you would like to see included in a future release, please use the comments form or drop me a line to let me know about it.

Now that these bug fixes are out of the way, I have some ambitious plans for the next release of FeedWordPress, which I hope to be able to release by early August at the latest. Besides ongoing testing for compatibility with new releases in the 2.8.x and upcoming 2.9 branches of WordPress, I would like to implement a Category Mapping system, similar to the existing Author Mapping system, which would provide users with much more fine-grained, powerful, and sophisticated tools for controlling how categories or tags from feeds are imported into the WordPress database. As I have time to do so, I would also like to include some commonly-requested features, such as allowing users more control over how excerpts are generated and more precise control over the timing of automatic updates. And eventually I hope to be able to replace the aging MagpieRSS feed parser with the more robust, reliable, and flexible SimplePie feed parser that is now shipping with new releases of WordPress.

If you have benefited from the bug fixes that went into this most recent release, or if you are interested in making sure that powerful new features like Category Mapping can be developed for an upcoming release, please remember that it’s your generous gifts to the project tip jar that make ongoing development and support for FeedWordPress possible.