FeedWordPress 0.9

Update 2007-11-21: FeedWordPress 0.9 is now out of date. You can download the latest release — 0.991 at the time of this writing — from the project homepage.

FeedWordPress 0.9 is now available for download.

The current update does a couple of things.

First, it definitively slays the text config file: there are no options at all involved in normal operation that require editing either a configuration file or the PHP source to change. This was a guiding principle in 0.8, but I left a couple of the more technical items (such as whether or not to log updates into the PHP log) as define() statements in the PHP source. No longer: anything that can be set, can be set through the WordPress Dashboard at Options –> Syndication, or on individual feeds in Links –> Syndicated.

Second, it provides five hooks through the WordPress plugin architecture that you can use to supplement FeedWordPress’s behavior on updates, and–somewhat more likely to be immediately useful to you–filter incoming items, and (if you so desire) either modify their contents or filter the post out entirely. Documentation of these hooks is a bit sketchy as of 2005-03-29, but I hope to flesh it out in the near future. For now, here’s a quick example that you might be able to turn to your own purposes: say that you want to filter out any posts entitled “Friday Cat Blogging”. You could define a filter like this:

Plugin Name: Feed Filters
Description: Filters incoming posts
Author: Charles Johnson
Version: 2005.03.30
Author URI: http://www.radgeek.com/

  • /

add_filter('syndicated_item', 'filter_out_catblogging');

function filter_out_catblogging ($item) { if (strpos( 'friday cat blogging', strtolower( trim( $item[1] ) ) ) !== false) : $item = NULL; endif; endif; return $item; } ?>

Once this filter is Activated from the WordPress Dashboard, any incoming posts with ‘Friday Cat Blogging’ in the title will be filtered out of the feed.

I’m planning on adding some filtering features to upcoming updates of FeedWordPress that don’t require any PHP coding, but they will be pretty simple and inflexible in nature–I’m not about to invent any convoluted new filtering syntax to do complicated things without PHP scripting. If your filtering needs are complicated enough that you need a syntax with a lot of expressive power, then PHP’s syntax is a pretty good bet. If they’re less complicated, then there’s no reason why the filtering features accessible to you need to be able to do things like match arbitrary fields against regular expressions. But I think there are good, simple ways to provide some basic features such as category-filtering and author-filtering from within the Dashboard.

I think this leaves just a few items on the to-do list prior to releasing a package I’d be willing to call “1.0”:

  1. Simple filtering by author or by category without any scripting

  2. An interface for editing the properties of syndicated Links, rather than simply dumping the user off at the normal “Edit Link” page. (This should, for example, provide a nice way to edit feed settings without having to dig around in the big textarea for the Link Notes.

  3. … is there anything else that is definitely needed? These are the main items I want to tackle, but if there’s something that would be helpful to you, let me know…

10 thoughts on “FeedWordPress 0.9

  1. Hi, I really love this plugin! However, I am having an issue with the user workflow. I like the idea of having all posts dropped in as DRAFTS so they can be reviewed. The only problem is if you have 200+ articles at once coming in from feeds, then the Draft area isn’t the place to work with these syndicated posts. I have greatly modified FeedWordPress to include a “Manage > Syndicated Posts” area. This area is for managing the Unpublished Syndicated Posts (Drafts). I am rather happy with the results.

    I have another problem that I haven’t tackled yet and it involves the lack of checking for duplicated posts.

    If a user updates feeds and then deletes what they don’t want the next update brings them ALL back…very annoying.

    I figured the permalinks from the meta table would at least be compared against so this didn’t happen. It looks like the plugin just cleans the meta table instead of doing a compare. The plugin doesn’t correctly look for duplicates. Or it doesn’t store the data necessary for this type of compare. Any suggestions??

    I would love to send you the modified plugin and see if you want to incorporate the changes. If not I would love to release it as a “FeedWordPress Pro”.

    Your thoughts on all of this…

    Thanks Ken Villines

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