Update 2007-11-21: FeedWordPress 0.95 is now out of date. You can download the latest release — 0.991 at the time of this writing — from the project homepage.
0.95 squashes a bug that I discovered, to my irritation, in the field at Feminist Blogs, and adds some significant features that may be of interest. Author aliases are now supported, and you can now decide whether or not FeedWordPress will create new authors or new categories when it encounters author names or category names that are not yet in the WordPress database. These features can even be used to provide some simple filtering functionality without having to write a PHP filter. For more information, see the change log and the online documentation.
We are slowly moving towards 1.0 (which, incidentally, I don’t intend to call 1.0 — because, roughly, once it reaches that point it will be mature software and will be unlikely to make any milestone changes of the sort that would make a major version number make sense; the version will most likely be named after the date that it was released).
Here’s a rough outline of what there is left for me to do between now and the 1.0 release:
Bug fixes (investigating bugs that users are reporting to me now, and squashing any new ones that come up)
Adding some more global options (e.g., allowing users to globally set the default post status, comment status, and ping status for syndicated posts)
Support for RSS enclosures.
Adding a proper interface for editing FeedWordPress-specific settings for Contributor links; this special editing interface would be reached through the “Edit” link under Links –> Syndicated.
Is there anything important that I’m missing? Let me know what you think.
Change Log: from 0.91 to 0.95
BUG FIX: Fixed an obscure bug in the handling of categories: categories
with trailing whitespace could cause categories with duplicate names to
be created. This no longer happens. While I was at it I tightened up the
operation of FeedWordPress::lookup_categories() a bit in general.
FEATURE DEPRECATED: the feed setting
hardcode categoriesis now
deprecated in favor of
unknown categories(see below), which allows
you to strip off any syndication categories not already in your database
unknown categories: defaultor
unknown categories: filter. If
hardcode categories: yesset on a feed, this will be treated
unknown categories: default(i.e., no new categories will be added,
but if a post doesn’t match any of the categories it will be added in
the default category–usually “Uncategorized” or “General”).
FEATURE: You can now set global defaults as to whether or not
FeedWordPress will update the Link Name and Link Description settings
for feeds automatically from the feed title and feed tagline. (By
default, it does, as it has in past versions.) Whether this behavior is
turned on or off, you can still override the default behavior using
feed settings of
hardcode name: yes,
hardcode name: no,
hardcode description: yes, or
hardcode description: no.
FEATURE: Users can now provide one or several “aliases” for an author,
just as they can for a category. For example, to make FeedWordPress
treat posts by “Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger” and “Pope Benedict XVI” as
by the same author, edit the user profile for Pope Benedict XVI and add
a line like this to the “User profile” field:
a.k.a.: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
You can add several aliases, each on a line by itself. You can also add
any other text you like to the Profile without interfering with the
FEATURE: Users can now choose how to handle syndicated posts that are
in unfamiliar categories or by unfamiliar authors (i.e., categories or
authors whose names are not yet in the WordPress database). By default,
FeedWordPress will (as before) create a new category (or new author) and
use it for the current post and any future posts. This behavior can be
changed, either for all feeds or for one or another particular feed.
There are now three different options for an unfamiliar author: (1)
FeedWordPress can create a new author account and attribute the
syndicated post to the new account; (2) FeedWordPress can attribute the
post to an author if the author’s name is familiar, and to a default
author (currently, this means the Site Administrator account) if it is
not; (3) FeedWordPress can drop posts by unfamiliar authors and
syndicate only posts by authors who are already in the database.
There are, similarly, two different options for an unfamiliar category:
(1) FeedWordPress can create new categories and place the syndicated
post in them; (2) FeedWordPress can drop the unfamiliar categories and
place syndicated posts only in categories that it is already familiar
with. In addition, FeedWordPress 0.95 lets you choose whether posts that
are in no familiar categories should be syndicated (and placed in the
default category for the blog) or simply dropped.
You can set the default behavior for both authors and categories using
the settings in Options –> Syndication. You can also set different
behavior for specific feeds by adding the
unfamiliar authorand / or
unfamiliar categoriessettings to the Link Notes section of a feed:
unfamiliar author: (create|default|filter) unfamiliar categories: (create|default|filter)
A setting of
unfamiliar author: createwill make FeedWordPress create
new authors to match unfamiliar author names for this feed alone. A
unfamiliar author: defaultwill make it assign posts from
unfamiliar authors to the default user account. A setting of
unfamiliar author: filterwill cause all posts (from this feed alone)
to be dropped unless they are by an author already listed in the
unfamiliar categories: createwill make
FeedWordPress create new categories to match unfamiliar category names
for this feed alone;
unfamiliar categories: defaultwill cause it
to drop any unfamiliar category names; and
unfamiliar categories: filterwill cause it to both drop any
unfamiliar category names and to only syndicate posts that are placed
in one or more familiar categories.
These two new features allow users to do some coarse-grained filtering
without having to write a PHP filter. Specifically, they offer an easy
way for you to filter feeds by category or by author. Suppose, for
example, that you only wanted to syndicate posts that your contributors
place in the “Llamas” category. You could do so by setting up your
installation of WordPress so that the only category in the database is
“Llamas,” and then use Options –> Syndication to set “Unfamiliar
categories” to “don’t create new categories and don’t syndicate posts
unless they match at least one familiar category”. Now, when you update,
only posts in the “Llamas” category will be syndicated by FeedWordPress.
Similarly, if you wanted to filter one particular feed so that only
posts by (for example) the author “Earl J. Llama” were syndicated to
your site, you could do so by creating a user account for Earl J. Llama,
then adding the following line to the settings for the feed in Link
unfamiliar author: filter
This will cause any posts from this feed that are not authored by Earl
J. Llama to be discarded, and only the posts by Earl J. Llama will be
syndicated. (If the setting is used on one specific feed, it will not
affect how posts from other feeds are syndicated.)