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SimplePie Developer Weblog.  Not that we really have anything to say, but if you'll listen, why not?

Status Update 9 Nov 2007 

I just wanted to give everyone a status update about SimplePie:

SimplePie 1.1: We were wanting to have SimplePie 1.1 done a few weeks ago, but it was suggested that we hold the release back a bit to catch more bugs first. At the same time Geoffrey and I have both been swamped with other things, so commits to the trunk have been more sparse. We are planning to release SimplePie 1.1 as soon as we can, however, and here are a few things to look forward to:

  • You can now get a feed-level author. This has been requested several times over the years, and it’s finally made it in.
  • Atom contributors are now supported.
  • Atom’s <source> tag is now supported, and works just like the rest of SimplePie.
  • We have a working patch for PHP’s memory leak. We have the details about the leak on our FAQ page.
  • mbstring and/or iconv support is optional again.
  • An array of other bug fixes and such.

SimplePie Plugin for WordPress: About a month ago, we decided to really begin driving forward with our most popular plugin, the SimplePie Plugin for WordPress. We’ve gotten many excellent comments from users of the new version 2, and we’re getting ready to make it even better with our upcoming 2.1 release. WordPress, currently the world’s most popular blogging software, is going to be a major platform for SimplePie in the future, and things are already looking very bright.

SimpleReader Mobile: When we first launched SimpleReader Mobile over a year ago, we nearly canceled the project because of the seemingly tepid response. Now, SimpleReader Mobile is gaining usage with a number of different devices, and we believe this boost was launched by the release of Apple’s iPhone. We now have our SimpleReader Mobile page on Apple’s webapp directory, and we hope to see continued growth with this product.

SimplePie Live! SimplePie Live! is currently a beta-quality product, and is is essentially SimplePie geared for JavaScript and AJAX development. Again, the response thus far has been relatively tepid, and we haven’t done much to promote it just yet, but that marketing push is coming. We’re working on making it better, more useful, and eventually more consumer-friendly. With how popular widgets are these days, as well as the mass of AJAX-oriented websites, we think that this will become a very valuable tool as the word gets out more and more.

Plans for the Future: Since the first release of SimplePie was launched in July 2004, we’ve grown rather significantly. Not only are we now considered one of the world’s best feed APIs, but we’re growing as a platform as well. Nobody can deny the Facebook platform, and recently Google announced the OpenSocial platform. Netvibes has a Universal Widget API which allows you to write a widget once, and have it work across several platforms on the desktop AND the web. In the future, we expect SimplePie to be an important component in this new world. We’re also wanting to re-invest time and energy into platforms like Textpattern and Mediawiki that we’ve had to leave behind for the time being, as well as new platforms that we haven’t yet explored. In order to do that successfully, we need more people. In order to get more people, we need to have money.

Because of that, we’re planning to build a corporation around SimplePie. We’re going to create a non-profit Foundation to manage that portion. The Corporation will manage anything we do that makes money (similar to how the Mozilla Foundation/Corporation are set up). In the future, we plan to launch products that make money. It’s perfectly reasonable to make money from the hard work you put into something, and eventually I want SimplePie to be my full-time job. Although that time isn’t now, it’s getting closer as the days go by.

Now before anyone freaks out, let me explain. The core SimplePie API for PHP — the one we all know and love — will always remain open-source. Geoffrey and I are in complete agreement on that, and we think it’s going to be very important for us moving forward to ensure that people like you can continue building awesome stuff with SimplePie without having to worry about an associated cost as a barrier to entry.

So there you have it! SimplePie is moving along nicely, and we have some great plans for the future. Hopefully, Geoffrey will be able to stay alive long enough to make it through the oh-so-painful time of his life known as high school (well, here in the US it’s called high school anyway), and once he graduates he’ll be the CTO of a fledgling company. 🙂

Posted by Ryan Parman at 8:44 am. Comments (0)