“Why!? Oh Why!?”, you scream (well, maybe not, but I’m not a telepathic seer). For a start, I haven’t actually really used SimplePie myself since early 2006 (now almost two years ago), and I now have less and less to do with PHP at all (and I totally hate it ? a recent bug in SP was caused by the fact that “0” == false ? and have therefore moved to (mainly) Python).
Furthermore, over the past year, since March/April, my time has become increasingly limited, and SP has de-facto been one of the things that I have cut a long time ago (the reason for the lack of commits from me much) ? the majority of my time is now spent on schoolwork, with what is left over being spent working on various specs (predominantly HTML 5 and Tolerant HTTP Parsing).
However, what does the future of SP hold? Well, various decisions need to be made about the future direction ? do you try and improve 1.x further (it was already stretched to breaking point at 1.0, mainly held back by PHP itself ? a sad state to be in), or do you start on the vision of SP2? To take the former option, I doubt you could get much further than what is currently planned for 1.2 with the current 1.x base ? any further development requires a large amount of reworking the internals of SP (to the extreme of being questionable about whether there is any point of not starting from scratch). The latter option is probably the best (though ideally get 1.1 out as soon as it can be).
One of the aims of SP2 is true modularity ? it should be possible to use (and load) nothing more the parser itself (i.e., give it raw XML data, and it gives you an API to access the title, description, etc. as they are in the feed without sanitising them at all) ? which has several advantages for deciding any successor to myself: get people to write various modules for it against pre-existing specs (most of which are only drafts and so will need further development over time). What exactly those modules will be I am mainly undecided (though it won’t, I assure you, be the more complex parts of the API itself ? the design of them is mainly unwritten and comes from knowledge of successes/failures from SP1’s API). I will myself continue maintaining a couple of the modules (namely, the Unicode and IRI ones, both of which I use outwith of SP ? though more may be added to that list).
I’m more than willing to be around in a consulting role for a while ? my contact details are in the footer of my site, and I’ll stay around in the IRC channel for a while ? as well as helping people around the SP1 codebase (though I’d like to see that totally feature frozen come the end of January, with a final non-bugfix release from it in February) ? which is horrifically uncommented in parts, and uses stupidly complex algorithms in others that without prior knowledge of them make no sense (I’ve had issues with some myself when coming back to them having not touched them in a while 🙂 ).
Alas, there’s too much to write about the vision of SP2, so that will have to be done in another post; until then, g’nite.