A little over 5 years ago – July 20, 2004 to be exact – I posted the very first public version of SimplePie as a set of functions that sat on top of MagpieRSS, in an effort to make RSS parsing even easier and more accessible to PHP developers around the world. Since that time, SimplePie has become the de-facto RSS/Atom parsing software for PHP. The software is in use by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, is integrated into more third-party software than I can keep track of, and has been used in everything from blogs and wikis to sites powered by some of the largest brands in the world.
A couple of years ago I co-founded my first company and that has ended up taking a large portion of my time. As part of that, I’ve also released a new open-source project called CloudFusion (formerly Tarzan) that is beginning to take the Amazon Web Services and Cloud Computing world by storm. Geoffrey has spent a lot of time in school, building tools to help the HTML 5 community, and now has a gig working for Opera. There quite simply isn’t much time for SimplePie anymore – for either of us.
We’ve tried to build a community around SimplePie – one where people can help each other, provide tips and tricks, record screencasts, and eventually take over the development of the project. Parts of this were successful while other parts were not. Geoffrey and I have had the pleasure of working alongside some smart, talented people over the years including Ryan McCue, Michael Shipley, Steve Minutillo and many others, but for whatever reason we never developed enough steam to keep it all going despite Geoffrey and my best efforts and other commitments.
So effective immediately, we are ceasing development of SimplePie and shutting down the project. We will shortly be pushing all code to GitHub. The mailing list will continue to serve users for the time being, but my sincerest hope is that someone will take up the charge to fork SimplePie, fix all of its issues, and continue on with this project that’s been such a huge part of my life for the past 5 years.
I’ll be around for a few more weeks to help ease the transition to GitHub and whatever community springs up around that. I’ll probably continue to keep an eye on the mailing list and help where I can, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to answer everyone’s questions. Geoffrey and I sincerely appreciate all of the users we’ve had over the years, the kind words, and all of the cool Amazon wishlist purchases that have shown up on our doorsteps over the years. I hope someone else will take up the mantle for the RSS/Atom/PHP community like SimplePie and MagpieRSS before it.