WordPress RSS Parser SimplePie Ceases Development

simplepielogo Over the weekend, some big news was published on the SimplePie development blog where it was announced that development for the RSS Parser would cease effective immediately. While the first version of SimplePie was built ontop of MagpieRSS, it quickly became the de-facto RSS/Atom parsing software for PHP. WordPress uses SimplePie to parse the RSS feed for the dashboard widgets such as Other WordPress News, WordPress News, etc.

Beginning in WordPress 2.8, MagpieRSS was beginning to be phased out in exchange for SimplePie due to the lack of development taking place around Magpie. Unfortunately, the same thing has happened to SimplePie leaving WordPress with a few options. First, hope that a fork of SimplePie is created which WordPress can then use. Second, continue the development of SimplePie to fit the needs of WordPress only or third, look for another actively developed RSS parser for PHP. It’s worth noting that in WordPress 2.9, SimplePie has been upgraded to version 1.3.

This doesn’t mean that dashboard feeds in WordPress will fail to be parsed as SimplePie is not a third party service. However, there are a ton of plugins in the repository that were built with the default RSS parser in WordPress both when it was Magpie and then SimplePie so this development affects those as well.

The WordPress development team is well aware of this announcement and it looks like it may be a topic of discussion for this weeks WordPress development meeting.

10 responses to “WordPress RSS Parser SimplePie Ceases Development”

  1. I’ve looked at the simplepie source. I don’t think it would be alot of work to maintain among a development group the size of WordPress.

  2. I was happy when SimplePie was included in WP (Magpie is bit obsolete). But that aura of dusty “next great version is around the corner (for XX months already)” promised issues.

    So now we have two unmaintained feed parsers in WP… Third time’s a charm? :)

  3. […] picked up a bit of unfortunate news from my buddy Jeffro at WPTavern yesterday: popular PHP RSS library project SimplePie is shutting down development: “…big news […]

  4. What’s the problem with the current SimplePie implementation?

    I am using Textpattern which is a superior CMS because it is not updated so often as other not so secure and not so stable solutions :)

    Using a stable existing version of SimplePie shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t get the point.

  5. […] WP Tavern pointed out that WordPress recently incorporated SimplePie into the core for anything related to RSS parsing (such as Dashboard and sidebar widgets). This means it’s in the WordPress project should definitely be keeping an eye on this issue. […]


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