feed reader extensions for MediaWiki

TLDR: the TDF wiki switched it’s web feed aggregator extension with a slightly different markup.

The last week I was analyzing the feed aggregator extensions for MediaWiki as our existing extension “SimpleFeed” is throwing many, many, many errors when turning the debug modus from MediaWiki on, has problems with HTTP redirects and additional the used version of the framework SimplePie isn’t any longer supported. 😦 I had to check if it is easier to get the SimpleFeed extension up-to-date or to switch the extension to an supported extension and (possibly) migrate the existing markup to the new one.

When analyzing the many extensions listed at mediawiki.org, I realized that there are two kind of web feed extensions: the ones which display a feed and the ones which generates a feed.

The feature sets for feed aggregators are mostly identical, but when checking the pages I noticed that most extensions are without a maintainer (like SimpleFeed) or are forks from each other (or simply both).

I really invested much time to get through the extensions listed at

At the end I had to create a list (a Calc sheet ;-)) of extensions listing the differences (not in features sets, but in server requirements, licenses, code availability, etc.). The sad result is that there is only one extension which is still maintained – because it was heavily forked (and now combined in a single fork called Extension:RSS) and it is also used at mediawiki.org itself. The LibreOffice Calc sheet is attached and licensed under CC-0. (had to be a Hybrid-PDF as ods aren’t allowed to upload at stupid WordPress!) File:RSS-Extensions.pdf (hybrid ods file)

After deploying the extension and migrating the existing pages from SimpleFeed to Extension:RSS I found the first (minor) bug and just reported it to Phabricator (Wikimedia’s bug tracker) T115232. The bug I found is at one of our EasyHacks pages which transcludes a list of easy Hacks filled at bugzilla. In that special case the feed is displaying an error message as there are no bugs at bugzilla with that filter although the atom feed is valid. 😉

At the end I do want to thank the incredible work of the volunteers (and bots) at WikiAPIAry as they really help MediaWiki administrator to know if an extension (or skin) is used at the newest MediaWiki (and PHP) versions and how many wikis out there do rely on an certain extension. 🙂

Regards,

Dennis

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feed reader extensions for MediaWiki

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