WELCOME TO FEED ON FEEDS, your server side, multi-user RSS and Atom aggregator!

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Why is a server side aggregator better than a desktop aggregator?

Desktop aggregators are great.  They sit there all day, pinging away at sites, and as soon as they notice something new, they pop up little windows on your desktop, and let you read items.  But what about when you go home from work?  Or what about when you are on a trip?  You get totally out of sync, and don't know what you've read and haven't read.  You are enraged.

Feed on Feeds A server side aggregator solves this.  It keeps track of what items you've read, and keeps happily checking up on your feeds no matter where you are.  Whenever you want to see what's new, you just bring up a web page and scan the newest items.  You can mark the items as read so they won't be shown again.  Or, you can just always show the most recent N items, like the way LiveJournal's friends pages work.  Also, having the aggregator in your browser eliminates the "impedance mismatch" that sometimes occurs between a desktop aggregator and your browser.  All your native browsing methods work on a FEED ON FEEDS page.  Open pages in new tabs, bookmark them for later, browse whatever way you like.

What are the requirements of FEED ON FEEDS?

Access to a server running PHP 4.3.2 or later with the PCRE and XML extensions available, as well as MySQL.
Support for compressed feeds requires the Zlib extension.
Support for https and digest authenticated feeds requires the cURL extension, at least version 7.10.5.
Support for feeds in international language encodings requires the mbstring and/or iconv extensions. Please see the
chart at simplepie.org for which encodings require which extension.

How do I install and use FEED ON FEEDS?

Installing it.

  1. Download this tarball.
  2. Explode it.
  3. Copy fof-config-sample.php to fof-config.php, and edit it to contain the correct DB connection information.
  4. Upload the entire tree to wherever on your server you want FEED ON FEEDS to live.
  5. Load the page http://{your server}/{wherever you put FEED ON FEEDS}/install.php.  The installer will first check that it can connect to your DB, and then attempt to create the necessary two tables.  Then, it will attempt to create a subdirectory called cache where it will store cached copies of RSS feeds.  This part of the installation may fail, as your PHP process may not have permission to create a directory.  You may need to create the directory {wherever you uploaded FEED ON FEEDS to}/cache/ yourself, and make sure it is writable by the PHP process.  If you needed to do that, reload install.php.
  6. Just set a password for the admin account and you should be ready to go!

Upgrading from the previous version.

There is no upgrade path from versions before 0.5, sorry. You'll have to export your subscription list as OPML, then install into a new directory, and migrate your settings in the fof-config.php file from the previous version.

Using it.

Setting up scheduled updates.

The best way to use FEED ON FEEDS is to set it up to update periodically, and then read feeds whenever you have the time.  FEED ON FEEDS comes with a script, update-quiet.php, which will update all feeds without producing any output.  You can use cron, or whatever task scheduling system is available to you, to call this script periodically to update your feeds.  Once per hour should be sufficient.  For example, here is a crontab entry to run it 20 minutes past each hour:
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20 * * * * /usr/local/bin/GET http://minutillo.com/steve/fof/update-quiet.php

Alternatively, you can just click on 'update all feeds' every once in a while yourself to get the latest items.

Who created this?  Why does it suck?

I did.  It is classic "itch-scratch-ware", I worked on it just long enough for it to be usable for my purposes, and then stopped.  There are rough edges, and the code is awful.  This is my first project in PHP.  However, now that it's out there, if anybody else finds it useful, I'm willing to improve it, and learn in the process.

Anything else I should know?

Version History and Download

0.5 - 0.5 is finally, finally, finally out! FoF has been nearly completely rewritten, and has a huge number of new features.

0.499... - A preview of 0.5 has been checked in at Google Code. Find out more at Feed on Feeds - THE WEBLOG.

0.1.9 - Updated to MagpieRSS 0.71, added indexes to items table, and enhanced Snoopy to support SSL and Digest authentication.

0.1.8 - Fixed several bugs, updated to MagpieRSS 0.7, added ability to sort feeds and items (in frames view).

0.1.7 - Fix nav links on view.php, and add experimental support for a wide array of character encodings. Previously only UTF-8, US-ASCII, and ISO-8859-1 worked, but now if your server has iconv or mbstring, many more should work. Check your phpinfo(). (gory details on the encoding stuff)

0.1.6 - Fix installer, fix delete, main pages now valid

0.1.5 - 0.1.4 didn't work on IE6!

0.1.4 - XHTML, CSS, better charset handling, new one page frames based viewer, refactoring (details)

0.1.3 - Clean up some bugs, update MagpieRSS, add single click mark all as read and flag all above items (details)

0.1.2 - Added experimental Atom 0.3 support (see this post for details)

0.1.1 - fixed to be compatible with PHP 4.3.2 (by including the latest Magpie)

0.1 - it turns out 0.0 did work! 0.1 adds these features: 0.0 - initial release - Who knows if it even will work for anybody but me.  I tried.