OMGWTFBBQ: Open Source PHP5 News Reader


A few weeks ago I was bitching to Miker and Diego about Gregarious, the PHP based news reader we use and how insane it is to try to customize. It's one of those "classic" PHP apps which is just written by monkeys. I was having trouble reading the site on one of my gadgets (one of the main *points* of having a web-based news reader) and after messing with the back end a little, I ended up locking myself out where no matter what I tried to do, I couldn't get my log in to work. Since the project hasn't been updated in a very, very long time, I started looking for a replacement, but since there is none we decided that it would be pretty simple to create a news reader ourselves.

Well, I actually ended up writing the app since they have full-time paying gigs and I'm my own boss and all that. But even though they may not have actually checked in any code (*cough*), it wouldn't have been written without them letting me bitch about it on IM at all hours. Miker did name it, test it and is now using it, and Diego did give me his input and also looked at the code once and drove me batshit insane for an hour or so while he "confirmed" a bug he tracked down in the first 30 seconds of looking at it. So thanks to both of these guys!

I just took the code from my personal repository and threw it up as a new project on Google Code. You can see the OMGWTFBBQ project home here, and you can check it out using SVN here:

svn checkout omgwtfbbq

Some notes about the project:

You'll note the simplicity of my PHP coding - that's because I can't stand complexity for complexity's sake - so there are no classes in the code (because it doesn't need them) nor dependency on PEAR, etc. It does, however, rely on a Debian-installed version of PHP5 with tidy and curl libs.

The project heavily relies on's incredibly great PHP feed parser to do all the heavy lifting. Their 10,000+ lines of code made it so that creating a new feed reader involved writing just a few hundred lines of my own code and some HTML. Those guys rock, and the Simplepie parser is pretty awesome. Check it out if you haven't seen it yet, it's really, really nice.

Hope someone finds it useful, and if you have any bug fixes, features, etc. send them to me, or if you want commit access, I'll be glad to add you once I've seen your code. :-)


< Previous         Next >