March 26, 2007

I was looking for a MediaWiki extension that could read RSS feeds and output them onto the page. The trouble was, the extensions I found either didn’t work, or were very uncustomisable. For example, for one that actually worked, adding this to the wiki page:


forced this output on me:

<h3><a href="">Minimo Bongo</a></h3>
<small>22 March 2007, by jonnylamb</small>

<h3><a href="">Durham Visit</a></h3>
<small>22 March 2007, by jonnylamb</small>

<h3><a href="">Musically Active</a></h3>
<small>22 March 2007, by jonnylamb</small>

<h3><a href="">++age</a></h3>
<small>5 March 2007, by jonnylamb</small>

This is not ideal. Instead of looking further for a better extension, I wrote one. It is called SimpleFeed and it lives on the Extension:SimpleFeed page on

It is simple for two reasons:

  1. It uses the SimplePie feed parsing library
  2. It’s exactly that- simple.

Here is a quick tour on how to use it:

Once it is installed, one can choose the syntax each item is outputted in. For example:

<feed url="">
<small>{DATE} by {AUTHOR}</small>


For each item from the feed, the curly-bracketed words get replaced with their corresponding values. Note the use of wiki-markup as this is then parsed by the MediaWiki parser, producing something like this:

<a name="Minimo_Bongo"></a><h2> <span class="mw-headline"> <a href="" class="external text" title="" rel="nofollow">Minimo Bongo</a> </span></h2>

<p>22 March 2007 by jonnylamb
<p>I shoved

So of course there’s a whole load of MediaWiki stuff added which makes it integrate into the wiki much better, and the killer feature is the customisation possible!

There’s more information on its page.

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