Full-Text RSS 3.9

[See update at bottom about 3.9.1]

Full-Text RSS 3.9 is now available. Full-Text RSS is used by software developers and news enthusiasts to extract article content from news sites and blogs, and to convert RSS feeds that contain only extracts of stories to full-text feeds. Existing customers can download the latest version through our customer login.

Command-line use

It’s now possible to use Robo Task Runner to initialise Full-Text RSS and carry out common operations. After installing Robo, change into the Full-Text RSS folder and try the following:

  • Initialise: enable caching and site config updates

    robo init

  • Update site config files

    robo update:site-config-files

  • Get article title

    robo title [url]

  • Get article contents as plain text

    robo text [url]

  • Get article contents as HTML

    robo html [url]

Note: Full-Text RSS still needs to be set up as before (as a web service) for these to work.

Plain text output

It’s now possible to request plain text by passing &content=text as a request parameter. The output format will not change when passing this, but where we had article HTML before, we’ll now have plain text.

Easier installation for customers

We also now offer customers a way to install Full-Text RSS by running a Cloud-Init script when setting up a new VPS instance. If you’d like to make use of it, log in to our member page after buying Full-Text RSS and you’ll find instructions there.

The steps will initialise a new Ubuntu 18.04 server with Apache and PHP 7.2, install Full-Text RSS, enable caching, update the site config files and set up cron to update them again periodically.

Full changelog

  • Convert extracted HTML content to plain text with &content=text
  • Bug fix: character encoding issue when using Gumbo as parser
  • Removed deprecated PHP 7.2 calls (thanks Florian)
  • Added a few basic Codeception tests (see tests folder)
  • Added RoboFile.php to allow use from the command line (with Robo Task Runner)
  • Removed $options->html5_output from config file (it’s now always used)
  • Other fixes/improvements

Available to try and buy

Full-Text RSS 3.9 is now available to buy. If you’re an existing customer, you can download the latest version from our member page or upgrade at a discount.

You can also test the software before buying. This test copy will only be up until 21 May 2018. After that you can test using our free, hosted version (some features disabled).

Update May 11 2018

We released Full-Text RSS 3.9.1 yesterday to address a few issues with the 3.9 release. Changelog for that entry below:

  • Bug fix: Removed deprecated each() calls (caused ‘deprecated’ PHP warnings in some versions of PHP)
  • Bug fix in Gumbo PHP parser: Preserve whitespace in <pre> elements wrapping <code> elements (change in ubuntu-18.04.pp affecting those who setup their server with the previous Puppet file, or via our customer Easy Install page)
  • Replaced ubuntu-16.04.pp Puppet file with ubuntu-18.04.pp
  • Specify text width in plain text output: &content=text80 will wrap at 80 characters (default is 70)

If you installed 3.9, we recommend you re-install if any of the following apply to you:

  • You used our ‘Easy Install’ steps on our member pages or used our server initialisation Puppet file to set up your server. For 3.9.1 we updated the Gumbo PHP extension to handle whitespace better in <pre> elements. If this applies to you, you will need to re-run our Easy Install setup or apply our Puppet file to initialise a new server. (The scripts will not help if applied to an already configured server.)

  • If you get PHP 7.2 deprecation warnings when you try to create a feed (or an XML error).

  • You use our &content=text output and want to be able to specify text width: &content=text80 to wrap at 80 characters rather than 70 (default). Or &content=text0 to disable text wrapping.