Tag Archives: releases

Mistakes were made, tears were shed

Orbital 0.2.2 – Mistakes Were Made


This is a tweak to fix some problems people told me about on the Orbital Feed Reader GitHub Issues page.

Some folks were getting a very bad experience during the install – everything goes blank – or they were able to install and then couldn’t add feeds or read feeds. Not good for a feed reader!  I traced down a problem where if you had a specific new default collation on your database, the way I initialized the database tables made everything go boom.  It’s fixed now, but it’s part of the problem of supporting a lot of different configurations without a giant automated test lab.

The other was that someone pointed out there is an improved PressThis page in the latest version of WordPress.  Everything was working, but you’d get a nudge message saying that there was a new way to use PressThis and why are you going this old way?  Updated and I think it’s a really good experience now!

I also did some cleanup and logging improvements so that I can work with folks who have problems in a better way.

MAX LAZER at the CMOM exhibit "Hello Japan!"

Orbital 0.2.1 – Secure Polyglot is out in the wild

I got a bit busy and I never did the release post for 0.2 so this is a big one with lots of features!
MAX LAZER at the CMOM exhibit "Hello Japan!"


Orbital is now translatable using the standard WordPress API mechanisms. If you’re a translator please contact me! I’d love to work with you to translate it! You can see the sample .po and .pot files under the “languages” directory in the plugin.

Blogroll as a Widget!

I’m really excited about this! One of the reasons I had an idea for this whole thing is that I was frustrated that the blogroll widget didn’t synchronize with my feed reader.  Why wouldn’t it just be a representation of what I’m actually reading?  So now that’s done! You can choose to display a link to the underlying OPML for download if you like.  I’d encourage you to do that because public OPML files online is a really good idea. I also put in a promo link but you can totally turn that off. I’m conflicted about putting that promo in because I’m not much of a self promoter – but I want to share this thing with more folks if possible.

Fast Feed Switcher

I don’t really like taking my fingers off the keyboard, so I really like keyboard shortcuts. I’ve added one more keyboard shortcut!  Type g to bring up a window that will let you go to any feed. You should be able to start typing the name of a feed and auto narrow down to whichever feed you want, then hit enter to go to it.


I’ve added essential protection against cross site scripting attacks. In case someone is actively trying to mark your feeds read or import new feeds for you, they can’t do that anymore.


Some folks experience the feeds stopped updating! That’s not good behavior for a feed reader – so it’s now fixed.
Some folks experienced a problem when they had multiple users and a user with non-edit permissions was added. That should be fixed now.
If you uninstalled the plugin it didn’t clean up after itself. Now Orbital is tidier and cleans up to not leave traces.

Orbital Feed Reader 0.1.9 Codenamed “BORN FREE” is out!

Last night I pushed out the final changes to uncage version 0.1.9 and get it out in the wild.
MAX LAZER tears off on his own  to explore Oregon

This version is mostly about giving you freedom. You should be able to easily import your stuff from other platforms into Orbital Feed Reader to use it. If you decide that you don’t want to use Orbital Feed Reader any more, you should have an easy way to leave. Any software that doesn’t tell you how to leave it is something you should be suspicious of.

Get Feeds IN

Share your OPML

For Feed Readers, the standard way to exchange lists of subscriptions is a standard called OPML. It’s an old format, but it’s how they all exchange lists of feeds. I’ve buffed up the OPML import to handle larger numbers of feeds. After you import the file you have a chance to look over the feeds and edit them, tag them or exclude them entirely. Hit save and they’ll all flow into the backend.


Get Feeds OUT

But we also don’t want Orbital to be a lobster trap for you. If you import that kind of data I also want you to be able to export that kind of data. Now Orbital is good at exporting your feeds. If you are logged in – we’ll export a file with all your public and private subscriptions and let you take that wherever you want. Some folks want to share their OPML publicly – if you aren’t logged in, hitting the same URL gives you only the public feeds. All your private stuff should stay safe!

Read Lotsa Feeds

Now that Orbital can handle tons of feeds coming in I wanted it to be easy to actually sort through them. Feed Tags now start off collapsed and you can expand them anytime by using the little twiddlers next to each. That’s a technical term. The twiddlers make it much more manageable to see 200 feeds over many subject areas.

Orbital Feed Reader 0.1.8 Codenamed “BEAUTY TREATMENT” is out!


The most common feedback I’ve heard from folks on Orbital is that it’s not very good looking.  It does the job, but it isn’t a pleasure to look at.

I assume these people are all supermodels, so it looks like Orbital is doing great among the high fashion set.

I got out my scissors, called in the wardrobe department, applied polish and buffed with a chamois. This is the new smooth look, designed to blend in with the new admin themes of WordPress.

Hey, good lookin’!


Beauty comes in all thicknesses

Along the way, I’ve added some features – now it is responsive, cleaner and is even usable on my Galaxy S5. Check out this hot resizing action!

Future attractions and graceful aging

Coming soon are some cool things. First, I’m working on version 0.1.9, code named Born Free. It will deal with the how to leave Orbital and how to get into Orbital. I’d never want to trap you!

Second, WordPress is going to upgrade to version 4.0 soon. I’ll be getting Orbital ready for that, and the new REST API should make it easy to build a better mobile experience for Orbital.

Orbital Feed Reader 0.1.5 Codenamed “CHICKEN HAT” is out!

It’s been a busy couple of months for me. I’ve had my first user feedback on Orbital Feed Reader – a fella who’s trying to use it on GoDaddy’s Awful Hosting. I haven’t fixed all of his issues but I’m getting closer. Lil Peanut has been smiling, grabbing things, laughing, and peeing on me.

What’s in 0.1.5? Some bug fixes, some UI fixes and a way to change the SORT ORDER!

Feed Names

When you put in a feed to autodiscover it will show you the actual feed names instead of just the feed URL. This is important because it lets you choose among many feeds in a smarter way.
Feed Names on Orbital

Sort Order

Henry Vitoski pointed out that most people will want to use Orbital differently than I do. I’m a completist, I like to start at the bottom and read EVERY SINGLE THING. The rest of you apparently are more interested in seeing new things first and then delving into the past. Now there’s a way to change the sorting. It will remember whatever you choose.
See more details at the changelog page.