Update (2/25/10): Actually BDPRSS still works and we are still using it on UMW Blogs. My bad.
It’s kind of funny, but I’m starting to realize that I have been so embedded within the UMW Blogs experience for the last two years that I am at the point where I am able to get nostalgic about certain elements of it. And one of the most vital and exciting parts of this experiment has always been plugins. And probably the single most important plugin for helping me to think about the implications of aggregation for course sites on ELS Blogs (and then UMW Blogs) back in 2006/2007 was BDP RSS. That’s right “was,” early this morning I discovered BPS RSS supine on the plugins page in UMW Blogs after an upgrade to WPMu 2.8.3. According to the programmers coroner report it had succumbed to a fatal error, and given that the plugin had been taken care of for well over a year—an upgrade to WPMu 2.8+ was more than it could handle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
On a more personal note, I always remarked how amazing it was that despite the fact the developer stopped maintaining the plugin for some time now, with every upgrade from 2.6+ to 2.7+ it showed no sign of breaking. But as with most things in WPMu, 2.8+ saw to its final retirement. Back in December of 2006 I first discovered and wrote a little homage to this “WordPress Aggregator that Works,” all the while knowing deep down inside that nothing gold can stay. Well, here is to you BDP RSS, you taught me much about blog aggregation, and I’ll never find another plugin like you that can update RSS without cron as well as create a slick and quick OPML file/feed on the fly. Your functionality was well ahead of its time and, in fact, even though your gone, WordPress still hasn’t integrated a powerful aggregation mechanism into its core code period, no less one that matches your options and power (though your interface was never too beautiful). Which has me thinking that our solution for a comment OPML file for course blogs using FeedWordPress no longer has you as a solution. We’ll miss you BPD RSS, and if you ever raise from the plugin graveyard like a third-party coded zombie, please make your way over to the bava to let us know you’re undead. But until then, rest in peace.
Image credit: “RIP Sign” by Jennster