Rise and fall of RSSWatch – and the consequences

Apparently, time flies by very fast. Several years has gone since the first versions of RSSWatch saw the light. Under the FnargBlog RSSWatch “brand”, a very sloppy release of a RSS monitor was built – at that time the goal was simple: Monitor blogs and look for content updates. The reason was furhtermore simpler: It was an era where a bunch of young Swedish bloggers wrote provoking articles. When people commented, either the content or the comments was manipulated.

At the time, WordPress and other hosting providers didn’t do much to prevent spam robots entering the scene, so FnargBlog used the opportunity to publish updates to comment fields each time there was an edited or removed comment. But RSSWatch didn’t only do this. The primary monitoring was to watch for post edits as content could completely change so that comments did no longer match the content of the original post.

In short, the purpose of RSSWatch had great impact in the end. However, a failure of power around christmas 2015, practically killed the service completely. TornevallNET joined and took over some of the projects.

For a third time, lack of time hit RSSWatch hard. There was other work to do, and PHP was about to expire. Old versions of PHP (5.3, 5.4) began to get deprecated, so most of the scripts died by themselves. However, the web-engine fetcher that also scanned for open prixes, got new life by joining e-commerce business. From the prior versions to the new purpose, it started to support wider drivers to make sure that each server using it should have access to the internet, regardless och the platform (from very simple file_get_contents(), curl and SOAP support, I realized that the application never failed me).

And there we are now. Close to summer 2019, the plans are slowly raising. Tornevall restored the power of the forum platform, with the purpose to host and support those applications, where the docs and older wordpress-sites is not enough. In short I’m going to try to compile a list of what must be done before we can awake those old scanning services again. And what could come in handy at the same time…