Title card for “Hackerman”, a character from the short film “Kung Fury”. http://www.kungfury.com

TL;DR: How I improved the performance of case-insensitive XPath queries by 30–35%, reducing an 8× performance hit to only 4.5–5×.


Most feeds are a mess. The old SimplePie “OG” took a parse-at-all-costs philosophy, and could handle many of the most broken feeds you could find — at a cost. While the early versions of SimplePie supported the letter of the RSS 2.0 specification, there were a surprising number of feeds which didn’t.

Once SimplePie started to get popular (2006–2008), we started getting bug reports from users who were working with RSS feeds containing elements such as <pubdate> (instead of <pubDate>)…

Today, I’m introducing a refresh of the SimplePie logo and the most visible part of its brand. I’m calling this new branding style SimplePie Neue.

The Icon

I designed the original SimplePie logo back in 2005. At the time, Web 2.0 and Ajax were brand-new things to most web developers. Mac OS X “Tiger” 10.4 was the latest OS running on my 17” PowerBook G4, and while the hard glossy feel hadn’t yet taken over the Internet, shadows and gradients definitely had.

The SimplePie logo (2005–2017)

Still to this day, I enjoy looking at this logo. …

What the wut?

After retiring from SimplePie development in 2009, the project more or less went into maintenance mode. While I am thankful to the folks who have contributed to its development over the last 8 years, it’s time for a reboot.

SimplePie NG is a modern, next-generation PHP package for working with syndication feeds. It is being re-written from the ground-up to take advantage of the changes that have happened in the PHP community since the SimplePie project was started back in 2004.

The Plan

I’ve spent several years thinking about how I would do things differently if I were to start the project…

Ryan Parman ∞

Experienced Software/DevOps/Security engineer. Created SimplePie, AWS SDK for PHP, MFA-aaS. Godfather of Serverless. Ambivert. Curious. Not a coffee drinker.

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