Software Garden News:
ListGarden Program
This page contains news regarding Software Garden's ListGarden program, including the availability of bug fixes and new versions, usage issues, and new documentation.
ListGarden Sprout With Roots logo
The new major upgrade to ListGarden is now available, complete with documentation.

See Version 1.3 for more information.

Most users of ListGarden should find some new features that will be helpful.

As usual, please report any problems you find, either with the program or the website.
Thu, 04 Aug 2005 19:33:51 GMT
After nearly a year of no changes, I've finally released a beta version of an upgrade to ListGarden. The program is available for testing, but there is no documentation yet other than the normal "helpful text" along with each input field and this notice. More documentation will come over the next week, I hope. I would appreciate interested users to test this version and report any bugs or other feedback (see the Contact Us page).

Here are the links for download:

ZIP source:

TAR source:

GZ source:

There are lots of new features, including support for podcasting (including iTunes), backup, and wiki-like non-HTML text markup. The data format for feed data files is upwards compatible with the previous releases.

Use normal testing caution and make a backup copy of your data before upgrading.

Here is an overview of some of the changes:
Enclosures have been added to the list of item elements you can set, including the URL, length (in bytes), and type (e.g., audio/mpeg). The type can be automatically set using a template option value.

You can browse for enclosure information. It is assumed that you use another program (like a simple FTP program) to upload the file to be "enclosed". Intstead of filling in the enclosure URL and length by hand you can click a "Browse" button and see a list of files in a directory on the server, sorted by most recently modified. (You can browse a different server than the one where the RSS feed is uploaded to.) You can then fill in the enclosure information by pressing a "select" button.

Added a "Backup Data" feature to publishing. You can save the backup copy of the feed data file locally and/or upload it to the server along with the RSS file(s). The backup files need not be in the same directory as the other files (so they may be in places off-limits to the web server for security). For security, by default the password values in the data file are not backed up. The backup goes either repeatedly to the same file, or to multiple files with time-stamped names.

Added an "Item Additional XML" field so that you can add additional <item> elements, including the ones in RSS and those iin other namespaces, like for iTunes.

Added an "RSS Tag Additional Text" value to allow you to add text to the <rss> tag, including the namespace declaration needed for iTunes extensions.

Upgraded non-HTML mode of the item description field to create more interesting output without needing to manually entered HTML: Line breaks are preserved as <br> and there are easy ways (similar to some wikis) to add bold, italic, and linked text, as well as indented text (like this) paragraph. This entire RSS item was created using this feature (the "Includes HTML" box was not checked).

Fixed GUID creation to use months starting with 1, not 0 (this will only affect new items -- previously created GUIDs will not change).

There are a few other minor cosmetic changes.
The first documentation I plan to write will be about using this version for podcasting. When it is available, I'll add an entry here. A useful feature is the ability to automatically create a companion HTML file with a list of shows and download links for manually downloading the enclosures (for those without "podcatching" software). I've been using an early release for my Software Licensing podcast list of shows since May.
Thu, 28 Jul 2005 18:01:45 GMT
ListGarden 1.02 has been released. It has the following changes:
  • New feature: A new item has been added to the Options tab. It is the "Channel Additional XML" value. This option allows you to provide text to be added to the XML that makes up the <channel> part of the feed. It is an advanced feature that should only be used by people who understand how to write XML. It is used to add elements, such as <copyright> and <image>, that are not currently supported by ListGarden.
  • The problem with the -d command option and pathnames that have an embedded space has been fixed. When looking for files to list, spaces in the specified datafile pathname are searched for with a wildcard (meaning it will match a space or any other character).
  • A problem with browsers that repeatedly look for favicon.ico files that showed up most problematically with Firefox 1.0PR has been fixed. ListGarden's built-in server now returns a 404 error for favicon. Firefox 1.0PR should now work with ListGarden.
  • There were slight changes to the HTML produced for the UI with respect to <script> tags.
For most users, there is no pressing need to upgrade unless you are using the latest version of Firefox or can take advantage of any of the other changes.
Thu, 23 Sep 2004 20:35:32 GMT
The 1.0PR release of the Firefox browser makes ListGarden appear to be stuck on the first "Feed" page. This only occurs with the builtin ListGarden server (which is how it is run by most users, unfortunately), and not when running remotely using CGI serving. The behavior stems from a change in how Firefox requests favicon.ico files. Until the next release of ListGarden (hopefully in the next few days), Firefox users must either control ListGarden with another browser (e.g., Firefox 0.9x, IE, Safari), or run ListGarden using CGI and a server (like Apache).
Mon, 20 Sep 2004 19:48:39 GMT
The "-d" or "-datafile" option to ListGarden does not work correctly if the text given has any spaces in it (a common case, such as having "My Documents" in the path). This option is usually only used when you want the data files to be in a different directory than the program itself. Most people seem to run ListGarden without using this option.

The bug shows up when you can't find a file you have created in the list of files ListGarden shows when running ListGarden again. You can copy the file back into the directory with the program and run ListGarden again without the "-d" flag to continue without data loss.

Until there is a new version with the fix, you may need to not use this option, or find ways (such as with relative pathnames) to avoid pathnames with spaces. Contact Software Garden if this poses a problem for you.
Thu, 09 Sep 2004 16:39:35 GMT
ListGarden 1.01 has been released. It is the new default download. The changes are mostly usability-related or cosmetic. Here are the main changes:
  • Pressing the Enter/Return key after entering text into a single-line text field now executes the common "OK/Save" action for that page instead of switching tabs or doing a "Cancel" in most browsers. As part of this change some of the buttons have moved, so the position of "Add" and "Cancel" may look different than shown in the older documentation. Also, when there are no feeds listed, the focus is now started in the "Create A New Feed" textbox.
  • Font sizes are more consistent across browsers and some other minor HTML tweaks were done (Safari and Firefox users will see an increase in font size). Mozilla Firefox 0.9.1 has been added to the testing suite.
  • UTF-8 Byte Order Marks in the data file (sometimes added when you hand-edit the datafiles in an editor) are handled better.
  • Non-numeric values in numeric fields (such as "Maximum Items") are more explicitly treated the same as zero.
For most users, there is no special reason to upgrade, unless you find the handling of the Enter key helpful.
Thu, 08 Jul 2004 16:00:18 GMT
This page gives examples of storing public RSS feed files on inexpensive web server storage available through many ISPs and free web hosting communities. While RSS feeds are traditionally stored on a complete website along with other, related web pages, the simple applications made more practical by ListGarden may be good candidates for hosting on inexpensive storage space available to most people without a special domain or "catchy" URL nor a complete website itself.
Tue, 06 Jul 2004 14:59:13 GMT
Pressing "Enter" after typing into a single-line text field does not always execute the onscreen "button" you would think it should. It often does not do the equivalent of "OK" or "Save", but rather moves to another tab or does a "Cancel". (The exact behavior is browser dependent.) Instead of pressing Enter (or Return on a Mac), you should click on buttons to execute them, such as "Add", "Save", etc.
Tue, 06 Jul 2004 14:55:13 GMT
This is a new RSS feed devoted exclusively to news related to the ListGarden program. General Software Garden news will stay in the Software Garden RSS feed, but most news relating to ListGarden will only appear here from now on. It is available both as an RSS XML feed and as a readable HTML file with all items listed, not just the most recent.
Fri, 02 Jul 2004 19:45:39 GMT
Thu, 04 Aug 2005 19:34:45 GMT
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