This feature will be of interest to people who have River.js files. This is the output format of River4 and previous river-of-news aggregators.

In Fargo 1.68 there's a new <includeRiver%> macro. It takes one parameter, the http address of a River.js file.

<%includeRiver ("")%>

Testing it out

You can use my personal river. The NYT river is also useful for testing.

I included my personal river on today's Scripting News home page, with hilarious results. Not saying this is particularly useful, but it's really nice when two big pieces of technology "just work", in this case, they worked the first time I tried it. Hala.

Tina Turner would like to sing you a song

10/12/14; 11:00:21 AM

On Twitter, Frank Meeuwsen asks a good question about Fargo.

"Would it be possible to update a Fargo Outline from within Dropbox? So add/update directly in a folder instead of the editor?"


I answered, yes no problem with that. OPML is a text-based format. Just edit the text in whatever you want, and save it to the folder.

The best way to learn about OPML is to create something in Fargo, save it, and then drag the file onto a plain text editor and see what it generated. Fargo doesn't care how the text gets there. So you just have to produce what it's expecting. I tried to design the elements so if you think about it, you'll figure out what it's doing. And I'm happy to answer any questions people have, to the extent that I can.

Connecting with Evernote

What's interesting is that Frank is an Evernote business consultant, and Evernote is a service that Fargo and our other products should hook up to. Imagine Radio3 able to post to Evernote alongside Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and RSS. That's the philosophy of these products. Let's make users' data flow smoothly. There's a lot of untapped potential here.

09/09/14; 10:25:13 AM

We had an outage starting at approximately 2AM Eastern this morning that just cleared, at 1PM.

There was a problem with the Dropbox API. It was saying every call Fargo was an error.

I posted a status report on the outage almost immediately before it cleared.

Glad to have Fargo back!

08/20/14; 12:05:53 PM

No version number change for this fix.

Fargo would fail on startup if you left the cursor on the first line in the outline.


08/06/14; 08:30:45 PM

The simplest of features

Fargo now remembers the bar cursor location when it saves an outline. It automatically restores the cursor when the outline is reopened.

Technical details

There's a new <head> element in the OPML that Fargo produces, <lastCursor>.

Its value is a number, the number of times you have to move the cursor flatdown from the summit, after the previously expanded elements are expanded.

Other outliner-based apps

Little Outliner, Happy Friends and Thesaurus Land also have this feature.

08/05/14; 12:35:40 PM

Updated Fargo to use Font Awesome 4.1 with 71 new icons.

Thankfully, the Font Awesome updates go pretty easily these days.

You can use the new icons with the icon macro.

Example: <%icon ("bomb")%> produces a icon (obviously).

08/01/14; 12:41:16 PM

An alternative to Markdown in outlines

  • I missed having expanding outlines, and I want to use the structure in interesting ways in RSS, so I decided to add a small feature to Fargo, that lets us edit outlines as they will be presented, with structure.

  • This blog post is an example of such an outline. As is the one you're reading now.

How to

  • To give it a try, create a headline of type outline with the big + icon in the left margin.

  • In the Attribute editor (click on the Suitcase icon in the left margin) add an attribute called flMarkdown, with the value false. When you're done the atts should look like this screen shot.

  • Then add some outline material under the headline. It's important to indent a few times and add structure, or else it'll look exactly like the Markdown-style posts.

  • When you click the Eye icon to view it, it should have wedges that you can click to expand and collapse the outline structure.


  • There are a few attributes you can use to control the way outlines are rendered. They're explained below.

  • leftIndent attribute

    • If you put a leftIndent attribute, a number, on a headline, all its subs, and their subs will be indented by that number of pixels. The default is 0.
  • collapse attribute

    • If you put a collapse attribute on a headline, its subs are initially collapsed. This lets you control the presentation.
  • img attribute

    • A URL, points to an image, which is added to the headline, floating to the right.
  • url attribute

    • If present it's where you go when the image is clicked on, if there is an img attribute.

Outlines in RSS items

  • Each item now has an outline element that contains most of the structure and attributes of the outline.

  • We don't include comments.

  • We don't include two attributes: isFeedItem (they are all true, because it's in a feed) and isComment (again, all true, because comments are not included).

  • The outlines are in the new source namespace. What you'll see in the feed is <source:outline>.

RSS fixes

  • In 1.63 we added macro and glossary processing to the RSS feed builder, but the processing was done in the wrong place. The result is that unencoded XML could end up in description and title elements. This is not legal XML. In 1.64 we do it selectively, before encoding, only in title and description elements.

  • We also evaluate Emoji codes in the feed.

Fix relating to tweets

  • When we introduced the tweet type it broke the eye icon. If a document contained a tweet, it sent you to a non-existent page when you click the eye.
07/12/14; 12:08:08 PM

While I'm waiting for Facebook to approve the new version of Little Card Editor I thought I'd do a little diversion to solve what has been a thorny problem in Fargo that has prevented a lot of interesting things from happening.

The feed has no pagetable

  • When you're rendering the RSS feed for a site, there is no context for the rendering. This means that none of the preferences for the site are available to the RSS building process. And it means there's no way to use attributes to configure the RSS building process. This has held back a bunch of interesting development.


  • So how about this. The pagetable for the RSS building process is built from the global settings, plus the user's cmsPrefs.opml file (if there is one) plus the top level of the site whose feed it is. That gives us three levels of attributes, one that applies to all Fargo sites, one that applies to all the user's Fargo sites, and for the site that the RSS is from. Let's give it a try and see if it works.


  • Okay the feature is in. Now let's see how it works.

  • Here are some glossary items from my cmsPrefs.opml: Happy Friends, Emoji, Little Card Editor.

  • Here are some glossary items from the global file: A picture of a slice of cheese cake.

  • And one from the Fargo blog outline: cmsPrefs.opml

  • If the new feature worked, when we look in the RSS file, they should all be evaluated.

  • One more thing, let's check a pagetable macro: Dave Winer.

  • Here's what this text looked like in Fargo.

  • And here's what it looks like in the feed.

07/07/14; 03:56:56 PM

There's one major feature in this release, the ability to render tweets.

A tweet is a headline whose type is tweet. They can appear in any kind of page, of any type.

They will be rendered correctly in pages of the following types: outline, html, stream, presentation, markdown, bloghome.

This is the Fargo side of the connection with Happy Friends.

There is a blog post on the Happy Friends site that explains the hookup from that side.

How to use a Happy Friends outline in Fargo


  1. Get the outline from Happy Friends.

  2. Choose Open by URL in the File menu. Enter the outline from step 1.

  3. That gets you an outline with tweets in Fargo.

  4. Copy and paste those into your outlines in Fargo, and render as normal.

The tweets should show up in your pages as they do in mine.

For a more detailed narrative, with an example, see this post on yesterday's Scripting News.

06/27/14; 09:28:21 AM

Fixed a problem where the CMS would think it was seeing emojis in the part of the stream template responsible for phone and tablet-size screens.

Thanks to Jason Cobb for spotting the problem.

You should rebuild any pages that rely on the stream template.

Be sure to reload the Fargo app before doing so. :cop:

06/05/14; 04:45:21 PM

Last built: Sun, Feb 15, 2015 at 2:43 PM

By Dave Winer, Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 5:25 PM.