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You are here: System » HeadlinesPlugin

Headlines Plugin


This plugin displays RSS and ATOM feeds from news sites. Use it to build news portals that show headline news.

Note: Syndic8.com ( http://www.syndic8.com/ ) is a good site listing many RSS feeds.

Syntax Rules


Parameter Explanation Default
"..." source of RSS feed; this can be an url (starting with http) or a web.topic location for internal feeds None; is required
href="..." (Alternative to above) N/A
refresh="60" Refresh rate in minutes for caching feed; "0" for no caching Global REFRESH setting
limit="12" Maximum number of items shown Global LIMIT setting
header Header. Can include these variables: - $channeltitle, $title: title of channel (channel.title)
- $channellink, $link: link of channel (channel.link)
- $channeldescription, $description: description (channel.description)
- $channeldate, $date: publication date of the channel (channel.pubDate)
- $rights: copyrights of the channel (channel.copyright)
- $imagetitle: title text for site (image.title)
- $imagelink: link for site (image.link)
- $imageurl: URL of image (image.url)
- $imagedescription: description of image (image.description)
Global HEADER setting
format Format of one item. Can include these variables:
- $title: news item title (item.title)
- $link: news item link (item.link)
- $description: news item description (item.description)
- $date: the publication date (item.pubDate, item.date)
- $category: the article category (item.category)
Global FORMAT setting

The header and format parameters might also use variables rendering the dc, image and content namespace information. Note, that only bits of interest have been implemented so far and those namespaces might not be implemented fully yet.

Rendering the dc namespace

The following variables are extracting the dc namespace info, that could be used in header and format. Nnote, that some of the variables are already used above. This is done by purpose to use different feeds with the same formating parameters. If there's a conflict the non-dc tags have higher precedence, i.e. a <title> content </title> is prefered over <dc:title> content </dc:title> .

  • $title: channel/article title (dc:title)
  • $creator: channel creator (dc:creator)
  • $subject: subject text; this will also add an image according to the subject hash list, see above (dc:subject)
  • $description: ... (dc:description)
  • $publisher: the channel/article publisher (dc:publisher)
  • $contributor: ... (dc:contributor)
  • $date: ... (dc:date)
  • $type: ... (dc:type)
  • $format: ... (dc:format)
  • $identifier: ... (dc:identifier)
  • $source: ... (dc:source)
  • $language: ... (dc:language)
  • $relation: ... (dc:relation)
  • $coverage: ... (dc: coverage)
  • $rights: ... (dc: rights)

Rendering the image namespace

An image:item is converted into an <img> tag using the following mappings:

  • src: image url (rdf:about attribute of the image.item tag)
  • alt: image title (title)
  • width: image width (image:width)
  • height: image height image:height)

Rendering the content namespace

The variable $content is refering to the <content:encoding> content </content:encoding>.


Slashdot News


%HEADLINES{"http://slashdot.org/slashdot.rdf" header="---+!! [[$link][$title]]$n $description" format="$t* [[$link][$title]]"}%
to get the latest Slashdot news as a bullet list format:

Business Opportunities Weblog


%HEADLINES{"http://www.business-opportunities.biz/feed" limit="3"}%

to get the latest postings on the "Business Opportunities" weblog:

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:03:40 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:35:43 +0000 Dane Carlson

There was no funding for their venture. No government grants. No high-level connections. Not a single person on the team had an advanced degree or even a college education. From a practical standpoint, they had absolutely nothing they needed to achieve success.

No one believed in them and, in fact, they were referred to as no more or less than “a pair of crazy fools.” At least that’s what the life guards called them as they imitated seagulls flying around the beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. “We laughed about ‘em among ourselves,” one of the villagers later explained. But Orville and Wilbur Wright didn’t care about the skepticism or even the scorn.

In reply to one reporter, the Wright brothers commented, “The public can call us fakers or even crazy. We don’t care. We know what we have got and others know, too.” Yes, Orville and Wilbur Wright were determined to make that flying machine, no matter the odds, even if it meant “spreading their arms and twisting their wrists in imitation of the birds.”

The Wright brothers didn’t worry about their lack of resources, the impracticality of their goal, or the type of response they got from the community, the press, or even the world. They were unstoppable because they were completely focused on, and anchored by, the one thing they did have: a brilliantly stupid idea. Orville and Wilbur Wright had a stupid idea that they believed in so completely that they pressed forward boldly in the face of ridicule, scorn and even the gravitational pull of the Earth, and those boys learned how to fly.

Excerpted from The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton.

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:19:24 +0000 Dane Carlson

Jeff Schwietert has been in the candy business all of his life. His family hails from the small coastal town of Cannon Beach, Oregon, where after taking an early retirement, his parents purchased the local candy store in 1985. Jeff and his siblings were recruited into the business as children, and worked long and hard (sometimes into the night) in the family’s candy business. Building a business, even a candy business, wasn’t always sweet — but the sour times made Jeff the man he is today.

After leaving college in 2004, Jeff was given ownership in the family business, and in 2014 gained complete control of the candy company. Jeff renamed the business Schwietert's Cones & Candy, and with his larger than life vision for the company, the candy business prospered. Jeff also realized that the family’s concept could be easily replicated and expanded, and Schwietert's has recently begun offering franchises.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jeff about life, business and candy.

My questions are below in bold. Enjoy.

Where did the idea for Schwietert's Cones & Candy come from?

Schwietert's Cones & Candy was an idea that I've been dreaming about for the last 10 years. It came from a combination of seeing that there were not any other large-scale candy franchises and the fact that I grew up in the industry. That being said, I was inspired to change the world by making it a little bit sweeter.

How did you bring it to life?

Well it all started with a dream, the dream led me to researching franchise companies, then to Francorp. I had originally researched them back in 2007, but the timing was not right with the recession and market conditions. Now with the help of Francorp we've created a candy franchise that is truly, unique and different from anything else in the market.

Where do you see Schwietert's in five years?

I would like to see the concept continue to grow to hopefully have 50-100 franchises within the next 5 years.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

We had name trademark issues that caused a few headaches, which set us back on time and money.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day is all over the place. It really depends on what I'm doing. I could be working on the floor, wrapped up in a business meeting, or negotiating a contract.

What's one trend that really excites you?

Incorporating technology to be able to monitor and oversee your business from anywhere in the world is really the most exciting trend on a broad scale.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Well I've only ever worked in candy. Growing up in the family business, I started at the bottom. Working with my parents, I saw their example of hard work and dedication, which drove me to follow in their footsteps.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do, too?

I try to give back to my employees. Not only in monetary terms but also in my time and energy, helping them become the best that they can be. I find personal fulfillment within that mentoring lifestyle.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

When the economy crashed, it made us reprioritize our personal and business finances, which caused the realization of what the most important things were to us. Like faith and family.

What is one business idea that you're willing to give away to our readers?

Perseverance, if you want to succeed in business you have to work through the hard times and the good times and keep in the back of your mind, what's really important, what goals your striving for. How bad do you want it?

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

For all children to be able to grow up in loving families, families that treat one another with respect and dignity.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Who are three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

If John Wayne, George Washington, and Albert Einstein had twitter accounts. I would follow them.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I watched The Grand Budapest and found it hilarious. Wes Anderson has an interesting perspective on humanity.

Who is your hero?

Jesus Christ, because I find inspiration from Him, both as a business leader and on a personal level. His character and leadership abilities are historically unmatched.

Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?

My parents were awesome examples of what I try to emulate in my own character and how I treat people, they operate out of compassion and care in everything that they did.

Tell us a secret.

I went to a small private school. The final year I attended, the class size was so small that our classes were held at the principal's house, which was in a graveyard.

Where can we find out more about the Schwietert's Cones & Candy franchise opportunity?


Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, Jeff!

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:43:52 +0000 Dane Carlson


One Polish company is remaking cubicles by designing offices to look like little villages.


A threesome of pro golfers has teed up a line of craft beers targeted at golfers.

Just don’t drink and GolfBoard.

Agriculture & Halloween

How do you sell 5,500 pumpkins for $75 each? Grow the pumpkins to look like Frankenstein.


Is there a market for a 10 second toaster?


One Chinese cell phone company has employed onsite tailors to enlarge customers’ pant pockets for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Digital marketers have discovered gold in selfies by mining them for products, clothing, logos, scenery and emotions.

A venture capitalist has started $100 million fund to invest in startups straight out of sci-fi: asteroid mining, computerized brains, lifespan extension, drones.

International Business

Kenya's business landscape is changing at dizzying speed: from roadside stands to international franchises (Subway, Domino's, Cold Stone Creamery, etc.) in less than a decade.

Business Ideas in the News (BIN) is a daily summary of the most interesting business ideas in the news.

Plugin Settings

Plugin settings are stored as preferences variables. To reference a plugin setting write %<plugin>_<setting>%, for example, %HEADLINESPLUGIN_SHORTDESCRIPTION%. Note: Don't modify the settings here; copy and customize the settings in SitePreferences. For example, to customize the USERAGENTNAME setting, create a HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME setting in Main.SitePreferences.

  • One line description, shown in the TextFormattingRules topic:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Show headline news in Foswiki pages based on RSS and ATOM news feeds from external sites

  • Refresh rate in minutes for cached feeds. Disable caching: 0, default: 60
    • Set REFRESH = 60

  • Maximum number of items shown. Default: 100
    • Set LIMIT = 100

  • Use LWP::UserAgent, or fallback to Foswiki's internal getUrl() method. Default: yes

  • Timeout fetching a feed using the LWP::UserAgent. Default: 20

  • Name of user agent. Default: FoswikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21.1
      * Set USERAGENTNAME = FoswikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21.1

  • Default header: (variables are explained in the syntax rules)
      * Set HEADER = <div class="headlinesChannel"><div class="headlinesLogo"><img src="$imageurl" alt="$imagetitle" border="0" />%BR%</div><div class="headlinesTitle">$n---+!! <a href="$link">$title</a></div><div class="headlinesDate">$date</div><div class="headlinesDescription">$description</div><div class="headlinesRight">$rights</div></div>

  • Default format of one item: (variables are explained in the syntax rules)
      * Set FORMAT = <div class="headlinesArticle"><div class="headlinesTitle"><a href="$link">$title</a></div>$n<span class="headlinesDate">$date</span> <span class="headlinesCreator"> $creator</span> <span class="headlinesSubject"> $subject </span>$n<div class="headlinesText"> $description</div></div>

  • Values taken from configure: (only supported if CPAN:LWP is installed)
    • $Foswiki::cfg{PROXY}{HOST} - proxy host, such as "proxy.example.com";
    • $Foswiki::cfg{PROXY}{PORT} - proxy port, such as "8080";
    • $Foswiki::cfg{PROXY}{SkipProxyForDomains} - domains excluded from proxy, such as "intra.example.com, bugs.example.com";

Style sheets

The default HEADER and FORMAT settings use the following styles. See the style.css file defining the default CSS properties (indentation illustrates enclosure).

  • headlinesRss: output of the HeadlinesPlugin (div)
    • headlinesChannel: channel header (div)
      • headlinesLogo: channel logo (div)
      • headlinesTitle: channel title (div)
      • headlinesDate: channel date (div)
      • headlinesDescription: channel description (div)
      • headlinesRight: channel copyright (div)
    • headlinesArticle: one news item (div)
      • headlinesTitle: article title (div)
      • headlinesDate: article date (span)
      • headlinesCreator: author of article (span)
      • headlinesSubject: subect category of the article (span)
      • headlinesText: article text (div)

Plugin Installation Instructions

  • Download the ZIP file
  • Unzip it in your foswiki installation directory. Content:
    File: Description:
    data/System/HeadlinesPlugin.txt plugin topic
    pub/System/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css default css
    lib/Foswiki/HeadlinesPlugin.pm plugin perl module
    lib/Foswiki/HeadlinesPlugin/Core.pm plugin core
    Check if above examples show a news feed instead of variable.
  • Optionally, run HeadlinesPlugin_installer.pl to automatically check and install other Foswiki modules that this module depends on. You can also do this step manually.
  • Alternatively, manually make sure the dependencies listed in the table below are resolved.
    Digest::MD5>=2.33Required. Download from CPAN:Digest::MD5
    LWP::UserAgent>=5.803Optional. Download from CPAN:LWP::UserAgent

Plugin Info

Plugin Author: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, Foswiki:Main.MichaelDaum (2005-2007)
Copyright: © 2002-2009, Peter Thoeny, TWIKI.NET; 2005-2007, Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: 2.21.1 (08 Mar 2009)
Change History:  
08 Mar 2009: Ported without changes to Foswiki namespace by Kenneth Lavrsen and put under "Feel Free To Modify" in Foswiki context.
12 Feb 2009: {PROXY}{HOST} supports domain with and without protocol -- Peter Thoeny
06 Feb 2009: added {PROXY}{SkipProxyForDomains} configure setting, added USERAGENTNAME plugin setting -- Peter Thoeny
11 Dec 2008: added {PROXY}{HOST} and {PROXY}{PORT} configure settings -- Peter Thoeny
13 Sep 2007: fixed parsing of content:encoded
23 Jul 2006: improved atom parser; if a posting has no title default to 'Untitled'
26 Apr 2006: added lazy compilation
10 Feb 2006: packaged using the TWiki:Plugins/BuildContrib; minor fixes
03 Feb 2006: off-by-one: limit="n" returned n+1 articles; make FORMAT and HEADER format strings more robust
23 Jan 2006: released v2.00
05 Dec 2005: internal feed urls must be absolute
02 Dec 2005: added web.topic shorthand for internal feeds
29 Nov 2005: fixed CDATA handling
21 Nov 2005: added ATOM support; extended RSS support; added dublin core support; added content support; optionally using LWP to fetch feeds to follow redirections; corrected CPAN dependencies ; recoding special chars from html integer to entity encoding to increase browser compatibility; added css support; use getWorkArea() if available
11 May 2005: TWiki:Main.WillNorris: added DevelopBranch compatability
31 Oct 2004: Fixed taint issue by TWiki:Main.AdrianWeiler; small performance improvement
29 Oct 2004: Fixed issue of external caching if mod_perl or SpeedyCGI is used
02 Aug 2002: Implemented caching of feeds, thanks to TWiki:Main/RobDuarte
11 Jun 2002: Initial version (V1.000)
Perl Version: 5.008
Plugin Home: http://foswiki.org/Extensions/HeadlinesPlugin
Feedback: http://foswiki.org/Extensions/HeadlinesPluginDev
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