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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


ParameterSorted ascending 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
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
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
href="..." (Alternative to above) N/A
limit="12" Maximum number of items shown Global LIMIT setting
refresh="60" Refresh rate in minutes for caching feed; "0" for no caching Global REFRESH 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:

Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:35:35 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:31:01 +0000 Erin Eagan

Dan J. Barton came up with an idea to revolutionize the pet industry - a membership-based dog bathing system. He created Splash and Dash for Dogs, and it was an overnight success. Barton perfected his system and took Splash and Dash on the national stage through a licensing program, so other shop owners could benefit from his success.

We recently spoke with Barton to find out more about his innovative business. We learned where he sees the franchise in the next five years, what he looks for in potential franchisees and one trend right now that really excites him: anthropomorphization. (Look it up, we had to!)

What is the idea behind the Splash and Dash franchise?

The main idea behind the franchise is to combine the passion and pride of an individual pet love with the technology and resources of a large company, to help create a structure that creates a clear path to profitability and customer satisfaction.


What's special about the franchise?

What sets Splash and Dash apart from the other franchises out there is the way that we have revolutionized the pet industry with the monthly bath membership. Not only does this bring in recurring revenue for franchisees, it is also a service that pet parents want.

How does it compare to its competition?

Well it is hard to compare us to our competitors because none of them have the unique service we offer. We have found that just by incorporating a monthly membership program we not only improved customer loyalty but saw an increase in boutique and grooming sales.

What do you look for in a potential franchisee?

We look for someone who is passionate, not just about pets but also about business. We are also looking for someone who has the drive and determination to be successful and not just quit when things get hard. Of course having business and managerial experience plays into the decision for franchisees. This doesn't mean the person needs to have owned their own business before, but it is important that they have an understanding of what it takes. The idea is to find franchisees who will be successful.

Where do you see the Splash and Dash franchise in five years?

The company has experienced explosive growth over the last couple years that the next five years look nothing short of bright for us. The pet industry alone is set to continue to grow over the next five years which is good news for the franchise. We expect to be in every state, as well as branching out to other countries and have more than 100 franchises within the next five years.

Can you describe a typical day in the life of a franchisee?

Well it really depends on the franchise model that they buy. Most franchisees will be spending a great deal of time in the location. So they will get to the store to open on most days of the week unless they have a manager that can handle this. From there, it is just a matter of ensuring that everything is handled - the boutique is stocked, dogs are getting bathed and groomed, etc. A lot of the job is also customer service such as interacting with the customers, getting to know them, upselling them on items or services, adding new monthly bath members and so much more. It can be a lot of work but it is rewarding.

What's your background?

I have always been an entrepreneurial person. As a child I had a lemonade stand to make money. My first real business venture was when I bought my first franchise, a World's Gym Orlando, at the age of 28. From there I ended up owning five franchises and was on the board as CFO for the franchise. From there, I moved into the pet industry and opened my own pet store. While running this store, I came up with the idea for Splash and Dash and here we are today.

What motivates you to keep going?

Well I'm not going to lie money is a huge motivator for me, just as I think it is for anyone. No one wants to struggle and live paycheck to paycheck. For me, it is about getting to live the life I want and have the schedule I choose.

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

That's a hard question to answer because there have been bumps in the road but at the end of the day, I have learned valuable business lessons from every success and issue I have attained in my professional career. If there is anything I would do differently, I would have gotten the idea for Splash and Dash sooner.

Please tell us your secret to success&hellip

Not being afraid to take on the impossible and not be afraid of going against the grain.

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

Disney. I worked on the concierge level and quickly realized I did not have the ability to suck up to people. I have learned my best method of communication is blunt and straight to the point.

What is one trend that really excites you?

Anthropomorphization! Look it up.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

  1. Google Drive - Gives you the ability to share things in real time
  2. Inc and Entrepreneur magazines - I read them often for the helpful information
  3. iPhone - Gives me the ability to work 24/7 in the world

Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I learned from Donald Trump, in bankruptcy court there is no difference between $100 or $100 million. I also learned from Steve Jobs, focus groups don't matter. So combine the two and just go for it.

Where can people get more information on Splash and Dash franchise opportunities?

Visit the website here.

Where can people find Splash and Dash on social media?


Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:27:18 +0000 Erin Eagan

Franchise: Servpro

Franchising Since: 1969

Headquarters: Gallatin, Tenn.

Number of Units: 1,678

About the Franchise

With over 1,650 franchises nationwide, Servpro is a leading franchise in the restoration industry and its professionals are faster to any size disaster. Servpro provides emergency mitigation services for water-, fire-, and smoke-damaged properties, as well as mold and mildew situations.

Services include cleaning and restoration of carpets, upholstery, air ducts, drapes, ceilings, and walls for both residential and commercial clients. The company also offers instruction and training on water- and fire-damage restoration.


Servpro equips its franchise owners to lead and manage a solid business operation. Its franchise professionals are uniquely qualified to keep claims costs down while still providing the best services possible for your customers and are available 24/7.

Financial Assistance

Servpro may agree to finance a portion of the franchisee's acquisition of a franchise, subject to credit approval and meeting the then-current financing criteria. Servpro's Affiliate, Servpro Finance, LLC, may also agree to provide financing. Servpro may at its discretion, or Servpro Finance, LLC may at its discretion, finance the franchisee's purchase of additional equipment or vehicles

Term of Agreement and Renewal

The length of the franchise term is five years. The franchisee can renew for additional five-year terms if the requirements are met.

Breakdown of Costs

The following information is compiled from the Franchise Disclosure Document of Servpro (2014). The FDD will provide you with in-depth information regarding the costs and expenses you can plan to incur when developing a Servpro franchise.

Initial Franchise Fee: $44,000 plus $489 per 1,000 over population maximum 

Vehicle: $600 to $29,000

Equipment and Products Package: $64,00

Supplies: $3,850 to $8,500

Insurance: $3,000 to $3,750 

Advertising and Promotional: $250 to $1,500

Training, Travel, Lodging and Food: $550 to $1,900

Servpro may require the franchisee and each person actively involved in operation of the Franchise to complete their five-step initial training program to their satisfaction, which is called the Business Development Program (BDP). Servpro will provide two owners with the five-step BDP: Step 1: Prerequisite Progress (preparing the business prior to classroom attendance); Step 2: Prerequisite Consultation (on-site Trainer meeting); Step 3: New Franchise Training Program (NFTP, 15-day classroom); Step 4: Business Setup (five day on-site Trainer visits); and Step 5: Business Consultations (six on-site Trainer visits).  

Deposits, Permits and Licenses: $700 to $2,550

Accounting Services, Online Tax Table Service and QuickBooks Pro Training: $600 to $1,500

Additional Funds (3 months): $20,000 to $25,000

Real Estate: $0 to $3,000

ESTIMATED TOTAL: $138,550 to $187,200 plus $489 per 1,000 over maximum population, plus any real estate costs

These figures are estimates in setting up a Servpro franchise and operating it for three months. It is possible to exceed costs in any of the areas above.


Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:39:46 +0000 Erin Eagan

When looking at the fastest growing food franchises in America, most of the top 50 franchises fall into a few distinct categories: burgers and fries, deli sandwiches, pizza, chicken wings and tacos. There are of course some exceptions that are also doing well across the country, but the largest food franchises generally focus on these types of products. One type of franchise that hasn't had much nationwide success is sushi. Sushi franchises have failed to catch on, with most consumers trusting local one-offs and mom-and-pop shops instead of larger franchises.


Though this has been the case in the past, a UK franchise is expanding its presence in America and is trying to change these consumer perceptions. Yo! Sushi has locations all across the world, and the franchise is known for making the sushi restaurant experience fun, exciting and very unique.

The Kaiten Sushi Concept

One of the more common types of sushi bars in Japan is the kaiten sushi bar. In these restaurants, sushi and other dishes travel all around the restaurant by conveyor belt. Customers are able to see the types of foods they want to eat and can then pick the plates directly off the conveyor belt and put them on their table.

This approach made great waves in the UK, and the first locations were tremendously popular. There's something very fun about having a conveyor belt that encircles the restaurant and passes by every table. Customers don't have to wait a long time to start eating and can start getting plates as soon as they sit down. In addition, the traveling food has a way of engaging customers' sense of sight and smell, getting them to purchase and try types of Japanese food that they otherwise wouldn't order.

The Yo! Sushi Experience

Though the U.S. does not have a similarly large franchise, there are already kaiten sushi restaurants across the country. Yo! Sushi will have to show why their franchise is going to be more successful than the similar restaurants that never took off.

One innovation of the franchise is the use of fluorescently colored plates. Different plate colors have different prices, allowing customers to easily watch their spending and making it very simple for the wait staff to tally up the bill at the end of the meal. In addition, the franchise takes a similar design concept throughout each restaurant space, using bright colors and unique artwork to draw people in.

The restaurant franchise has also done extremely well due to its high-quality ingredients and sushi. Its locations in the UK constantly draw rave reviews, and its menu includes over 80 delicious Japanese dishes for those who are looking for more than sushi.


The business currently has 86 units across the world - 73 in the UK and 13 internationally. In addition to the United States, there are locations in Norway, Denmark, Ireland, and the Middle East. The two U.S. locations are in Paramus, N.J. and Sarasota, Fla. There are big plans for future expansion, and the next few restaurants are being developed for Short Hills, N.J and Tampa, Fla.

For more information on franchising opportunities with Yo! Sushi, click here.

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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