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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:

Mon, 20 Apr 2015 22:36:36 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 22:36:36 +0000 Dane Carlson

If someone had told you 20 years ago that people would be puffing away on electronic cigarettes in the year 2015, you'd probably have thought they were crazy, right? It would've sounded too preposterous to be true. But, here we are. It is 2015, and electronic cigarettes are continuing to grow in popularity.

While in some cases people are looking at electronic cigarettes as a way to enjoy smoking without the harmful side effects, other people are using them as a way to wean themselves off of the real thing. Either way, you've got a growing consumer base for a new product. And, if you're an entrepreneur who's worth his or her salt, then you know what this spells: An exciting and potentially profitable business opportunity.

What Exactly Is An E-Cigarette?

As you well know, a cigarette works by lighting the end and then puffing away. Part of what makes them so harmful is the role that combustion plays in consuming them. With advancements in vaporizing technology, some entrepreneurs sensed an opportunity in reinventing the way that people smoke cigarettes. Rather than relying upon the combustion of tobacco leaves, an electronic cigarette relies on the vaporization of nicotine. Because, ostensibly, only nicotine is involved in the process, electronic cigarettes purport to be free of carcinogens.

Now, before you run out and buy an electronic cigarette, take heed: Because e-cigarettes are currently occupying a grey area outside of many of the FDA's regulatory mechanisms, the provenance of each individual e-cigarette is difficult to judge. More difficult to judge, because of a lack of testing, is whether or not they are truly a healthy alternative to the real thing. Because of this uncertainty, as well as the cloudy future of the industry, an opportunity that is concerned with electronic cigarettes is inherently a risky one.

With a Captive Audience, Opportunity Is Ripe

Did you read the warning above? Good. If that didn't scare you off, then there's certainly money to be made in dealing with e-cigarettes. Naturally, the addictive quality of nicotine is well documented, so you know that users of these kinds of products will be inclined to use them more and more. That may sound draconian, and we apologize for that, but it really is just a simple statement of fact. And, in business, it's usually better to be practical than emotional - within reason.

So, if the idea of getting into the business afforded by e-cigarettes sounds appealing to you as an entrepreneur, where can you get involved? As it happens, there is an assortment of reseller and distributor programs that are available to the enterprising businessperson. Below, we've listed a few:

  • Clearette: Only in business for a few short years, this company is actively seeking businesspersons to join its team of distributors. The minimum cash required to get involved is a bit steep at $75,000, but it is a home business opportunity, and they highlight the fact that their products are consistently top-ranked by leading websites and publications concerned with the electronic cigarette industry.
  • United Marketing: This business has been in operation longer than Clearette, and it offers a much lower cost of entry. However, it's less tailored to the electronic cigarette market, and more tailored to the vaporizer market, which is slightly different. In addition, you'll also be on the move as a reseller, rather than operating your business entirely out of the home.
  • VaporFI: Combine VaporFI's strong management with unique products and you've got the recipe for a successful franchise. Since VaporFI controls the production of its e-cigarettes, the company is able to offer a low overhead business model, which means more savings and profits.

A Final Word of Caution

Naturally, the e-cigarette industry is divisive, which is something you should be well aware of before getting involved. While you may not think there's anything wrong ethically or morally with the products that you're selling, you should be prepared for the fact that others might feel differently. Even with the FDA moving to regulate the industry more heavily, and the uncertainty surrounding its future as a result, it's still an exciting industry for the enterprising entrepreneur. So why not look into it?

Mon, 20 Apr 2015 20:13:58 +0000 Dane Carlson

Forget that long commute and fuel costs. Say goodbye to mandatory staff meetings. And the structured 9-5 work day? Make it a thing of the past by starting up your own home-based business, where you can work at home and be your own boss - and where every day is Casual Friday.

It might seem like a scary proposition, but more and more people are leaving the office setting behind for the comfort of their own home. In fact, over half of all U.S. businesses are now based out of an owner's home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Want proof that it can work? Look no further than Apple, Amazon and Google - just a few among the MANY companies that started out as home-based businesses.

While you may not be aiming to become the next Amazon, starting a home-based business could be your next career move. Need some help getting started? We've compiled a list of home-based franchises that might be the perfect opportunity for you.


Just Between Friends

Min Investment: $14,950
Just Between Friends is a seasonal sales event where communities come together to buy and sell the best in gently-used children's and maternity items at huge savings. These events are locally owned and operated and held two to three times a year. Just Between Friends has been in the Top 50 for franchisee satisfaction for six years running (Franchise Business Review).

Fit 4 Mom

Min Investment: $1,750
FIT4MOM is the largest fitness program for moms as well as one of the fastest-growing home-based businesses in the nation. The Franchise Support Team and Educators recognize that in life, motherhood comes first. FIT4MOM franchise owners benefit from in-person training opportunities as well as online options to give franchisees the resources needed to fit their lifestyle and business goals.

Social Owl

Min Investment: $149
The social media market is exploding, and the best part is you don't need any experience to make money in this fast-growing industry. Social Owl’s turn-key program gives anyone the ability to make it big with social media. For a minimal cost, SocialOwl provides everything you will need to run a successful local social media business.


Home Referral Network

Min Investment: $80,000
Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) is a home-based business that pre-screens and refers local home improvement contractors. With HRN, you reap the benefits of an already-proven business model without paying high franchise fees or ongoing royalty payments. You can launch your own business, have a flexible work schedule and make a full time income from home with complete training and support.

Income Shops

Min Investment: $30
With IncomeShops, you can create your own online shop with other retailers' products and earn up to 20% commission on every sale from your store. When you sign up to IncomeShops, you get your store within two minutes at anytime of day or night, fully loaded with products for your chosen niche. A welcome pack shows you exactly how to use the store software and how to get up and running fast.

City Mom Blog

Min Investment: $1,495
City Moms Blog connects moms to information and parenting perspectives unique to the communities in which they live through a network of Sister Sites. It's a way or moms to be able to share local information, recommendations and build friendships. Starting a Sister Site means starting your own business and making a great impact on moms in your community all while doing what you love - being a mom.

Cruise One

Min Investment: $3,500
The travel industry is a low-cost, low-overhead investment opportunity that bypasses the trial and error of starting your own business by offering a turn-key solution. Cruise One, the nation's largest home-based travel agent franchise network, is a home-based franchise offering cruise planning services, where you have the flexibility to run your travel agency business from anywhere.

Loyal Stamp

Min Investment: $149
LoyalStamp is an easy-to-use system that creates custom mobile loyalty programs for businesses and connects them all with a local loyalty website. Easily create mobile punch cards, share for reward programs, loyalty web page and message business customers. LoyalStamp provides all the technology, support and training you will need for success, and only collects only a small monthly fee licensing.


Min Investment: $199
Mobile apps are the next frontier of marketing for businesses, and the industry is predicted to skyrocket over 1,000% in the next three years. Jump on board and grow your own web and design agency, creating top-quality mobile apps for clients with Motiply. Their system allows anyone to build and app that will attract and impress customers with little legwork.


Min Investment: $100,000
1-800-GOT-JUNK? is the world's largest junk removal franchise with over 200 franchise partners. For the past 11 years the company's franchise partners have been hugely successful in North America. By setting the mark for service standards and professionalism, an industry that once operated without set rates, price lists or receipts, now has top service standards.

Action Coach

Min Investment: $68,000
There are man reasons that more than 1,000 people have chosen to enhance their lives by becoming ActionCOACH business coach franchisees. All ActionCOACH franchisees work with employees and owners of small- to medium-sized businesses, offering guidance to not only improve company performance but also find the right balance between work and life.

Caring Transition

Min Investment: $49,000
Caring Transitions is a home-based business that lets you help older adults and their families with major transitions. It's a relocation franchise and an estate sale franchise all in one. In addition to building your Caring Transitions business, you'll end each day with the knowledge that your efforts changed someone's life for the better.

Mon, 20 Apr 2015 18:09:27 +0000 Dane Carlson

What makes a franchise such an exciting business opportunity is the fact that it is a ready-made business.The product or service has been hammered out, an interest for that product or service within the marketplace has been determined, and the brand that you're going to be working with has an already established identity. In terms building a business, a lot of the difficult work has already been done for you.

But it's a mistake to think of this and then say to yourself that a franchise is a plug-and-play business opportunity. While a great deal of the business heavy-lifting has been done for you, there's still a lot that you're going to be responsible for. And, at the end of the day, you're still going to be running your own business, with all of any business' attendant responsibilities.


For this reason, if you're considering purchasing a franchise or already own one, you should have a clear sense of what it's going to take for you to be successful. While generally good business sense will serve you well in the franchise environment, it's important to understand that franchises are in many ways their own thing. Because of this, you'll find that there are responsibilities and potential pitfalls that you might not find with another opportunity.

Make Sure that the Franchise Business Model Is Viable

Before you sign the papers, take the time to research the franchise's business model, and decide for yourself whether or not it's going to be viable in the marketplace you'll be operating in. Does the town really need another fast-food joint? Does the location at which you'll be setting up shop have adequate road traffic around it? Is the market already saturated with other identical franchises, limiting your potential to grow your business outward by opening other franchises nearby? These are all things that you'll want to seriously ask yourself and know the answers to.


Keep Your Eye on the Prize

The flipside of the benefits entailed by a franchise being a ready-made business is that much of the exciting business work (marketing, advertising, product development) is not left to you. Because of this, entrepreneurs who are not prepared can find the process of operating a franchise to be drudgery. Don't be that person! Instead, remember why you got into the franchise in the first place: to make more money and to expand your business. As you go about all of the menial business work of operating your franchise, remind yourself that all of your hard work is in service of a grander goal!

The Customer Is Always Right: Be a People Person

If you're opening a franchise, then with 99.9% certainty you're going to have to be prepared to interact with the general public. Depending upon your career and business background, this can be quite intimidating. But, don't let it get the better of you. Remind yourself that your franchise is in the business of serving its customers to the best of its ability, and that you, as the owner of that franchise, are the business' face in the local community. Sparing that, try to think of customer interaction as a form of networking; after all there's no telling who might walk through your doors. If dealing with customers seems like a chore to you, though, then a franchise might not be right for you.

Take an Active Role in Day-to-Day Operations

One mistake that can befall the would-be franchise owner is in believing that a franchised business is a set it and forget it kind of business. Avoid this mistake at all costs. Just like you'll need to tend to the customers that walk through your door, you'll need to tend to the business that you've purchased and the people that you employ. As such, make sure that you create a positive atmosphere around your business, one that keeps your employees happy and keeps your customers coming back for more. Letting your franchise run without your direct involvement and supervision is a surefire way to lose all of the hard-earned money that you've invested.

Keep It Together

Last but certainly not least, make sure that you're approaching the business with an attitude that's as cool as a cucumber. Franchising can be a hectic business, with odd hours, demanding customers, various employees and more. If you're not able to keep your head glued onto your shoulders, then you might find yourself hitting the self-destruct button on your business without even realizing it. To this end, make sure that when you set up your franchise that you come in with eyes wide open. Know what your tolerance for risk is, and make sure you have an exit strategy if things become personally unmanageable.


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:Sorted ascending Description:
    data/System/HeadlinesPlugin.txt plugin topic
    lib/Foswiki/HeadlinesPlugin.pm plugin perl module
    lib/Foswiki/HeadlinesPlugin/Core.pm plugin core
    pub/System/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css default css
    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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