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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 ExplanationSorted ascending Default
href="..." (Alternative to above) N/A
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
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
"..." source of RSS feed; this can be an url (starting with http) or a web.topic location for internal feeds None; is required

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:

Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:17:12 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:17:12 +0000 Erin Eagan

If you're a female entrepreneur looking for a new business opportunity, you've definitely come to the right place. Congratulations, you’ve taken your first step towards success!

Women are rightly taking their place among franchise ownership, owning 25% of today’s franchises. As that number continues to climb, more and more franchisors are specifically targeting franchises for women, just like you, to take the helm.


As you consider launching your own business, here are a few of the best franchises for women that we suggest looking into. Whether a seasoned professional, or a ‘mompreneur’ looking for a home-based business to earn a little income, there’s something for everyone.

Gigi's Cupcakes

Gigi’s Cupcakes is the largest and fastest growing franchise bakery system in the United States. Previous baking experience is not necessary for franchisees. Instead, Gigi's Cupcakes looks to work with franchisees who have retail experience and are excited to get involved in the cupcake business. Gigi's desserts are cooked with fresh ingredients each morning. Gigi's Cupcakes changes its menu each day so customers can discover new, exciting flavors on a regular basis.


Growing quickly among franchises for women, BeBalanced is an innovative natural hormone balancing weight loss program that has helped thousands of women. BeBalanced Centers are the only franchise to provide solutions that directly address the problem for women (age 35+) struggling to lose stubborn weight and deal with other hormonal issues, like insomnia, hot flashes, and anxiety. An owner of a BeBalanced Hormone Weight Loss Center, you can be proud to offer a program on the cutting edge of natural health, which deeply impacts the lives of women.

Kumon Math and Reading Centers

A Kumon franchise gives you a proven and scientifically structured program that provides math and reading instruction to young children. The goal is to help each student with the basics of math and reading comprehension and to equip them with a joy for learning. Such a franchise is perfect for a mother who has school-aged children, as she can take care of administrative tasks in the morning, and then monitor the tutoring site in the afternoons.


With an ever-growing demand for quality math instruction, Mathnasium Learning Centers has become one of the fastest-growing educational franchises for women in the world. Mathnasium offers highly effective and fun mathematics instruction for children and is the perfect franchise for women seeking a meaningful business opportunity. Their specially designed, proprietary Mathnasium Method, derived from more than 35 years of research and development, helps math make sense to kids. When math makes sense, their grades improve, excitement grows and the doors of educational opportunity open! There are now more than 450 locations worldwide, with two new centers opening each week.

Blossoms Fresh Fruit

Headquartered in Canada, Blossoms Fresh Fruit Arrangements provides a healthy and fresh alternative in gift giving, nourishing and delighting everyone they serve with healthy lifestyle choices. Blossom's fruit arrangements are great for every occasion, holidays, get well, birthdays, sympathy arrangements, Mother's Day and are a favorite on Valentines day.

Snap Fitness

A Snap Fitness franchise is designed to be a clean, no-frills type of fitness center with modern exercise equipment, but without the major expense of a more traditional full-service club. Customers are granted around the clock access to the facility, which is located in a convenient neighborhood building, making it extremely easy to get to. This is one of the best franchises for women who want to be home early enough each day to spend that quality time they crave with their family.

Bark Busters

For the dog lovers out there, this is a great franchise that was actually started in Australia back in 1989. The business is focused on home dog training, so it provides women with a flexible schedule that can integrate well within the context of their existing lifestyle.

Drama Kids International

This is a franchise that is made for any woman who has a passion for working with children and also has a strong desire to be an entrepreneur. Drama Kids is designed to be an after-school theater program that enables kids learn various creative type games and activities that teach real-life lessons while also promoting the arts. Women enjoy running this franchise because of the limited hours it requires away from the home, and the added possibility of bringing their children along with them to the 'office.'

Apricot Lane Boutique

Founded in 2007, Apricot Lane Boutique is one of the only specialty retail franchises for women offering branded fashion apparel, jewelry, handbags, accessories and gifts in unique styles and fast fashion arrivals customers look for. It's the kind of brand that appeals to consumers but also to those mothers and daughters looking to get involved from the business ownership side as well.

Painting with a Twist

Since 2007, Painting with a Twist has been providing art-filled fun for guests young and old. They're ranked the #1 franchise in the paint and sip category for a reason-from their stellar corporate support team to our innovative technologies and processes. In just five years, Painting with a Twist, along with its 236 franchise locations, has produced and owns the copyright to over 3,500 pieces of art.


MassageLuXe is a fast-growing massage company providing massage services to clients, primarily through national area developers multi- unit and single-unit franchises. Our spa revenue is driven by a membership revenue model that assures a significantly higher level of consistency than other spa revenues and profit on a year-round basis. The MassageLuXe concept was designed to achieve and deliver the highest standard in the massage membership business. MassageLuXe is focused on being the leading provider of massage services to clients in every marketplace where they open spas. Their mission is to deliver the highest quality massage while providing a comfortable, relaxing and luxurious environment to our clients.


Led by Lisa Druxman, a recognized expert in the field of fitness and health for moms, FIT4MOM is the largest fitness program for moms as well as one of the fastest-growing franchises for women in the nation. FIT4MOM is the fitness franchise that offers Fit4Baby, Stroller Strides and Body Back. With three different franchise models, they make it easy for you to start a business that works for your lifestyle.

Lil' Angels Photography

Formed in 1998, Lil' Angels LLC takes portraits of thousands of children from infancy through school age each year. Their franchise owners provide services in venues like schools, child care centers and pre-schools, and on occasions such as sporting events, cheerleading events, dance festivals, fairs and more - anywhere that families come together to celebrate or just have fun. As a Lil’ Angels franchise owner, you will receive complete training, including field training, brand new professional photography equipment, a brand new laptop loaded with several pro software packages and unending support from our corporate team and our network of franchise owners.

EcoMaids Green Cleaning Services

For women who desire to operate a franchise that incorporates environmentally friendly business concepts into their operating structure, this is a great opportunity that should be explored. This is a cleaning oriented business that takes a fresh approach to the industry. EcoMaids uses only safe and all-natural cleaning solutions that are biodegradable. The franchise can easily be run from home, and as it grows the owner can focus more on marketing and scheduling of staff, freeing up time with the family.

Sharkey's Cuts for Kids

Take control of your future with a proven business and turn your dreams into reality with Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids. They are the fastest-growing chain of children’s hair salons in the United States, Europe and Canada, and they are seeking enthusiastic entrepreneurs to join the family. You don’t need to be a licensed cosmetologist or have previous hair-care experience to become a Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids franchisee. The most important requirements are a great attitude and work ethic; a passion for interaction; a willingness to listen, learn and lead; and a desire to make your Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids salon the very best it can be, each and every day.


Fri, 02 Oct 2015 14:06:09 +0000 Erin Eagan

MobileStamp is a type of loyalty business that can be run from home and is becoming extremely popular today. The business itself is completely turn-key, meaning that the parent organization will turn over everything that you need to begin and successfully run your own loyalty-based company.


Being affiliated with MobileStamp means that you will keep 100% of all the sales, in exchange for giving the company a small monthly fee to be a reseller. They also promote that they offer a cutting-edge product that nobody else comes close to matching on the market today. Finally, the opportunity is open to anyone, as there is no experience necessary. You can learn everything as you go, and there is not much financial risk involved. Let's look at a few more of the particulars for MobileStamp.

You Develop Your Own Brand - You will develop and create a business website with your name, so you will not be using MobileStamp's name on anything. This provides new owners with a way to establish their brand right away.

You Will Have A Sales Website - The organization will set up a website for you. It will include all of the videos, an overview of the loyalty program itself, pricing of the products and much more. This saves you a great deal of time, as developing your website is either extremely labor intensive, or extremely expensive. Neither of those is the case with MobileStamp.

Customer Videos Provided - Creating your own professional video is time-consuming, not to mention many people are camera shy. MobileStamp takes care of this for you. They provide you with a professional video that will wow your customers. Again, the MobileStamp brand will not be on the video, so you are able to promote your image with ease.

Sales Training Provided - Even if you have no experience in the industry, MobileStamp will provide with the tools that you need to successfully sell the product. They also offer regular webinars that will keep you updated on the latest trends in the industry.

Marketing Material - To help you in promoting your business, MobileStamp provides flyers, videos, PowerPoint presentations and much more to successfully engage potential prospects and turn them into customers.

Phone and Email Support Provided - MobileStamp will not leave you on your own. They are there to help you as needed via either telephone or email support. This ensures that you can get the answers that you need when you need them.

Set Up Your Own Pricing Plans - You are not bound by any price that MobileStamp recommends. You are in control of the all of the plans, and you set the pricing. All MobileStamp receives is a small fee on a monthly basis to license the platform.


This is certainly a business that can run from home and requires minimum startup cost. If you are comfortable promoting a business from scratch and engaging prospects, this could be one to consider.


Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:39:09 +0000 Erin Eagan

SailTime is the world’s largest boat membership company with 35 locations worldwide. With SailTime, members can boat all season long on a new model yacht for a simple low monthly fee.

We recently interviewed Douglyss Giuliana, owner of SailTime Boston, about this franchise opportunity. Giulana shared with us how much he spent getting his franchise up and running, what a typical day looks like for him, and lastly, what advice he has for potential franchisees.

How long have you owned a franchise?

12 years.

What were you doing before becoming a franchise owner?

I worked in the software industry for about 14 years, mostly with small start-ups. At the time I stumbled upon SailTime I was also getting my MBA at Babson College.

Why did you choose your franchise?

Honestly, my motivation at the time was simple and two-fold. Find a way to own a sailboat that paid for itself. And put my MBA to the test in a business of my own.

What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your franchise?

There were four successful sailing clubs very close to my location, so competition was fierce. The larger clubs had long histories and hundreds of members. However, they were going after the same audience, and they left a significant market underserved. That provided a great opening for SailTime Boston, as long as I could provide the appropriate service. Luckily, being part of a franchise gave me the ability to get up to speed quickly, and to offer a level of service far beyond that of the clubs, even at my small size. The hardest challenge remained getting my marketing message to the right audience and building name recognition.

Where did you research or get advice about starting a franchise?

I spoke to classmates and professors at Babson to get an understanding of the legal issues with being a franchisee and also comparing starting a business on my own versus being a franchisee.

How much did you spend before your doors were officially opened?

About $15,000, which included the down payment on the first boat in our fleet.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day changes depending on the part of the year. However, the majority of time is spent on answering inquiries from prospects (sales) and serving current members (service). Sales tasks could involve replying to emails, sending out contracts or meeting prospects at the marina. Service duties include respond to member issues and requests via phone or email. I also spend time each week inspecting the fleet and performing some boat cleaning, maintenance and safety checks. I may also direct some service partners in cleaning and maintenance duties as well, so I can get back to selling.

What is your secret to success?

Well first, I would say I am on the road to success, but not yet where I hope the business will be. So far, we have grown because of a dedication to two things - quality of service and honesty in sales. With so much strong competition around us, we can only succeed by providing superior service all around. That means better boats, better scheduling and better maintenance. And being very responsive to members. In sales, it is important to me that we are only selling to those prospects that will get a great value from what we offer. It doesn't help to make a sale to someone that later finds out our program isn't a good fit for them and then have them leave unsatisfied. We are honest about the strengths and weaknesses of our program so we can attract those members that truly benefit from our offering and come back year after year.

What would you do differently if you had to do it all over?

The biggest mistake I made early on was setting my pricing too low. I didn't value my product enough against the competition. It has been difficult to slowly raise my prices to appropriate levels while not upsetting my existing client base.

Where do you see your business in five years?

I expect that we will double our size in the next five years. Interest from owners in adding boats to our fleet is exploding and expanding into new brands and models. That will also attract new members. Our biggest challenges will be finding marina space to accommodate all of the new vessels and expanding our staff to continue our rigorous service and maintenance program.

What is one trend that really excites you?

The recent move to collaborative consumption - or the sharing economy - is very positive for my business. Services like Zipcar, Airbnb and Rent the Runway allow consumers to get the benefits of an asset without having to own, store and care for it. They can still enjoy the experiences they seek, like a beautiful sunset sail against the Boston skyline, without the hassles of cleaning and maintaining the boat. And of course, without the high cost.

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

Todoist: This is an excellent and easy to do tool. I can quickly enter new items as they come up, schedule them and get reminded every morning of what I need to complete. I can use it on my phone or on the web, so I am never out of touch with it.

IFTTT: This service (If This Then That) allows me to create automated actions that makes me more productive and prevents me from forgetting things. For example, it will add events on my Google Calendar to my Todoist list so I don't forget to prepare for them. If I am in the car and think of something important to do, I can call IFTTT and it will email me the message so I can take care of it when I am back at my computer. I like any tool that saves me work and lets me focus on the important stuff.

Amazon.com: The two things I love most about Amazon is the incredible breadth of products they offer and free 2-day delivery as a Prime member. I can put a boat bilge pump, the latest business book, and a new running watch in my cart and have it two days later. That saves me time and money.

What advice do you have for others looking to own a franchise?

There are great many benefits to owning a franchise that ultimately result in two important benefits - faster start-up and decreased risk. However, the success and growth of the franchisor, which is critical to franchisee success, lies with the people at the helm. It is vital to get to know these people and understand their strengths, weaknesses and motivations. You are hitching your wagon to theirs, so belief in them in crucial.

Would you recommend others be franchisees? Why?

The strength of being a franchisee lies in not having to invent everything yourself. This decreases your costs, time to launch and risk. In any business that requires expensive investments, whether it be in technology, infrastructure or marketing, being a franchisee is clearly beneficial and should be strongly considered.

Where can people get more information on SailTime franchise opportunities?

Visit the website here.

Where can people find SailTime on social media?



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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