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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:

Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:43:39 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:43:39 +0000 Erin Eagan

In 1988, the first Street Corner convenience store opened up in the West Ridge Mall in Topeka, Kansas. Within a few years, CEO, Peter LaColla, and President, Dan McCabe, opened dozens of stores, serving diverse local populations from 20,000 to 6 million people. Today, Street Corner is the No. 1 mall and specialty-based convenience store in the U. S., with more than 40 franchises, located only in high-traffic locations such as malls, hospitals, office buildings and college campuses.

We recently spoke with Peter LaColla, CEO of Street Corner, to get the inside scoop on the secret to his franchise’s success, one recent trend that has him excited for the future and what he looks for in potential franchisees.

What's special about the Street Corner franchise?

Our franchises are an oasis of convenience retail, whether it's simply providing a superior shopping experience, or serving a market that is traditionally underserved. These include large shopping malls, office buildings, downtowns and other venues. So we're filling a niche market…



Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:48:00 +0000 Erin Eagan

Franchise: Jack in the Box

Franchising Since: 1982

Headquarters: San Diego, Calif.

Number of Units: 2,251

About the Franchise

Jack in the Box is among the nation’s leading fast-food hamburger franchises, with more than 2,250 quick-serve restaurants in over 21 states.

Jack in the Box offers such standard fast-food fare as burgers, fries and soft drinks, as well as salads, tacos and breakfast items. The company’s emphasis on operational efficiency and franchisee-focused value innovation has led it to become one of the most respected and sought after brands in the industry.


Over the years, Jack in the Box has developed strong operating systems that franchisees can take advantage of today, including: a single POS and back-office IT system, in-restaurant computer-based training systems and a state-of-the-art Innovation Center that acts as the hub of all research and development, marketing and food safety initiatives.

Financial Assistance

The franchisor does not regularly offer financing in connection with the establishment or operation of new franchised restaurants. In some circumstances, however, the franchisor may offer short-term bridge financing of up to 80% of the purchase price of the restaurant if the franchisee is not able to secure the financing from other sources at the time of the closing of the transaction.

Term of Agreement and Renewal

The length of the initial franchise term is negotiated, and there are no rights of renewal.

Breakdown of Costs

The following information is compiled from the Franchise Disclosure Document of Jack in the Box (2015). The FDD will provide you with in-depth information regarding the costs and expenses you can plan to incur when developing a Jack in the Box franchise.

Development Fee (if applicable): $25,000

Initial Franchise Fee: $0 to $50,000

The Initial Franchise Fee is typically $50,000 for each franchised Restaurant, plus any tax or other fee imposed upon the Company due to the collection of the franchise fee. If your franchise term is for less than the standard 20 years, the Initial Franchise Fee is $2,500 for each year or partial year exceeding 6 months. The Company may reduce the Initial Franchise Fee or accept installment payments.

Fee for Trade Area Survey Analysis: $0 to $7,000 (plus expenses)

Land: Not included

The cost of land will vary widely, depending upon size and location of the property and whether you purchase or own the land or enter into a lease arrangement therefore. Typical physical site criteria would include 20,000 to 30,000 square feet, 150 feet of frontage, 2,032 to 2,561 square feet for building, and parking to accommodate 20 to 30 spaces.

Fee for Architect/Engineering Services: $40,000 to $165,000

Environment Assessment: $3,000 to $23,000

A ''Phase One'' assessment costs approximately $2,500 to $3,500. The cost of a ''Phase Two'' assessment varies considerably, ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. The cost of a ''Phase Three'' assessment ranges from $30,000, up.

On-Site Improvements (excluding landscaping): $206,000 to $472,000

Site improvements include excavation, grading, utility work, and outdoor lighting, among other things. Offsite development costs, if any, are excluded. Please note that approximately $25,000 to $40,000 of these site improvement costs are fees that apply only to the development of Company-Initiated Sites.

Construction: $418,000 to $622,000

The Company compiled these estimates based on its experience building its prototypical building where there were no unusual conditions such as special signage needs or city-required exterior finishes. The estimate does not include costs of building permits; onsite or offsite site improvements such as lighting, land excavation or fill, utility work, and paving; landscaping; or complying with the requirements of any governmental authority.

Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment: $340,000 to $441,000

Depends upon kitchen configuration and dining room size. Excludes security equipment. 

IT Equipment and Installation: $35,000 to $45,000

Includes purchase and installation of Back-Office PC, Web-based training device, CBT terminal, point-of-sale system, kitchen display equipment, and order confirmation system.

Computer-Related Services and Licensing: $4,100

Initial Inventory: $12,000 to $20,000 

Pre-Opening Training and Inventory Expenses: $50,000 to $55,000

The pre-opening training and inventory expenses in a new market can be significantly higher.

Pre-Opening Additional Funds: $13,000 

Uniforms: $1,500 to $3,000

Business Licenses and Utility Deposits: $2,000 to $8,000

Business licenses and utility deposit costs vary greatly by municipality and state.

Additional Funds (3 months): $165,300 to $458,600

''Additional Funds'' include the following for the first 3 months of operations: initial employee wages; management compensation; ongoing purchases of inventory of food and supplies; utilities; repairs and maintenance; and insurance (annual premium)


Financing rates, lease rates, cash injection, loan or lease fees, creditworthiness, lender selection and interest rates, closing costs and factors may vary greatly, and will significantly affect your initial investment.


Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:23:27 +0000 Erin Eagan

When you're starting your own business, buying a franchise can be a great option. Depending on the type of business you want to run and the ownership experience you're looking for, a franchise may present the right mix of risk and reward. You'll be able to lean on another business's national reputation before you build your own reputation locally. You'll also be able to use their proven business model, proprietary technology and business practices.


However, when you buy a franchise, there may be significant investment costs and franchise fees, which can rapidly increase your upfront costs. Choosing a home-based franchise can help you keep your initial costs down. These franchises often have smaller franchise costs, and you'll also be able to save on real estate costs. This list includes some great home-based franchises that require small investments. Though your initial investment is small, the potential profit with each of these franchises is quite large.

  1. Merry Maids

This is one of the leading residential cleaning franchises. When families are looking for someone to clean their homes, they often gravitate towards established franchises with great reputations such as Merry Maids. The franchise has over 400 franchisees across the country and has been operating for over 30 years. The initial investment is only $25,000.

  1. Startup Home Care

If you are interested in senior care, this might be a good franchise opportunity for you. Startup Home Care has a membership network of over 300 different franchise units. The organization provides a lot of resources for individuals who do not have experience starting their homecare agency, so they can streamline the process and help you avoid the common pitfalls in the industry. This franchise only requires a $17,500 investment.

  1. Cruise One

Cruise One is often talked about as one of the fastest growing home-based businesses in America, and one of the reasons for its growth is its incredibly low startup costs. You'll be able to begin selling cruise and vacation packages from your home, and all you will need is a computer and telephone. In addition, Cruise One provides a 20 percent discount on the franchise fee if you are a veteran, or a woman or minority business owner. There are more than 900 Cruise One franchises across the country, and the company is now the largest U.S. seller of cruises. The minimum investment for Cruise One is only $3,500.

  1. Redeck It

Redeck It is a great franchise if you have interest in becoming a contractor but have little or no construction experience. The franchise provides franchisees with the tools and training to fix damaged concrete. When you become a franchisee, Redeck It provides you with marketing materials including 10,000 promotional brochures that are mailed to residences in your zip code. The required investment is $9,995.

  1. Wag'n Tails

Wag'n Tails is a mobile pet grooming business. You'll be able to operate the business from your house and provide monthly grooming services to clients in your area. The franchise provides resources and assistance, so that you can start the business quickly. You will need to spend at least $10,000 upfront for the franchise.


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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