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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, 22 Apr 2014 19:10:25 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:10:25 +0000 Dane Carlson

Photo by jessamyn

As mentioned before here in 2009, camel’s milk might someday be a huge product, even if it’s origins seem dusty and remote:

For the tattered-clothed young men in this remote community, milking a camel’s stubby udders at sunrise is not a novelty, but a daily chore to get milk valued by their tribe for generations.

But camel’s milk, long-cherished by the Cushite people of central Kenya, is now enjoying a renaissance in the capital Nairobi and could, some say, become an internationally coveted health food product worth 10 billion dollars a year. “Camels are better than cows because they can survive when there is drought, but the cows cannot, so I can make a profit even during dry season,” said Halima Hussein, 45, whose 84-strong flock makes her a local camel-mogul.

“I’m going to sell to sell some of my cows to buy more camels,” added Hussein, whose family also owns 120 cows.

Why is camel’s milk going to be huge?

Photo by jessamyn.

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:10:25 +0000 Angela Shupe

Behind every farm there is a unique story and for Mike and Shannon Wiggins it all started with a couple goats. Their daughter became involved in 4H and they soon learned what exactly would need to be done if they wanted to be seen as a serious farm. After registering with the A.D.G.A they became Galloping Goats Farm and home to a variety of different goats. After a while Shannon soon began to realize the potential behind the milk. Tapping into her creativity she launched Washington Goat Milk Soap. Made in her kitchen with only the best ingredients, her soaps are a natural choice for anyone whether or not they live in the Washington area.

Tell us a little about Galloping Goats Farm and Washington Goat Milk Soap.

Galloping Goats Farm started when one of my daughters got goats and joined 4-H. We found out that we needed to join the American Dairy Goat Association if we wanted to be taken seriously. When you join A.D.G.A you have to have a herd name. We decided it would be easier to pick one if we went outside to look at the goats and get some inspiration. When the goats spotted us they were quite away off at the bottom of a large pasture. They came running up through the field with their long ears flapping in the wind. I said, “That’s it, Galloping Goats.” Several years later when I decided to start the soap business I just kept the name because we wouldn’t have the soap without the goat milk, and also because it fits my sense of humor.

What inspired you to start making goat milk soap?

Two things inspired me to make my own soap. First, my daughters and I all have sensitive skin. I wanted to make a product that they could use without their skin breaking out or getting dried out. The second was that I had all this milk! More milk than my family could drink and more than I could make cheese with. You have to be a grade A dairy to sell milk in Washington sate, which costs a lot of money and felt to complicated for my life at the time. So it was a way for me to use up some of the milk and make a great product at the same time.

How many different scents/types of soap do you currently offer?

I carry about 35 scents of soap. I often think I should cut back but there is always a fragrance that I come across or an idea I have that I want to try so I end up trying new scents quite often. I also think it is important to stay fresh and current. Have new things to tempt my customers. Scent is a very personal thing and different people are drawn to and feel comfortable with different types of scents. I even carry scents that I don’t particularly care for because I know that someone else will love it. I also carry a skin salve that I made for my family. It worked so well that my kids finally talked me into packaging it and selling it. It has been a big hit. I sell lip balms and bath salts. I try to appeal to many people. I realized that at a lot of the gift fairs that I do women are the ones buying but they are always looking for a gift for their guy so I came up with the “Dirty Man Can” It has a couple of bars of soap and some other things in it. I only sell it when it gets close to Christmas so it is special. I am always trying to think of new things that I can make that are a natural extension of my products and that will expand my business and give people something new to be watching for.

Any new scents in the works?

I am always on the lookout for some new hot scent.

What separates you from the competition?

I am not sure what separates me from the competition. There are a lot of other goat milk soap makers out in the world and online. I think a lot of what makes a person successful in a market with so much competition is personality. Of course, the first thing is to have a good product and to belive in your prosuct. I try to make a parsonal connection with my customers. Most of my return customers are people that I have sold to at shows or festivals and they love it then give soap away to their friends and they love it too and come buy from me or go online to find me. I give soap to people I meet. My dentist, my chiropractor, my kids friends parents. They almost always come back for more. I think that if you are good at reading people you can connect. Online is a little different, you have to have things about your website that appeal to certain people and realize that you are not going to connect with everyone. It is hard to get your web site high up in the search ratings without paying for a professional to build it. It takes time and diligence. I blog, twitter and face book. If you have the capitol, hire someone to build it.

Besides online, where else do you sell your soaps?

I have a few wholesale accounts and they have all been businesses that have come to me and asked me if they can carry my soaps. I would like to spend time pursuing more but I am also a wife and mother running a farm and business. I need to have time to play with my family as well.

What are some lessons your business has taught you?

Some lessons that my business has taught me is that I never make good decisions when I feel pressured. I have to slow down a bit and think things through more. I also learned by doing markets and festivals that people are just really feeling the need to connect with other people. People like it when I remember them or remember their favorite types of scents. I also learned that there is a very fine line between being friendly and helpful and being annoying. You have to be real or it turns people off, understandably so.

Did you ever imagine you’d end up where you are now?

Never in a million years did I think I would end up where I am now. But I know that God has placed me exactly where he wants me in the time that he wants me and I am totally fine with whatever rolls my way, even if it is to give it all up.

Do you have any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs that are just getting started?

To people just starting a business-check the laws of your state. Make sure you get a proper business license and pay your taxes. Be willing to go with the flow and have fun with it. Let your creativity flow.

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:10:23 +0000 Angela Shupe

Cancer has always been around Rachel Fortin. Her mom and many of her relatives suffered from the disease in some way. So, when a friend and former boss lost her hair during chemotherapy, Fortin found a way to help, reports Morning Sentinel.

Empire participates in a national program called “Look Good, Feel Better,” where wigs are donated to cancer patients, she said.

“I had just started at school and got her to come in and be fitted for a wig,” Fortin said Sunday. “That helped her feel normal and bubbly again like I remembered her.”

After that experience, Fortin said she searched for wig stores in Maine that specialized in cancer patients but came up empty. She said there were no shops where a cancer patient could go in and sit down with a knowledgeable person to pick out a wig.

She found a wig distribution company online called Jon Renau and placed a $300 order and started Wig-Out.

“The minute I made my first order and started bringing wigs to school I made a sale . . . ” she said. “It gave me an amazing feeling that I made someone happy with something as simple as a wig.”

Her father is thrilled with his daughter’s new endeavor.

“She wants to work with cancer (patients),” said her grandfather, Ernest Atkins. “She really enjoys it.”

Photo by Dylan Otto Krider

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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