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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:

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:35:12 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:01:23 +0000 Dane Carlson

None of the items in this post exist, so will someone please invent them already?










Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:41:38 +0000 Dane Carlson

There are approximately two billion wooden shipping pallets in the United States. They are in the holds of tractor-trailers, transporting Honey Nut Cheerios and oysters and penicillin and just about any other product you can think of: sweaters, copper wire, lab mice, and so on. They are piled up behind supermarkets, out back, near the loading dock. They are at construction sites, on sidewalks, in the trash, in your neighbor’s basement. They are stacked in warehouses and coursing their way through the bowels of factories.

The magic of these pallets is the magic of abstraction. Take any object you like, pile it onto a pallet, and it becomes, simply, a “unit load” – standardized, cubical, and ideally suited to being scooped up by the tines of a forklift. This allows your Cheerios and your oysters to be whisked through the supply chain with great efficiency; the gains are so impressive, in fact, that many experts consider the pallet to be the most important materials-handling innovation of the twentieth century. Studies have estimated that pallets consume 12 to 15 percent of all lumber produced in the US, more than any other industry except home construction.

Some pallets also carry an aesthetic charge. It’s mostly about geometry: parallel lines and negative space, slats and air. There is also the appeal of the raw, unpainted wood, the cheapest stuff you can buy from a lumber mill-”bark and better,” it’s called. These facts have not escaped the notice of artists, architects, designers, or DIY enthusiasts. In 2003, the conceptual artist Stuart Keeler presented stacks of pallets in a gallery show, calling them “the elegant serving-platters of industry”; more recently, Thomas Hirschhorn featured a giant pallet construction as part of his Gramsci Monument. Etsy currently features dozens of items made from pallets, from window planters and chaise lounges to more idiosyncratic artifacts, such as a decorative teal crucifix mounted on a pallet. If shipping containers had their cultural moment a decade ago, pallets are having theirs now.

Since World War II, most of America’s pallet needs have been met by several thousand small and mid-sized businesses. These form the nucleus of not just an industry, but a sprawling, anarchic ecosystem-a world, really, complete with its own customs, language, and legends, with a political class, with its own media. This world is known as “whitewood.” There are approximately forty thousand citizens of whitewood, ranging from pallet pickers (who salvage pallets from the trash) to pallet recyclers (who repair broken pallets and make them whole) to pallet manufacturers, pallet consultants, pallet academics, pallet thieves, and pallet association presidents. Whitewood includes people who crisscross the country selling pallet repair machinery, preaching the gospel of tools such as the Rogers Un-Nailer.

Not all pallets belong to the world of whitewood. The most important other category-and whitewood’s chief antagonist-is the blue pallet. These blues are not just a different color; they are also built differently, and play by different rules, and for the past twenty-five years, the conflict between blue and white has been the central theme in the political economy of American pallets. The person most identified with this conflict is a soft-spoken, middle-aged man from Kansas named Bob Moore. Currently embroiled in a legal battle over a pallet deal gone bad, Moore is a singular figure in the industry and a magnet for controversy. When not in federal court, he can sometimes be found piloting a Mooney Acclaim Type S airplane, which he prefers, when possible, to flying commercial. The Mooney is a good place to concentrate, one imagines. And it is important to concentrate when plotting the future of pallets.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:47:43 +0000 Dane Carlson

Businesses always need money. I don’t have to tell you that.

But, maybe I should.

When the economy is booming, businesses need money to expand: to purchase new equipment, increase inventory, to expand or explore new opportunities. When everyone is lending, businesses need help figuring out the right kind of capital to borrow and the least expensive way to do so.

When the economy is sluggish, businesses need money to stay afloat: to make payroll and to purchase inventory. When the banks tighten their belts and stop making loans, businesses need help locating and negotiating for capital.

In either case, businesses need someone to broker loans for them. Just as you always want a lawyer representing you before a judge, and an accountant representing you before the IRS, you need a expert to to help define your lending needs and to make sure you get the best loan regardless of the current economic conditions.

Today, in late 2014, the majority of banks are not lending. And of those that are, they are only accepting about 10% of applications. 90% of businesses that need capital must go elsewhere. Where do they go? The average business person has no idea where to turn when their bank turns down their loan. That “elsewhere,” it turns out, is what’s called a commercial finance consultant. (Commercial finance consultants are also known as “diversified loan brokers.” The terms are synonymous.)

Commercial finance consultants don’t just simply connect lenders with bank loans. Instead, they work with many different types of financing products. Just as a business’s needs change depending on the macroeconomic conditions, and on their own requirements specifically, commercial finance consultants offer a diverse set of financing options. Some financing products are readily available in good economic times, and are next to impossible to procure in down markets. Other types of loans do better when the economy is in a recession. Whatever the economic conditions, and the specific requirements of a business, a commercial financial consultant can help find the right type of financing.

Diversified loan brokers receive a commission on every loan they close, and thus make money when the economy is good, and when the economy is bad. In either situation, the demand for their service is always strong.

But better than the commissions, is the knowledge that without their services, capital, the lifeblood of every business, would disappear, and many businesses would ultimately fail.

If commercial loan brokering sounds interesting to you, you’ll need to figure out how to start. You can’t just hang up your shingle and call yourself a commercial capital consultant. First, you’ll need to find businesses in need of capital. Yes, every business needs money, but they’ll don’t all take out full page ads in the newspaper to say so. And, once you do, you’ll have to take on the even more difficult challenge of finding lenders to work with. You’ll need to figure out all of the various types of financial products to offer. And, when you do, you’ll discover that you have no track record. They’ll be hesitant to do business you.

There is a company, though, that solves this problem rather neatly. Commercial Capital Training Group has created a way for people without any prior experience in the finance industry to easily walk right into the business. They provide an intensive seven day course designed train you, from beginning to end, on the how to connect businesses with capital. In addition, they will personally introduce you to, and approve you, with more than forty lenders who will start processing loans for you immediately.

Following the course, Commercial Capital Training Group will provide you with one-on-one support, seven days per week, to answer any questions, or to advise you how to proceed with any specific loan product you might be brokering.

About Commercial Capital Training Group

Commercial Capital Training Group was founded in 2009 by veteran New York financier Kris Roglieri. The success of his commercial loan company, Prime Commercial Lending, had caught the industry’s attention, and for a time Roglieri was employed by several financing companies to train their staffs on the many alternative financing options and products available.

It was obvious to Roglieri that his training service was in demand, and he soon realized just how useful his training was. His big breakthrough, he said, was realizing that while business owners are good at running their business, they often lack the knowledge to find the right capital solution for it. “Most businesses don’t know where to go for capital after their bank says no,” he said.

Roglieri reviewed the various “loan broker training” options available at the time, and found that they mostly consisted of videotaped lessons. He realized that they weren’t adequately preparing new loan brokers for the business. Not only were the other training programs not teaching their students enough about a wide range of funding options, they were also teaching what Roglieri calls bad broker etiquette. 1

Roglieri realized that he could make more money and help more businesses if he offered this same training to individuals. So, in 2009, he founded Commercial Capital Training Group, and in the last six years, Roglieri and his team have empowered hundreds of graduates to be truly independent and to succeed in an industry that allows for an almost unlimited income.

About the Training

Commercial Capital Training Group is not a franchise. It is an intensive training program that can take entrepreneurs from all walks of life, and build them into commercial loan brokers in just seven days. You don’t need any experience in the financial industry. You can literally walk in knowing nothing, and come out the other side ready, and able, to broker business financing. Individuals with finance or real estate backgrounds, who are already in the business, can also utilize the educational program to expand their skill sets and product offerings with more alternative financing options.

CCTG’s training costs $23,000 for the seven day program2. Kris Roglieri puts his expertise and experience to good use, and does all of the training himself. After working through the course materials, students will role-play, engage with case studies and have time to test out their understanding of the concepts taught in an interactive setting. CCTG also brings in forty-eight lenders to make presentations on their lending products in person3. Students are able to ask questions and really connect with the lenders. Following the course, the students are immediately able to broker deals, because CCTG’s course also introduces the students to the lenders, who following the students’ graduation, have agreed to waive any “length of time in business” requirements they might normally have. In a sense, students taking the CCTG course are partnering with Roglieri’s reputation.

CCTG, by way of their partner businesses Commercial Capital Marketing Group and Finance Marketing Group also provide the graduate with marketing and advertising support for two years after the completion of the course. This support comes in the form of web and print marketing help, email/social media, content marketing and lead generation.

Even though CCTG is not a franchise, they do provide continuing and ongoing support seven days a week. If a student ever needs help to analyze a transaction, CCTG’s dedicated support staff is available seven days per week to answer their questions and to put their expertise to work for their graduates.


Graduates of Commercial Capital Training Group will keep all of the commissions generated from any financial transactions they broker. CCTG takes no cut, and receives no royalties or kickbacks from the lender, or from the graduate. Commissions of 1-3% of the total value of the loan are very common in the business. Roglieri really stressed to me, that commercial loan brokering is not a get rich quick scheme. Graduates will have to really work to succeed at this business. They do have to put in the time, and do the work, but if they do, there’s really no cap to the amount of money that they can earn. They can reap the fruits of their own labors.

Also, CCTG is not a fly by night operation. They’ve been in business training entrepreneurs from across the country for six years, and they will continue until there’s no more need for business capital. In other words: forever.

CCTG is creating a network of independent commercial financial consultants, not a dependent team. After completing their course, graduates are able to work wherever and whenever they want. Being a commercial loan broker doesn’t even require an office. Many of the graduates work from home with only a computer, an Internet connection and a telephone. It is very, very rare to ever meet clients in person. Almost all of the business is conducted via the telephone and the Internet.

Because of the large number of financial products, and the nearly infinite number of businesses who need capital, the market for the graduates is enormous. The business is also not based on your geography. If you live in the middle of nowhere, you can broker deals originating in Manhattan. If you live in Florida, you can broker deals in California. In fact, Roglieri explained to me that the highest concentration of CCTG graduates is in the state of Texas. But, even those graduates, to the best of his knowledge, have never competed for the same customer, or the same loan.

Again, this is not a get rich quick scheme. You can get rich, and hypothetically, you could do it quickly, but Commercial Capital Training Group is no scheme. They are accredited with the BBB, made the Inc. 500 list this year, and practice what they preach in their excellent, and all encompassing customer service.

Concluding Thoughts

  • When the economy is up, demand for capital is up.
  • When the economy is down, demand for capital is up.

In either economic condition, businesses need money.

  • When the economy is up, there are financial products that do well, and are easy to obtain. The challenge is to get the best deal.
  • When the economy is down, the financial products that worked when the economy was up don’t work anymore. Instead, the economic conditions make available different products more available. The challenge is to get the right deal.

In other words, the business is the always the same, only the financial products available are different.

Sure, you could specialize in one financial product, but we know how well that worked for mortgage brokers when the real estate market crashed. Or, you could take Commercial Capital Training Group’s course and expand your opportunities by taking on a wide assortment of financial products and services that will allow you to evolve and ride out the markets, whether up or down.

Commercial Capital Training Group’s business model is recession proof, and their training covers the business from the beginning to end. If you take their course, Kris Roglieri will personally transfer everything he knows about commercial capital brokering into you. And with their arrangement with the lenders, you’ll be able to make money almost immediately.

  1. While it might seem counterintuitive to the borrower, it is extremely poor etiquette for the loan broker to shop the loan by blasting out the proposal to every lender in his database. If a lender sees a proposal come across his desk from a company known for shopping deals, he won’t waste his time with it. Instead, brokers should offer deals one-at-a-time to lenders. If the first one passes, then he can go to the next one. 

  2. CCTG’s training costs $23,000 for the seven day program, and runs from 8AM – 6PM Monday through Sunday. The training is offered once per month in Albany, New York. Hotel accommodations are included in the price of the training. 

  3. Two of the forty-eight lenders are Prime Commercial Lending and Durham Commercial Capital, both of which are owned by Roglieri. 

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