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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:

Wed, 06 May 2015 14:38:39 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Wed, 06 May 2015 14:38:39 +0000 Erin Eagan

That smartphone that you have in your pocket isn't just for playing games and checking your social media accounts. You can also use it for your entrepreneurial endeavors. In fact, there are a number of apps that any entrepreneur's iPhone or Android should not be without. Let's take a look, shall we?

1. Evernote

You've got to keep yourself organized! That's what makes Evernote such an exceptional app. It makes it incredibly easy to keep all of your notes in one place, including the ones that you write by hand (just snap a photo of them with the phone's camera). You can also use Evernote to make and track checklists and to-do lists, and you can use it share documents with others.

2. Dropbox

If Evernote is too ''note-taking-centric'' for your document needs, then Dropbox might be just what you're looking for. It functions much the same way, but is better suited for documents of all styles, from spreadsheets to videos. With it, you can sync to contents of your hard drive to the cloud, thereby gaining access to your documents from all of your devices at any time and from anywhere.


3. Invoice2Go

Keeping track of all of your invoices, estimates and quotes can be incredibly difficult. Thankfully, this handy little app can make things quite easy. By just filling out a few fields, you can quickly put together invoices for your customers and clients, printing them wirelessly with the tap of a finger.

4. Pocket Analytics

Do you need your finger on the pulse of your web presence at all times? Then this may be the app for you. It allows you to sync a myriad of analytics tools into one convenient portal. With this in your pocket, keeping a constant eye on the state of your web presence has never been easier.

5. Square Register

Does anyone carry cash anymore? If you're going to be out selling, then this app is a virtual must. You get a small square device that plugs into the headphone jack of any mobile device, which the app then uses to read and process payments made with credit cards. With this in your pocket, you'll be able to close a sale wherever you happen to be.


6. Producteev

If you're working with a team of individuals, then this app is awesome. It allows you to effortlessly delegate tasks to different team members, and provides an easy way for keeping track of what everyone is up to. With it, you'll be able to make sure that no one is overworked and that things are moving along smoothly.

7. EchoSign

It seems silly that you have to print documents, sign them and then scan them back into your computer, doesn't it? You're right, it is silly, especially since you can put this app, which allows you to sign and return documents, on your phone or tablet.

Check the App Store

These are just some of the great apps that are available to entrepreneurs. If you've got a particular need that you need an efficient, technological solution for, just peruse the app store for a bit. No doubt, someone's already put in the time to develop a solution for you.

Wed, 06 May 2015 13:58:12 +0000 Erin Eagan

Monday kicked off National Small Business Week, a week-long event put on by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in celebration of entrepreneurs and small business owners all across the country. Need a quick recap?

Tue, 05 May 2015 18:37:02 +0000 Erin Eagan

Pretty much no one - except for health nuts - can say no to doughnuts, so you should say yes to a Dunkin' Donuts franchise.

When it comes to the morning commute, nothing goes better with a fresh-baked doughnut than a steaming cup of coffee. While Starbucks may appeal to the urbanites of the world, there's Dunkin' Donuts for everyone else. To be sure, Dunkin' Donuts has become one of the most recognizable brands in the country. It's impossible, for example, to turn on your television and not come across a commercial that's advertising how ''America runs on Dunkin'.''


Here's the thing about Dunkin' Donuts: your financial future could very well run on running a Dunkin' Donuts franchise. Every location in the country is owned by a franchisee, and the brand is still expanding aggressively. Let's take a closer look.

More about the Dunkin' Donuts Franchise Concept

There are some regions of the country that Dunkin' Donuts has failed to penetrate, but there's a high likelihood that there's one down the street from where you live. So, you probably know all about it, but for those who don't:

Dunkin' Donuts originally started as a business that keeps it simple, serving coffee and doughnuts. While Dunkin' Donuts still does that - and does it very well, many would argue - they've also been expanding their product line, attempting to entice their customers to come back for lunch. In the eyes of many of its customers, it's the blue-collar alternative to the stuffy, urbane Starbucks.

How Does Dunkin' Donuts Look to the Prospective Franchisee?

For the perspective of a potential franchisee, Dunkin' Donuts is like old reliable. Year over year, the business continues to grow, both domestically and internationally. In the past five years, Dunkin' Donuts has increased its number of U.S. locations by 1,000 to a total of just over 8,000. Internationally, the number of franchise has grown more modestly over the past five years, increasing by a little over 100 locations to 3,224.


Dunkin' Donuts requires that its franchisees have a net worth of at least a quarter of a million dollars, with $125,000 of liquid capital available. To start a franchise, a franchisee will have to make a minimum investment of just over $200,000. However, the prospective franchisee should expect to invest significantly more than that. Depending upon the location, one franchise could require an investment of over a million dollars.

For that investment, a franchisee obviously benefits from Dunkin' Donuts great brand reputation and recognition. The company also supports its franchise locations by providing them with regional marketing.

Are You Ready to Make the ''Donuts''?

Provided you have the capital available, opening a Dunkin' Donuts franchise could prove to be quite lucrative. This is especially the case in markets that have yet to be penetrated, especially along the West Coast. Of course, there are other businesses that are quite similar to Dunkin' Donuts, including Krispy Kreme, which is another highly rated franchise opportunity. Therefore, before jumping into a Dunkin' Donuts franchise, evaluate your other options, and determine which will make the most sense for your geographic location.

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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