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/ ) lists 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
touch="..." Touch (edit/save) topics if the feed has updates. Specify a comma-space delimited list of TopicNames or Web.TopicNames, such as "%TOPIC%, NewsLetter". Useful to send out newsletter using MailerContrib, showing new feeds since last newsletter. To update feeds, visit topics with feeds in regular intervals (using cron with wget or the like). N/A
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]]:* $description" 
  format="$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="2" }%

to get the latest postings on the "Business Opportunities" weblog:

Sat, 27 Aug 2016 18:34:42 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 06:00:04 +0000 Laurie B


Let's face it, small businesses today have a lot to handle. From accounting to customer service and everything in between, many business owners seem to need to do it all. Many lack the desire and/or revenue to hire multiple employees to handle the work load. This means that business owners can end up wearing many different hats.  For you owners out there, we want to tell you there are many Software tools available to help with time-consuming tasks like book keeping, payroll and customer service. Here are 5 positions you can fill with software:


Let's start with accounting. Most start-ups and small businesses don’t have the revenue to justify hiring a full-time accountant. Completing accounting tasks is an important part of knowing how your business is doing, yet can be difficult if you don't have an accounting degree. Accounting software can make keeping track of your business’s books simple, especially if you choose a good one.

The best options will offer a lot of extras to help you expand your business. Sage 50 accounting software, for example, can help you with inventory, vendor management, sales and give you a comprehensive view of how your business is using its money. Knowing where your money is going is a very important feature to a business working on a tight budget. Using a good accounting software should provide you with business analyses tools so you can see where your profit centers are and help you find opportunities to earn more. Whether you’re tackling the accounting yourself or have an employee to do it, a good accounting software will make your life a whole lot easier.

Human Resources

Human Resources 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />

Human Resources

Now for Human Resources: If you have multiple employees, you know that keeping track of benefits, payroll, and time sheets is a time-consuming job. Small businesses rarely have the money to hire a dedicated HR or payroll specialist, so HR tasks often wind up with administrative assistants or office managers. Yet these personnel already have long lists of other tasks they need to complete to make sure the business runs smoothly.

Human resources software keeps track of time and attendance, payroll, and benefits. When everything is together in one place, it’s easier for you to see how much each employee costs your business and whether you’re having any time and attendance issues, especially with remote workers. So if you are trying to do everything yourself, we recommend you look into a good human resources software.


Small business marketing: We all know if you are running a business, your marketing is an essential part of the business. Yet, many small businesses don’t have anyone on staff who was hired for his or her marketing experience. You can probably learn to set up your own blog and mailing list, but if marketing isn't your specialty, I would recommend leaving this to the professionals and luckily there is software for this too.

Marketing software fills the gaps and helps you and your employees focus your marketing. The best software options help with designing email campaigns, creating blogs, and generating behavioral information about your website’s visitors and email subscribers. You’ll still need to create your own high-quality content, but marketing automation reduces the overall amount of work you’ll do on marketing. And if you need help with content and marketing in general, check out www.upwork.com where you can post a job and hire a professional to help you with just about every type of need you could have.

Customer Service

Customer Service Image 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />

Customer Service Image

As for Customer Service: Small Businesses often have customers contacting them from social media to email to phone calls. Fielding all of this is time-consuming and can be chaotic, especially when you’re switching between multiple platforms. Again, most small companies cannot afford to hire one person just to handle customer service issues.  Thankfully there is Customer service software that can put all of your customer interactions into one place. Customer service software packages can also provide you with live chat features, can create a database of your customers, and help you keep track of multiple issues at one time.

Learning Management

With Regard to Learning: On-boarding and training is tough when you’re running a small business. You want to make sure your new employees learn their jobs quickly and well so that they can become essential team members. However, you and your seasoned employees don’t always have adequate time to devote to new hire training.

Learning management software allows you to create a course of materials, including videos, to help your newest employees learn essential aspects of your business. Learning management systems like Travitor Pro allow you to see when your new employees have completed assignments so you can give them more to learn and monitor their overall progress. Combining learning management software with a good, in-person training system will lead to a training program your new hires will appreciate.

Running a small business can be exciting and busy with a lot of different moving parts and not enough staff to handle everything. As entrepreneurs, we often times try to do everything ourselves as it is difficult to take the time to hire or spend the money on new employees. In those cases, there are many software programs that can really help you out. Check out the ones mentioned in this article, as well as others, and see if they can't help you lighten your load just a bit so you can really enjoy your business.

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 22:28:30 +0000 Laurie B

Every business has to save money where it can and these days this seems more important than ever. I have a pretty small office and recently needed a new copy machine. I upgraded to a Canon and I can't say enough nice things about it. I have discovered the equipment I use makes a dramatic difference on my daily productivity and efficiency levels.

printer 300w" sizes="(max-width: 482px) 100vw, 482px" />How much space do you have?

If you are in the market for new equipment, first assess how much space you have. Today, there are many small machines that can fit into a modest size office and do a heck of a lot of work. I would highly recommend a multi-functional machine - especially if you are short on space.

One machine to look at is Canon's PIXMA 6850. They are affordable and offer a scanner, printer and photocopier all in one compact case. This gadget is an absolute workhorse. It is one of the smallest printers on the market yet it can do everything you need it to do. It is wireless which is a MUST these days. This means you can send documents back and forth wherever you are and however far you are from your office. I love this!

You'll find it's easy to use

The PIXMA 6850 has a 7.5cm colour touchscreen, which makes it easy to do what you need to do - just a few swipes and taps will do the job. The screen also makes it simple to navigate the printer's menu - it's based on the kind of intuitive menu you'll find on a smartphone, so you can be up and running within minutes of plugging it in the first time.

You'll look like a professional photographer

This printer uses Canon's FINE technology and can produce professional-quality photos that look great. The photo detail is great with deep blacks and intense reds that make your photos look tremendous. It prints great photos in 41 seconds or less.

You can replace individual cartridges when they run out

This is the best feature - you can replace any of the 5 cartridges separately as they run out. Not only does this save money but it also saves the environment. It also accepts XL cartridges which is a must have if you are doing a lot of printing.

printer1 300w" sizes="(max-width: 530px) 100vw, 530px" />One last thing

You can set the printer to automatically print on both sides so you don't spend as much on paper - what's not to love?

So how important is your office printer? VERY as far as I am concerned. Having a good one can save you lots of time and money and make your work life much more productive. Of course there are many great printers on the market today - at a fraction of the cost of what they once were. I recommend you do a little research, select an ''all in one'' style as they are amazing. Look for features that allow you to send things to your office printer from your cell phone - while you are out at a coffee shop or a business meeting. All in all, make your life a whole lot easier.

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 Main.TWikiPreferences. For example, to customize the USERAGENTNAME setting, create a HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME setting in Main.TWikiPreferences.

  • One line description, shown in the TextFormattingRules topic:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Show headline news in TWiki 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 TWiki's internal getUrl() method. Default: yes

  • Timeout fetching a feed using the LWP::UserAgent. Default: 20

  • Name of user agent. Default: TWikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21
      * Set USERAGENTNAME = TWikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21

  • 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)
    • $TWiki::cfg{PROXY}{HOST} - proxy host, such as "proxy.example.com";
    • $TWiki::cfg{PROXY}{PORT} - proxy port, such as "8080";
    • $TWiki::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 twiki installation directory. Content:
    File: Description:
    data/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.txt plugin topic
    pub/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css default css
    lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.pm plugin perl module
    lib/TWiki/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 TWiki 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, TWiki:Main.MichaelDaum
Copyright: © 2002-2009, Peter Thoeny, TWIKI.NET; 2005-2007, Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: v2.3 - 29 Aug 2009
Change History:  
29 Aug 2009: added touch parameter -- Peter Thoeny
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: 5.8
TWiki:Plugins/Benchmark: GoodStyle 100%, FormattedSearch 99.5%, HeadlinesPlugin 94%
Plugin Home: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin
Feedback: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginDev
Appraisal: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginAppraisal

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 29 Aug 2009

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Topic revision: r2 - 2009-08-29 - 21:55:14 - TWikiContributor

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