Headlines Plugin

Show headline news in TWiki pages based on RSS and ATOM news feeds from external sites


This plugin displays RSS and ATOM feeds from news sites. Use it to build news portals that show headline news.


  • RSS (Rich Site Summary) is an XML standard used to publish frequently updated works such as blog entries, news headlines and audio.
  • Atom is an XML syndication format used for web feeds.
  • Syndic8.com at http://www.syndic8.com/ lists many RSS and ATOM feeds.

Syntax Rules


Parameter Explanation Default
"..." Source of RSS or ATOM 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. May 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. May 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
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

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. Note that some of the variables are already used above. This is done by purpose to use different feeds with the same formatting parameters. If there's a conflict the non-dc tags have higher precedence, i.e. a <title> content </title> is preferred 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 referring 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:

Fri, 28 Feb 2020 16:29:57 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Fri, 28 Feb 2020 16:23:18 +0000 Mel Martinez
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

The eCommerce industry is booming and predicted to grow over the coming years. Understandably, this makes it a popular industry to enter for entrepreneurs. There is potential for great success here. Many believe that this is a type of business that can be easy to set up and run. While setting it up is relatively easy, the industry is not easy to succeed in. The competition is incredible and with millions of sites, it is hard to get noticed. With this in mind, here are a few handy tips for starting an eCommerce business.

Sell Products in Demand and with a Theme

When starting an eCommerce business, you need to make sure that you are selling products that are in demand. Though your idea may be great, demand means sales. Additionally, you need to have a theme for your store so that you can identify a target customer. You should keep this target customer in mind with every decision that you make. A few types of stores worth considering include:

  • Health and fitness
  • Beauty
  • Fashion
  • Electronics
  • Motherhood

Make Sure You Design a High-Quality Store

Your eCommerce business will need to be of the highest quality in order to convert visitors. This means that it should be easy-to-use, responsive, attractive, and helpful, with clear product details and smooth checkout experience. Additionally, your site should be mobile-friendly. After all, many people now shop online on their mobile devices.

ecommerce business site design 300w, tablet-on-table-5598-768x432.jpg 768w, tablet-on-table-5598-696x392.jpg 696w, tablet-on-table-5598-1068x601.jpg 1068w, tablet-on-table-5598-747x420.jpg 747w, tablet-on-table-5598.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" />

Increase Visibility with Digital Marketing

As mentioned, an eCommerce business is fiercely competitive, so it can be hard to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Using digital marketing assistance from an experienced agency is vital. Their expertise can level the playing field and help to direct traffic to your store from the search engines. Search engines are the first stop for customers searching for products and services.

Streamline Your eCommerce Business with Warehouse Systems

Running a successful eCommerce business is challenging. Therefore, you will need to have a highly efficient system in place for handling warehouse operations. You can achieve this through the use of the best warehouse management systems. Such systems simplify the daily tasks in the warehouse to increase efficiency, reduce stress, and speed up the day-to-day processes.

Successful eCommerce Businesses Use Social Media Productively

Everyone knows the importance of having a presence on social media for their business. However, very few use this effectively. For eCommerce businesses, social media is an excellent platform for promoting your products, engaging with your target customers, and showing your expertise. Productive use includes:


  • Creating and sharing engaging content for your target customers
  • Directing people to your store
  • Responding to messages and comments promptly and professionally
  • Using humor while avoiding offensive or divisive language
  • Growing your network by encouraging likes and follows

Of course, it is easy to see why so many entrepreneurial-minded people are entering the eCommerce industry. However, it is essential to be aware that success is not guaranteed. Competition can make success difficult to realize, but it’s not impossible. These tips should help you lay the foundation for success in your eCommerce business and attract customers early on.

The post Top Tips for Starting an eCommerce Business appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Fri, 28 Feb 2020 02:22:07 +0000 Carrol Strain
Photo byPaweł CzerwińskionUnsplash

Every business on the planet, no matter how small, has a responsibility to dispose of waste properly, as well as to participate with the global community in a search for answers. In this post, we discuss some common waste disposal problems and suggest some useful remedies.

The Environmental Effects of Improper Waste Disposal

Irresponsible handling and disposal of wastes have huge environmental effects that lead to ever more serious problems.

For example, some wastes that are buried underground do not rot. Moreover, not all wastes burn. Often, decomposing wastes often generate smells that people find distressing.

Additionally, some wastes give off dangerous gases such as methane. Some of these gases can be explosive or toxic, not to mention their contribution to the planet’s greenhouse effect.

Waste disposal involves various processes, including collection, transportation, dumping, recycling, and treatment of different kinds of wastes. In this post we consider some common waste disposal challenges.

1. Too Much Waste

Production of too much waste is the beginning of the whole waste disposal and waste management puzzle.

For example, America alone is responsible for generating 220 million tons of waste per year.

According to a report from the World Bank, the average global municipal solid waste (MSW) generation per person daily is about 1.2 kilograms. Moreover, experts expect this figure to rise to about 1.5 kilograms by 2025.

We live in a culture of throw-away consumerism. Additionally, producers try to maximize their profits by producing one-use products. There seems to be too little commitment or incentive overall to producing environmentally friendly products or encouraging reuse and recycling.

2. Toxic Wastes

Many products from major manufacturers, as well as the packages we purchase them in, contain hazardous and health-threatening compounds. To make matter worse, many of us simply throw these products and their packaging away when we’re through using them.

Federal, state, and local authorities, generally speaking, often appear reluctant to rein in waste disposal miscreants. For example, despite the fact that many plastic toys still contain the harmful chemical Biphenyl-A (BPA), these toys are poorly regulated. Moreover, officials only loosely enforce the regulations that are on the books.

One category of solid waste that is rapidly expanding is that of plastic packaging. In fact, this category accounts for more than 30% of our planet’s waste disposal volume. Moreover, almost 40% of non-biodegradable plastic waste comes from packaging. Overall, this one category exacerbates waste disposal challenges at a staggering rate.

If your business needs to dispose of trash on a regular basis, whether or not it is toxic waste, then consider using skip bags for your waste disposal problems. Just place your trash in a skip bag so that a skip bag service can haul it away to the nearest landfill or another waste disposal site.

3. The Problem with Landfills

Due to the lack of proper on-site waste disposal management, some landfills continue to contribute to environmental threats. For example, long-term effects such as leaching, underground water pollution, and the release of potentially unsafe gases continue to plague modern-day landfills.

For the most part, this is due to inadequate regulations regarding landfills' inherent toxicity and the hazardous nature of much of the waste they handle. Many of these waste disposal issues, moreover, have a significant long-term effects.

4. Undue Influence on Waste Disposal Regulations

Waste disposal and management have gradually grown into a profit-making industry. Waste management companies have therefore become strong challengers of regulations affecting waste-disposal regulation and management. Consequently, advocates for safe and proper waste disposal are frequently outmaneuvered by waste disposal businesses.

In fact, some large companies in the waste disposal business dictate nearly every aspect of the market, from landfills to sewer systems and incinerators to recycling facilities. This is because they have collaborated with regulators who then readily embraced their biased interests.

Some regulatory officials even work together with industry officials to expand landfills, enhance waste tonnage, and solicit for the development of new trash handling facilities that augment the waste industry’s profits. Some of these collaborations have contributed to worsening conditions in waste reduction as well as ongoing recycling problems.

On the other hand, services such as those provided by Skipbag provide skip hire services that alleviate some of the common waste handling challenges experienced by ordinary citizens.


In the end, responsible waste management lies with each one of us. We must do what we can to shop for products that come with minimal packaging. We must also reuse, recycle, and reduce our household and business waste as much as possible.

Moreover, we must work alongside environmental advocates to change and enforce regulations that provide for responsible waste management.

The post Waste Disposal: Common Problems and Possible Solutions appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Plugin Settings

Plugin settings are stored as preferences settings. Do not change the settings here, they are here only for illustration purposes showing the default values. Define the settings in Main.TWikiPreferences. For example, to customize the HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME setting, add a * Set HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME = ... bullet in Main.TWikiPreferences.

  • Refresh rate in minutes for cached feeds. Set to 0 to disable caching:

  • Maximum number of items shown:

  • Use LWP::UserAgent if set to 1, or fallback to TWiki's internal getUrl() method if set to 0:

  • Timeout fetching a feed using the LWP::UserAgent:

  • Name of user agent:
    • Set HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME = TWikiHeadlinesPlugin/2011-07-08

  • Default header: (variables are explained in the syntax rules)
      * Set HEADLINESPLUGIN_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 HEADLINESPLUGIN_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

This is a pre-installed plugin. TWiki administrators can upgrade the plugin as needed on the TWiki server.

Note: You do not need to install anything on the browser to use this plugin. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the plugin on the TWiki server.

  • For an automated installation, run the configure script and follow "Find More Extensions" in the in the Extensions section.

  • Or, follow these manual installation steps:
    • Download the ZIP file from the Plugins home (see below).
    • Unzip HeadlinesPlugin.zip in your twiki installation directory. Content:
      File:Sorted ascending Description:
      data/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.txt Plugin topic
      lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/Core.pm Plugin core
      lib/TWiki/Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin.pm Plugin Perl module
      pub/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css Default CSS
    • Set the ownership of the extracted directories and files to the webserver user.
    • 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 configuration and testing:
    • Run the configure script, enable the plugin in the Plugins section
    • Configure the plugin: See plugin settings above.
    • Test if the installation was successful: See example above.

Plugin Info

  • 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

Plugin Author: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.MichaelDaum
Copyright: © 2002-2013 Peter Thoeny, TWiki.org
© 2005-2007 Michael Daum wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: 2013-02-16
2013-02-16: TWikibug:Item7091: Use TWISTY in installation instructions section and change history
2013-01-29: TWikibug:Item7131: HeadlinesPlugin doesn't match pattern in multiple lines.
2012-12-10: TWikibug:Item7070: HeadlinesPlugin doesn't support multiple disks.
2012-11-13: TWikibug:Item7016: Restore changes for earlier versions with LWP
2012-11-13: TWikibug:Item7020: Categorize TWiki Variable
2012-10-31: TWikibug:Item7016: Utilize <guid> value when it is available
2012-09-05: TWikibug:Item6837: Doc fixes
2011-07-17: TWikibug:Item6764: Add VarHEADLINES variable documentation; doc improvements; setting NO_PREFS_IN_TOPIC
2011-07-08: TWikibug:Item6725: Change global package variables from "use vars" to "our"
2010-05-16: TWikibug:Item6433: More doc improvements
2010-04-25: TWikibug:Item6433: Doc fix: Changing TWIKIWEB to SYSTEMWEB
2010-02-27: TWikibug:Item6313: Fixed bug in ATOM feed with <link ...></link> instead of <link ... /> -- Peter Thoeny
2009-09-30: fixed bug in lastBuildDate of feeds affecting touch parameter functionality -- Peter Thoeny
2009-08-29: 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
Plugin Benchmark: GoodStyle 100%, FormattedSearch 99.5%, HeadlinesPlugin 94%
Plugin Home: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin
Feedback: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/HeadlinesPluginDev
Appraisal: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/HeadlinesPluginAppraisal

Related Topics: VarHEADLINES, TWikiPlugins, AdminDocumentationCategory, TWikiPreferences

This topic: TWiki > HeadlinesPlugin
Topic revision: r8 - 2013-02-16 - TWikiContributor
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