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 ExplanationSorted descending Default
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
"..." 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
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
href="..." (Alternative to above) 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:

Sun, 15 Dec 2019 03:07:53 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Sun, 15 Dec 2019 03:07:51 +0000 Carrol Strain
Featured image by Pressmaster

Work and the workplace itself have gone through a massive transformation in the last half century. It's interesting to look at these things and see how far we've come.

Cubes and Hierarchies in the Workplace

Just a few years ago, many employees worked in cubicles. Only the higher ups could enjoy a corner office and some privacy.

It was fine to have a drink or two in the workplace-and even to smoke a cigarette around your colleagues.

But women's opinions weren't as respected then as they are today. And unless you were a manager, your input about the next presentation wasn't important.

Collaboration and Cooperation

Today, everything about working and the workplace has changed, including the layout and design of the workplace itself.


Collaboration is a top priority in most organizations. Everyone has a say on a project. You can correct your boss and not get fired.

But drinking and smoking at work are now frowned upon. And certain top positions are held by women.

Technology and the Internet in the Workplace

If there's one key thing that has drastically changed both working and the workplace, it would have to be technology. Because of technology, millions of people today work from their homes. And if they're not working in their homes, they could be be anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection.

In short, we can work anywhere we like, and the entire world has become our workplace.

What’s more, we are more connected now than ever before. This allows us to perform in mere minutes tasks that formerly would have taken us days to complete.

However, these advancements have their own caveats. The main one among them is that so many of us become easily distracted.

Errors at Work and Accidents in the Workplace

This opens employees up to more errors in their work, including accidents in the workplace.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that slips and falls in the workplace are all too common. Nor is it any wonder that employees are frequently involved in car accidents in company vehicles. Often, this is because they put too much of their attention on their smart device.

Workers' Compensation

Thankfully, there's workers' compensation. It's not new. In fact, it's been around the workplace since the 1960’s. Right now, it's mandatory for every workplace in the US to provide this benefit to their employees. This helps to create a workplace that's safe for employees to work in.

This type of compensation is particularly important in industries where physical movement is important. These include maintenance, manufacturing, carpentry, restaurant service jobs, supermarkets, and so on.

Perks for Workers and Productivity in the Workplace

In the last decade, companies have learned that employees are more productive and invested in the organization's interests if their needs are being properly met in the workplace. We're not just talking about health insurance and workers' compensation here.

Along with the Silicon Valley boom, there have been a growing number of startups that provide unusual perks in their workplaces for the people who work for them. For example, some feature yoga rooms, onsite haircuts, volleyball courts, free massages, and even free alcohol!

In a way, it feels like work and the workplace have reverted to the ’60s again-but not quite.

Employers offer these extras to foster employee productivity. They have learned that when employees are happy and are given sufficient breaks and perks, they perform better at work. In fact, they often come up with highly creative ideas that benefit their employers.


Work and Meaning in the Workplace

Perks notwithstanding, many workers, especially the younger ones, don't want to work just to pay the bills. They want to work at jobs that are meaningful to them in workplaces where they feel appreciated and challenged.

Some even say they'll take a lower salary if it means being able to work at a job and in a workplace they feel passionate about.

Niches and the Gig Economy

These transformations have led us to the gig economy, where everyone chooses their own work and their own workplace.

Moreover, everyone works in different niches, including unique ones. Along with the work-from-home movement, people are freelancing, too. They might be writing, creating graphic designs, printing t-shirts, articulating voice-overs, walking pets, driving for other people, or performing household tasks.

Just two decades ago, working in these ways, in all these different sorts of workplaces, simply wasn't possible. But because of technology, people have access to more possibilities than they ever had before.

Moreover, if you're smart about it, you can work anywhere you like and make anyplace your workplace. You might even find your way to creating passive income.

Working in an Evolving Workplace

Yes, some jobs will become obsolete. But at the same time, technology will open up more opportunities for everyone as our ways of working continue to evolve.

If you'd like to work in an evolving workplace, you will need to continuously update yourself. Otherwise, you'll soon be left behind.

The post The Evolution of Work and the Workplace appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Sat, 14 Dec 2019 23:09:56 +0000 Carrol Strain
Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Especially if you have already started your own business, you might question the value of obtaining a PhD. In the article below, we explore some of the reasons why you should.

Why Should You Consider Pursuing a PhD?

People's opinions about the importance of completing a doctorate are sharply divided. Some believe a PhD in any field is a significant achievement. However, others disagree. In fact, whether a PhD is useful or not varies, depending on a number of factors.

At their core, though, most educational programs share certain advantages. We take a look at some of those advantages here.


You Will Gain Expertise with a PhD

Earning a PhD won’t automatically make you number-one in your field. However, subsequent years of research, accompanied by papers published in peer-reviewed journals, could bestow such accolades upon you.

However, no one will ever doubt your expertise in your field. That’s because there isn't a higher educational course than a doctorate, and you will have completed it.

You Will Learn More About Ideas That Interest You

Curiosity and and a desire to learn more about a particular topic are among the main reasons people give for pursuing a PhD. So if you already have an idea for something you would like to research, why not pursue your PhD?

A PhD Will Bring You Respect

The average IQ of PhD students is about 125. This is higher than that of roughly 95% of the general population. Moreover, if you earn a PhD from a properly accredited and recognized university, you will have had to work hard and use your intellect to earn it.

Therefore, it will be an authentic stamp of superior intellect on your resume. And whether you are the type to brag or not, you will have earned those bragging rights if you'd ever like to use them!

You Will Earn Higher Pay and Have Better Opportunities

Pursuing an advanced degree just because you want to have vast riches is probably a bad idea. However, a PhD in almost any academic area will probably bring you higher pay than you might have otherwise received. Of course, this assumes that the job you end up with is directly related to your chosen field.

For example, completing one of the online DNP programs from an authentic, CCNE-accredited nursing university will significantly boost a nurse's pay. More importantly, though, a doctorate degree will unlock the highest job tiers in the healthcare industry for nursing professionals.

In fact, online DNP programs for nurse practitioners or midwives qualify nurses in many states to open their own clinics. Additionally, many can do so without physician supervision.

Alternatively, pursuing a PhD in Executive Nurse Leadership gives professionals opportunities to hold the highest offices in the nursing sector. Such a degree empowers those individuals to lead with changes and improvements across the US and even abroad.

Basically, holding a doctorate will mean that leadership opportunities will be more likely to open up to you.

With a PhD You Could Become a Key Opinion Leader in Your Field

As soon as you complete your doctorate, others will begin to look to you as an expert in your field. Additionally, over time and with more research and publications, you might even become a key opinion leader in that field.

What’s more, your advanced degree could help you to truly make a difference with your life. Many people with PhDs say their desire to bring about improvements in society led them to seek their advanced degrees.

A PhD Will Give Closure to Your Studies

If you are in a position to apply for a PhD program, you are already more qualified than most of the population. So why not complete your education by pursuing your PhD?

The post Why Should You Consider Pursuing a PhD? 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: Description:
      data/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.txt Plugin topic
      pub/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css Default CSS
      lib/TWiki/Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin.pm Plugin Perl module
      lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/Core.pm Plugin core
    • 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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