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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.

Note: Syndic8.com ( 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:

Thu, 17 Oct 2019 22:23:02 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 22:22:59 +0000 Carrol Strain
Photo by Raban Haaijk on Unsplash

Parking lot litter removal is an essential service that benefits commercial businesses in your area. At the same time, it can provide you with a lucrative opportunity to earn a good living by working for yourself. 

Parking lots are often the first thing people see when they visit a business. Moreover, clean parking lots improve a business's reputation. Moreover, they result in less garbage potentially clogging storm drains and polluting waterways. It may be surprising to some, but launching a parking lot litter removal business is simple and can be quite lucrative.

Step 1: Decide How You Want to Set Up Your Parking Lot Litter Removal Business

Should You Run a One-Person Operation or Hire Others to Do the Work?

When beginning a parking lot litter removal business, you may only have one or two properties to start with. This is a reasonable amount of work to manage as a one-person operation. However, as your business expands and your territory grows, having reliable independent contractors to call upon will become an increasing need.

Do You Want to Jump in Full Time or Start Your Parking Lot Litter Removal Business as a Side Hustle?

For many, starting a parking lot litter removal company as a side hustle makes the most sense. Since most of the litter removal occurs in the early mornings or late evenings, the operation fits nicely around a typical nine-to-five job.

However, time management becomes an important factor for a side hustle. At least in the beginning, it is probably best to perform sales and marketing in the morning and service your litter removal contracts in the evening. On the other hand, there will be a tipping point where you are making enough with your litter removal contracts so that it will begin to sense for you to put all your attention to your new business.

Will You Invest in Power Equipment or Discover Inexpensive Tools of the Trade?

Parking lot litter removal is most successfully completed on foot using inexpensive hand tools. You simply walk the exterior of retail, office, or industrial properties and sweep up litter into a litter collection bag. When the collection bag is full, you empty it into the on-site dumpster. 

You can buy the hand tools you need at your local home center or cleaning supplies store for about $50. In his book, Cleanlots, Brian Winch describes a special tool that he uses that reduces his cleaning times and makes his work more profitable.


Step 2: Build Your Parking Lot Litter Removal Business

Take a Fresh Look at Your Community

You've driven past or walked through your community hundreds of times. But now that you're building a business, you need to do it again. See your community through the lens of potential cleaning contracts. Look at all the commercial properties in your area: shopping plazas, office buildings, and warehouse sites. These are all potential contracts.

Build Your Contact List

Commercial real estate management companies are your best sources for business. They are contracted by property owners to manage their commercial properties. A management company typically has several properties in their portfolio. Create a database of contacts and keep track of when you reached out, what the response was, and when you plan to reach out again.

Price Your Service

An average parking lot litter removal billing falls within the range of $30-$50 per hour. It's amazing how many commercial properties with parking lots are all around you! Each one must be maintained litter-free on a regular basis. Your potential earnings are huge.

Step 3: Market Your Service

Practice Your Elevator Pitch

You should start getting comfortable with introducing yourself and your business to prospects. Chiefly, you want to focus on potential decision-makers. For this purpose, you need to create a short elevator pitch.

Develop a Sales Letter

A sales letter is a more formal introduction to your business. You can either mail your letter via snail mail or email it to potential leads. You may want to try out a few different versions until you find one that consistently resonates with your prospective clients.

Prepare for Objections

Objections are an inevitable part of the sales process. However, you should never take them as a door slamming closed in your face. The key is to understand why the customer is objecting. Then prepare responses for the most common objections.

Build Your Clientele

Word of mouth and referrals are a great way to build your clientele. When those avenues seem to be tapped out it's time to consider promoting your business in more creative ways. Brian Winch, an entrepreneur with a successful parking lot litter removal service, mentors others who look to build this type of business.

Step 4: Enjoy the Benefits of Owning a Parking Lot Litter Removal Business

Parking Lot Litter Removal Is a Low-Risk Venture

This business can be started up with very little investment. In fact, if all you have are ambition and an entrepreneurial spirit, you can launch a successful parking lot litter removal service. Not ready to jump into the deep end? Start the business as a side hustle and keep your nine-to-five job until you feel secure enough to go at it full force.

It's Great for the Environment and for Your Health

Take pride in performing a green service that makes a positive impact on your local environment. You will also be guaranteed to walk a few miles a day. So wear your personal fitness tracker and see how many steps you take!

You Need No Special Skills or Education to Start a Parking Lot Litter Removal Business

Turning trash into cash is almost as easy as going for a walk in the park.

Ready to Get Started with Your Parking Lot Litter Removal Business?

For additional resources on launching and maintaining a successful parking lot litter removal business, check out this guide to America's simplest business.

Also, for more great business ideas, be sure to browse our blog.

The post How to Start a Parking Lot Litter Removal Business appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:50:11 +0000 Carrol Strain
Royalty Free Photo

Workers' compensation law is a difficult legal area. Many business owners know to tread carefully when it comes to this area, due to the severe implications it can have on their companies.

There's nothing inherently scary about workers' compensation by default, though. As long as you're a responsible employer who cares about providing adequate working conditions to your employees, you should not have much to worry about. However, it's still important to know how the law works. Ideally, you'll have the help of an attorney specializing in workers' compensation. This will help you ensure that you're covered on all legal fronts.


Workers' Compensation Insurance Is Mandatory in Most States

There's a strange misconception going around in some circles that workers' compensation is voluntary. That's far from the case in pretty much every state. Therefore, you can forget about any schemes you might have in your head to get out of your responsibility for paying into this fund.

The most extreme differences from state to state involve the exact conditions for being compensated. For example, there are differences in who exactly is eligible. There are also differences in what kinds of injuries are covered, how much proof is required, and so on. This is something you should definitely use the help of a competent attorney in navigating though. This is because the potential consequences for getting it wrong can be severe.

An Employee Can Still Sue You Additionally

Even though workers' compensation usually precludes a separate lawsuit by the employee, that's not a universal rule. There may be some exceptions allowing a worker to go after the company separately after the workers' compensation procedures have been concluded. Also, sometimes these cases even take place parallel to that.

Also, it's important to stay vigilant and know what to expect in this regard, because this can sometimes take you by surprise. This could throw a wrench in the works, just when you thought you had the incident behind you.

Not Everything Falls Under Workers' Compensation

You should also be aware of what exactly is eligible for these cases in the first place. Not every injury is equal, and some may not be eligible for any compensation at all. This is especially true for incidents that the employee himself or herself clearly caused under unusual circumstances, such as operating heavy machinery intoxicated.

In short, some circumstances will absolve you of any responsibility you might have in the case. But once again, this is something that you need to consult a professional attorney for. By all means, you should not try to approach it in a DIY manner.

Workers’ Compensation Is a Challenging Area of the Law

The challenge of dealing with this area of the law will only grow bigger as your company itself continues to expand. Therefore, it's important to always stay on top of these issues. This is because, over time, the potential for affecting your business is going to get bigger and bigger.

What’s more, there are some specific cases that can completely drag you under if you're not careful. So if you don't want to find yourself dealing with a situation like that, make sure you're protected adequately right from the start.

The post Workers' Compensation: What You Should Know 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

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: © 2002-2011 Peter Thoeny, Twiki, Inc.
© 2005-2007 Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: 2011-07-17
Change History:  
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
TWiki:Plugins/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

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Topic revision: r5 - 2011-07-17 - 22:41:43 - TWikiContributor
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