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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:

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:19:19 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:16:04 +0000 Dane Carlson








And Finally

Business Ideas in the News (BIN) is a daily summary of the most interesting business ideas in the news.

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 23:37:41 +0000 Dane Carlson

While not all of these ideas will make you a million, people have paid the mortgage with most of them!

  1. AV Expertise: sell your audio/visual production services
  2. Admin: perform network administration services remotely
  3. Affiliate Marketing: sign up free with networks like Commission Junction, LinkShare and Shareasale
  4. Apps: create and monetize a mobile phone app
  5. Are You Musical?: record a song then sell downloads online
  6. Be a Promoter: sell your social networking abilities for a fee
  7. Be a Reviewer: sites will pay for reviews with cash or goods
  8. Be an Editor: sell proofreading or editing services on the web
  9. Be the Middleman: if you've got the inroads, connect buyers to sellers (think linkedin.com)
  10. Become a Critic: review a local field on a personal blog and trade the advertising for things like free meals or movie tickets
  11. Become a Tester: review things like games, websites and software
  12. Become an Expert: be the best in some online field then charge for appearances or instructional lessons
  13. Blog Commenting: be a paid contributor
  14. Blog for Fun: blog daily about something you love to build a valuable audience
  15. Blogging: monetize by putting up ads that are relevant to your content
  16. Build Niche Websites: sell them on Sitepoint Marketplace
  17. Build a Database: fill it with useful info and sell it at odditysoftware.com
  18. Build a Twitter Network: then sell your tweets to marketers
  19. Crafting: sell your homemade goods online at sites like Etsy
  20. Craigslist: great place to offer a service for a fee (think driving, painting, etc.)
  21. Create AdSense Sites: any website can bring in nominal ad revenue
  22. Create Link Bait: design Infographics or Top 10 Lists then offer them to relevant businesses
  23. Create Videos: offer to create videos for weddings, retirements and corporate functions
  24. Create a Design Template: sell it at sitepoint.com or digitalpoint.com
  25. Create a Membership Site: charge for your content or services
  26. Create a Recurring Podcast: put it for sale on iTunes
  27. Create a Viral Video: promote it on TubeMogul.com
  28. Create a Web Tool: like a plugin or WordPress theme
  29. Customer Support: perform job duties online from home
  30. Data Entry: work from the keyboard at home and earn cash
  31. Develop Software: if you find it useful, someone else will, too (and they'll pay!)
  32. Directory Sites: set up a local business directory online
  33. Ecommerce: sell your product on eBay or your very own website
  34. Email Handling: find someone to pay you to sort and respond to emails
  35. Email List Marketing: sell your product to the contacts you buy
  36. eMagazine: start a monthly web publication and eventually charge for membership
  37. Fiverr.com: sell any service for $5
  38. Focus Groups: researchers are always looking for participants and usually pay
  39. Forums: charge to host or moderate online forums
  40. Get Creative: create and sell Twitter and MySpace backgrounds and ebook covers
  41. Get Design Savvy: sell your talent to t-shirt and promotional companies
  42. Get Online: if you've got a brick-and-mortar company, it's time to get rolling on an online component
  43. Good at Games?: build up a MMORPG account and sell or trade it
  44. Graphic Design: learn the basics and charge for service
  45. How-To Videos: educate people (think**: dog training, baking, make-up application) through videos you lace with paid ads
  46. Illustrate: sell your designs online or to production houses
  47. Install CMS: help people install things like WordPress
  48. Interviewing: know any interesting professionals? Conduct interviews and sell them
  49. Invest: research and trade stocks online day to day for quick returns
  50. Job Counseling: help searchers find jobs in a specific field
  51. Join Pay To Surf Programs: Yes, some companies pay you for this
  52. Journalism: write for a respected news magazine or paper online
  53. Jury Duty: become an online juror
  54. Life Coaching: it's a great service to sell online
  55. Link Broker: become a link dealer for SEO and webhosting companies to use
  56. Logo Design: create some logos and sell them at places like digitalpoint forums
  57. Love Social Networking?: sell your expertise to small companies
  58. Map Sites: Update map information regularly in exchange for credits that can be used as cash
  59. Media Monitoring: have companies pay you to monitor their online media mentions
  60. Move Websites: Offer to migrate website files or databases like websitemovers.com
  61. Multi-Level Marketing: build and SEO a site to garner MLM interest and signups
  62. Mystery Shopping: sign up, review, and get paid online
  63. Online Consulting: start a company and recruit clients
  64. Online Newsletter: offer to create, update and run a company's monthly newsletter
  65. Order Processing: businesses will pay you to perform these tasks
  66. PLR Articles: write Private Label Rights articles and resell them
  67. PayPal: ask friends or site visitors to donate to your account
  68. Personal Shopper: online shop for people for a fee
  69. Photo Editing: get good at Photoshop and sell your editing services to brides and photographers
  70. Photography: sell stock photos online at istockphoto.com
  71. PowerPoints: create professional PowerPoints for business and students
  72. Promotion: help build local business online for a fee
  73. Provide Research: do the legwork and fact-checking for people
  74. Recipes: love to cook? Sell your recipes to food websites
  75. Reward Programs: you can earn cash by shopping like usual
  76. SEO: use your personal or professional experience to charge for consulting
  77. Self-publish a Book: sell it on Amazon or to an eReader publisher
  78. Sell Domains: buy domains that will accrue value over time, sell at a premium later
  79. Sell Domains: offer to help manage the resale of unused websites for a commission
  80. Sell Keyword Research: learn Google Analytics and crunch some numbers
  81. Shop for Cash: utilize online promotions to score gift cards and cash discounts when you shop
  82. Site Audit: offer to perform a content and SEO audit of a website in need of updating
  83. Software Installation: offer help online for a small price
  84. Summarize: read books and watch movies then summarize for sites like SparkNotes.com
  85. Surveys: online survey houses pay in gift cards and cash for your time and input
  86. Swap: use networking or classified sites to barter and trade goods
  87. Sweepstakes: the law of averages says if you enter tons of online contents, you'll eventually win
  88. Take Good Lecture Notes: then sell them online to fellow students
  89. Tech Support: know a lot about computers? Offer 24/7 tech support for a fee
  90. Telemarketing: all you need is a phone and an Internet connection
  91. The Big Idea: sell a service through your niche website and take a percentage like SendUsOff.com
  92. Transcription: transcribe audio files for cash
  93. Translate: if you speak another language, translate documents online
  94. Travel: offer to be a paid online travel reviewer for sites like Frommer's or Lonely Planet
  95. Tutoring: teach others another language or skill online for a cost
  96. Use Amazon's Mechanical Turk: Get paid for doing HITs - Human Intelligence Tasks
  97. Virtual Assistant: web workers need people to do their grunt work
  98. Voiceovers: offer your voice online for the blind
  99. Wake-up Call: offer to email or call in reminders to people like a personal secretary 100.Writing: charge webmasters for your content (use Elance or oDesk) 101.YouTube: become a partner

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

Topic revision: r5 - 17 Jul 2011 - TWikiContributor
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