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 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:

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:35:47 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Thu, 08 Dec 2016 02:23:14 +0000 Laurie Bennett

3 Smart Startup Business Tips You Need to Know

The business landscape in this day and age resembles anything but a box. With the popular culture favoring novelties of any kind (see: Deconstructed coffee and rainbow bagels – by God!), you might have to break a few rules to win over a culture that feeds off of innovation. If you're looking to take your startup to the next level, follow these unconventional guidelines.

Tip 1: Promote on Unlikely Platforms

If you're a B2B company, social media would probably be the last option on your list of marketing strategies. It makes sense that most B2B companies would overlook the consumer-filled realm of social media, since their target audience is supposedly inactive on such informal platforms&hellip Right?

Not quite, actually. The companies you're reaching out to might not be active on social media per se, but what do you think their employees and executives are doing when they go on breaks or clock out? These people probably check their phones for Facebook and Instagram notifications, just like you. In short, your audience is on social media. They're just active on an individual level.

So, how can your B2B company capitalize on this? Get yourself on social media and build relationships with your clients through creative videos, giveaways, and sale promotions. Trail-blaze ideas that traditional B2B companies wouldn't even consider. Remember, we live in a society that rewards creative innovation. Those who are afraid of breaking the rules will be fencing themselves out from a valuable and personal marketing outlet.

Tip 2: Recreate What You Hate

While conducting research on your competitors, try to absorb both the good and the bad. Too many new companies try to emulate the good but quickly dispose of the bad. Your competitors' flaws aren't just there to boost your ego, they're key to your financial success. Pay the most attention to what you don't like about your competitors' platforms and then reinvent a better way to do it on yours. Soon, you will be set apart from your competitors for all the right reasons.

Tip 3: Cater to the Kids

Rumbling beneath the cheerful aria of popular culture are the groans of stubborn old-timers who will absolutely refuse to cater to millennials. Listen, technology is evolving at an exponential rate. We can either evolve with it or die. The companies that fall into the stubborn refusal to change will inevitably become obsolete.

The winning factors in this generation are always going to be novelty and convenience. If you choose to have one but not the other, then a fresher, more innovative startup will do what you refused to do. Even when you're tempted think that there couldn't possibly be a more convenient approach to handling your product, challenge yourself to think harder. Millennials or not, the entire developed world has experienced a complete paradigm shift in the way we receive information. Rather than condemning this new bias towards convenience, challenge yourself to rise to the occasion and cater to your customers in ways that other companies haughtily ignore.

Remember, you're not confined within the four walls of a box. Due to the age of the internet, the mass market is much more complex and challenging than it was just two decades ago. You're not dealing with a mere box. You're inside a dodecahedron, with 12 faces, 20 vertices, and more than just a hint of edge. If you push yourself to think outside of this contemporary frame, you will indeed conquer the startup market.

Nothing is off limits.

About the Author

bio-photo 768w, bio-photo-640x958.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 147px) 100vw, 147px" />

Anh is a Copywriter for the cloud call platform, Phonexa [www.phonexa.com]. She specializes in writing about SEO marketing strategies, business trends, and other up-and-coming topics in digital marketing and technology.

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 01:45:52 +0000 Bizop Team

With a digital presence becoming almost mandatory to succeed in modern day marketing, hiring a website designer to build out a digital representation can be the fastest way for you to hit the ground running with your new business.


Not all of us are the most creative in our industry – or even very creative at all for that matter. You also will have to think about how your website is going to look years down the line. Is it going to maintain the most modern common web practices? Probably not, if you design it yourself. New functionality is important to visitors as it shows that the website is reliable and modern. Even with a small vision of what you want your website to look like, the agency you hire can take that vision, enhance it, and bring something to life that you will be proud of.

Experience in multiple development areas

One of the main things that comes to mind when visiting a website is: Does it have a mobile site? Mobile responsiveness is very important to your design. Your users may be out & about, mention your website to a friend, and need to show it to them right there. Now, if your website doesn’t work, do you think you’re going to get new business? There’s a 50-50 chance that you lose one of them right there. Being skilled with software applications, plugins, code, and the latest in web practices isn’t something that can be picked up easily.

One thing that tends to happen with coders & designers is being stuck on a way to implement a new design feature. If you hit a roadblock, not only does your design stall, your business stalls because all of your focus will be on that. Consider bringing your design to someone who has experience in these matters and can put time into making sure your site gets new features all the time.


A website’s design has a flow, theme, and a proper structure. You have to put together a strategy to take your website into the final stages of its design. Normal progress is built out through several steps, which typically flow in this order: strategy, design, build, test, and launch. These 5 steps cover everything from research to testing out the features of the website live.


If you’re looking for a specific feature and cannot figure out how to create it without buying a plugin; this would be an example of why hiring a designer who handles this on a regular basis is a great idea. Instead of wasting your time trying to do it yourself or hiring just any designer, consider hiring a professional agency. Are you making a website to get your businesses name out there right? If so, don’t be afraid to start with a great agency. Discuss your ideas with them and the details and see what they can come up with for you. Most agencies offer a free consultation so don’t be afraid to ask.

While looking for an agency to build your website, keep in mind that experience and how the agency communicates with their clients will reflect upon how your website turns out.

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: © 2002-2010, Peter Thoeny, Twiki, Inc.; 2005-2007, Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: v2.6 - 2010-05-16
Change History:  
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: TWikiPlugins, AdminDocumentationCategory, TWikiPreferences

Topic revision: r1 - 2010-05-17 - TWikiContributor
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