Headlines Plugin


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/ ) is a good site listing 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
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


  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="3"}%

to get the latest postings on the "Business Opportunities" weblog:

Sat, 28 Nov 2015 16:17:03 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 16:17:03 +0000 Dane Carlson

When people decide that they want to start their own business and become their own boss, they do not always fully understand exactly what it takes to succeed. Let's look at some tips that will help you start your business the right way.

Find Something You Are Passionate About

If you are going to start a home-based business and choose a business opportunity based solely on the earning potential, you might find that you do not like it. You want to enjoy the work you are doing, or else it will still feel as though you are on the nine to five grind all the time. Consider the things that you love. Look at your hobbies and the things that you enjoy and consider how you might be able to turn those into a business. This way, you know that you love what you are doing, and it won't seem like work.

When you choose your type of business, do some added research to see whether you need to have any permits or licenses. Make sure that you are actually allowed to set up a business in your area as well. In some cases, an HOA might prohibit home businesses, for example. You need to know of any potential barriers before you get started.

It's Still a Business

Just because you might have a home-based job that allows you to work in your pajamas, it doesn't mean that you can treat it like it's a hobby. You still have to take care of your bookkeeping and finances, and make sure you pay your taxes on time. Track your time, finances and invoices, and make sure that you keep all of your business information up to date.

Create a schedule and stick to it. One of the problems that many who work from home make is spending too much time doing ''home'' things rather than working. This could be anything from housework to watching television, or taking time off in the middle of the day to meet friends for lunch. Treat it like a business and you will be more successful.

Set Limits

One of the hazards of starting a home-based business is that you are never away from work. This can make it all too easy to work far longer hours than you should. Hard work is great, but you still need to have a life outside of your job. In addition, make sure that everyone else at home, such as a spouse or the kids, realizes that you are working. This will ensure a much smoother flow to the day so you do not need to work longer hours.

Should You Jump in Full Time?

One of the mistakes that many who are interested in starting a home-based business make is to quit their current job and start working at home full time. While it might be tempting, it is difficult to start a business. Most people will want to build their business slowly and work on it part time until it gets to the point where it can cover as much financially as their current job.

A home-based business has a lot of potential and many benefits. Just make sure you start a business you love and that you run it the right way.

Fri, 27 Nov 2015 18:54:57 +0000 Erin Eagan

Mr. Handyman is a one-stop shop for your home maintenance and repair solutions. Their service technicians are highly skilled craftsmen who will get the job done right the first time and clean up when they've finished the job.

We recently spoke with Kevin Crysler, owner of Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel & NE PG, about what it takes to open a franchise. We learned why he doesn't recommend opening a franchise too quickly, what he would do differently if he had to do it all over, and most importantly, he shares with us the secrets to his success.

How long have you owned a franchise?

I've owned my Mr. Handyman franchise for five and a half years.

What were you doing before becoming a franchise owner?

Immediately prior to purchasing my franchise, I was Director of Development at the Smithsonian. Prior to that, I was Assistant Dean of the School of Education at Johns Hopkins.

Why did you choose your franchise?

I was attracted to Mr. Handyman's business model as it was proven. I decided to purchase a business that had already been open for five years because there are several other franchisees in this area who are successful.

What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your franchise?

Starting a business is like buying a house, getting married and starting a new job - on the same day. When I was first starting out, I was undercapitalized and had some early losses. I don't have a construction background, so this franchise concept was entirely new to me. Like any new job, I had a period of ''drinking from the fire hose.'' I was working long hours and barely able to pay myself a fair wage.

Where did you research or get advice about starting a franchise?

I first started researching franchises online and then attended a franchise expo in DC. I met several brokers along the way, and one knew of this resale happening near where I lived. I met with the owner, contacted the franchisor and then started talking to other Mr. Handyman franchisees in the region - both the successful ones and others who had gone out of business.

How much did you spend before your doors were officially opened?

The whole process took less than six months. From the time I first heard of Mr. Handyman until the day my doors were open was less than three months, but that's very fast, and I would not recommend that approach. One reason for the quick process was the fact that the business was already open and the seller was motivated due to declining health.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It sounds cliché, but there is no such thing as a typical day. On Monday morning at 7 a.m. we have our tech meeting where we review estimates. My priority for the rest of the day is writing up estimates and contacting those customers. The phone is busiest on Monday and we check messages from the weekend. There are also a lot of checks, time cards and receipts to process that the techs bring into the meeting.

Assuming we've caught up with all of that by Tuesday, I can move to financial data entry - update QuickBooks and prepare for my Wednesday meeting with my accountant. I tend to deal with other paperwork issues on Monday and Tuesday as well. I review my bank balance, bills and cash flow. On Wednesday at 11 a.m. I have a standing meeting with my accountant and in the afternoon, we have an office staff meeting.

All week I keep the agenda for the next Monday open on my computer and add items as they come up. I have a standing agenda template where all topics fit in. At the Wednesday office meeting, I review what I have for the techs and request additional input. I try to keep Thursday and Friday flexible. This gives me more time for marketing, outside meetings, visiting customers, networking etc. Every other Thursday I have a standing appointment with another franchise owner whom I mentor.

What is your secret to success?

My secret to success is actively participating in the franchise system, which allows me to seek out the advice of those who have been doing this longer and/or have achieved a higher level of success than I. Listening to others, bouncing ideas off of others, and taking advice from them has been critical to my success.

I am co-chair of the National Marketing Committee, participate in group we call the BLERB (a funny name for the top 10 percent of the system), attend Franchise Advisory Council meetings, attend President's conference calls and attend every national or regional meeting the system offers. Additionally, I have visited several other offices, and meet with the owners in this region every few months or so.

What would you do differently if you had to do it all over?

When I first started, I did not hire someone to place a value on the business I purchased, but instead went with ''rule of thumb'' estimates and the advice of small businesspeople, small business lenders, etc. I thought I knew more than I did, which is the danger of having an MBA. My words of wisdom would be not to be afraid to pay for professional advice before you invest. Free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.

Where do you see your business in five years?

In the next five years I plan to have a team in place so that I am able to semi-retire. It makes more financial sense to keep the business for several years beyond that. It's worth more as a cash-producing asset than it is in a straight sale. I will grow the business and hire the staff I need to allow myself to better enjoy the fruits of my labor.

What is one trend that really excites you?

I'll take the word ''excite'' literally, and not infer that you mean something that makes me happy. The ''gig'' economy is affecting our business. Major online players are getting into the home services space, except they bring no value - only their ability to market. They mean to attract customers to their websites, mobile apps and call centers and act as an intermediary for the army of independent contractors in the world. I believe that ultimately they will find that consistently delivering quality home services takes a more hands-on approach than, say, finding drivers to pick someone up at the airport, but there will be billions of dollars spent disrupting this business and it may well prove to be a bumpy ride.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

  1. Google: it's nice to live in an age where all the information in the world is at your fingertips. I don't believe I could have entered an entirely new field and been this successful in it 20 years ago - but now I can find information on materials we need, articles on how to do things (from business operations to a particular kind of installation).
  1. I guess I should include YouTube in that statement as well. Having access to videos that I can watch to better understand the process of what my techs do (so I can speak intelligently with customers and better manage my team).
  1. Additionally, my company has a team website that is enormously helpful.

Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?

I am a mentor and I have sought the advice of several more experienced owners. Over the years, I've learned from a lot of people, but they were in different fields than I am in now. My most profound mentee experience was under the tutelage of the artistic director of a theatre where I worked as an actor in my 20s.

What advice do you have for others looking to own a franchise?

Look at many different concepts. Imagine what it would be like to actually do that work every day. You won't succeed at it if you don't find the business interesting. Who will your employees be - are they people you will enjoy spending your days with? Who will your customers be? Are they people you understand? Like? Respect? And of course, look at the numbers. How long will it take you to be profitable? Do you have the resources necessary to make it ''over the hump?''

Would you recommend others be franchisees? Why?

Yes. Most new businesses fail, but a franchise with a proven business model mitigates that risk. No one can do everything, but a good franchisor can coach you through your weak spots, inform you about things you need to know that would have otherwise blindsided you, give you instant credibility in the marketplace and provide thousands of dollars worth of resources to you (websites, logos, marketing materials, operation manuals, logistical support, vendors that know your trade, etc.).

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

In my previous professional life, I dealt with exceptionally wealthy and successful people. On the one hand, I found it exciting to deal with Wall Street hedge fund managers, CEOs, folks whose family had started iconic businesses, major philanthropists and other ''movers and shakers.'' I had some memorable experiences dining in their homes and socializing with them in settings I might never have experienced if it weren't for my occupation (fundraising). But they were not my peers. Just under the surface was the understanding that I was 'staff.' I was the hired help.

Today I deal with men who work with their hands - a skill I greatly admire. They are down-to-earth people who take great pride in their workmanship and who continually amaze me with their skill, caring and craftsmanship. Additionally, my customers are my peers. They are family people with homes like mine - often dual-career households with kids who are busy beyond belief and looking for someone to make their life a little easier. A person who is trustworthy and capable.

I get a much greater sense of satisfaction helping people who are just like me than I ever got sipping champagne in a Park Avenue Penthouse with people whose lives were so very different from my own.

Where can people get more information on Mr. Handyman franchise opportunities?

Visit the website here.

Where can people find Mr. Handyman on social media?


Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:22:00 +0000 Dane Carlson

If you've ever locked yourself out of your car or house, you know the feeling - panic ensues. To make matters worse, maybe it's the middle of the night, you're in a remote location, or you only have an hour before an important work meeting. You need help and you need it fast.

Your first thought might be to call a local locksmith and try your luck, but there's a much better option. You need reliability. Call an established nationwide brand like 247Locksmith Services. Then, take a deep breath because help is on the way.

Did you know that in the US there are dozens and sometimes hundreds of people (in the big cities) who lock themselves out of their homes every day? It usually happens in the morning, when people go out to work, or in the evening, when they return home. Either way, this is a very unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous situation.

Do you think that this is an exaggeration? Here is another interesting fact: there is a home burglary happening approximately every 13 seconds in the US, and almost 30% of all home burglaries are committed through door or windows that were left unlocked. If we also consider the number of lost and stolen keys, you can easily see how a trivial case of losing or forgetting a house key can turn into a very negative experience, such as a break-in or a burglary.

That is why 247 Locksmith Services aims to prevent such unpleasant events. They know all too well the consequences of accidently losing a key or not rekeying a new apartment on time. Knowing these consequences, they take their job very seriously.

247Locksmith Services gives you the security of knowing no matter where you are or when you call, within 20 minutes, you'll have an experienced professional by your side. With a nationwide company like 247Locksmith Services at your disposal, locksmith experts are available in every metro area in the United States - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

With their nationwide presence, you never have to compromise on safety. 247Locksmith Services has a network of fully staffed mobile teams throughout the entire country with experienced professionals to get to you on time, every time.


You can count on them to go above and beyond any type of professional locksmith services they provide, including:

Car Locksmith

If you find yourself locked out of your car or need a key or transponder replacement, regardless of what type of car you drive, a professional car locksmith will get you where you need to go.

Residential Locksmith

Locked out of your house without a spare key? They rekey locks, provide all types of lock change services and provide the fastest house lockout services, on the spot.

Commercial Locksmith

Business owners everywhere understand the importance of keeping their property secure with the most up-to-date locks and security systems. 247Locksmith Services does hardware installations, repairs, new installations, replacements, implementing master key systems, access control systems, upgrades and more.

Emergency Locksmith

Emergencies can happen to anyone, at anytime. But there's no need to panic with247Locksmith Services offering around the clock rescue.


An established and reliable brand, 247Locksmith Services is staffed with licensed and bonded locksmiths who receive constant training to stay up to date on cutting-edge tools and technologies.They also provide a 90-day guarantee on any replacement parts they install, so everything will keep working properly in the long run.


When quality and on-time locksmith services matter, call 247Locksmith Services at (866) 655-9410. (Store the number in your phone now - you'll thank us later.)

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: © 2002-2009, Peter Thoeny, TWIKI.NET; 2005-2007, Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: v2.21 - 12 Feb 2009
Change History:  
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: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin
Feedback: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginDev
Appraisal: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginAppraisal

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 12 Jan 2009
-- TWiki:Main.MichaelDaum - 13 Sep 2007

Topic revision: r1 - 2009-02-13 - 03:55:45 - TWikiContributor
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