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:

Mon, 04 May 2015 16:10:00 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Mon, 04 May 2015 16:10:00 +0000 Erin Eagan

While running your own business is a dream come true, it isn't without its challenges, as you well know. Sacrifices are made, including time away from family and friends, and there is no shortage of stress.

A survey from Constant Contact released in conjunction with National Small Business Week reveals just how considerable the sacrifices are for small business owners just like you:

  • 56 percent say they feel like they can never be away from their business
  • 51 percent say they don't have time to focus on themselves
  • 43 percent say they don't take vacations
  • 41 percent say their money is tied up in their business

As you well know, the concerns of small business owners are many. According to the survey, the top stressors are:

  • Finding new customers (66 percent)
  • Having enough time to do everything that needs to be done (65 percent)
  • Retaining existing customers (40 percent)
  • Paying bills (32 percent)
  • Keeping up with technology (30 percent)

Despite the negatives, small business owners find the rewards outweigh the sacrifices made. Here are the top reasons given:

  • Ability to pursue my passion (62 percent)
  • Freedom to control my professional life (59 percent)
  • Flexibility (50 percent)
  • I don't want to work for anyone else (41 percent)

And perhaps maybe the most important statistic of all:

  • 84 percent say if they had it to do all over again, they would still choose to run a small business

Does any of this sound familiar? How would your answers compare?

Click here for complete survey results.

Mon, 04 May 2015 13:34:08 +0000 Erin Eagan

Whether you're a franchise owner or a startup founder, you're eventually going to find yourself involved in the interviewing process. Interviewing job seekers isn't something that comes naturally to most people, and it will take some time for you to develop the right techniques for learning as much about potential candidates as possible.


That said, there are some questions that you can put in your quiver, which will help you quite a bit when you begin to interview candidates. To get you started off on the right foot, we're going to share some great interview questions that you can use in your hiring process.

The Normal Questions

In your professional life, you've probably been on more than a few job interviews. Because of that, you probably already know many of the standard questions that you should be asking. That said, there are some ''normal'' interview questions that you may not have encountered yet. Let's take a look at some good ones:

  • Who is the best boss you've ever had and why?
    • Asking this question will give you insight into what values the candidate has as an employee. Are those values a match?
  • What would your last boss say is your greatest weakness?
    • You likely already know to ask a question like this during the interview, but asking the candidate to consider the question through the eyes of his or her previous boss encourages honesty.
  • If you could start over, what would you do differently?
    • By asking this question, you learn a number of things. You learn about the candidate's critical thinking skills, and you gain better insight into the candidate's goals and ambition.


The Off-the-Wall Questions

Without a doubt, there are a number of normal interview questions that you'll want to ask. Sometimes, however, interviewing is about knocking a job seeker off balance. Doing this allows you to get a better feel for candidates, as they're more likely to be honest when they're out of their comfort zone. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What's the best joke you've ever heard?
    • This is a question that really encourages a candidate to be his or herself. Does the candidate have a joke? Is it appropriate? Does the candidate tell it well?
  • Where do you like to eat?
    • Asking this question can help you to gauge whether or not a candidate will be a good fit for the company culture.
  • If you had your own business, what would it be?
    • The candidate who's just going to tell you what you want to hear will describe your business. The candidate who is being honest will describe something else.

What Are Your Goals?

The ultimate goal of interviewing is to match a potential candidate to the goals of your business. Therefore, when you begin the hiring process, make sure that you and whoever else will be participating in the interview process is clear on what those goals are. This will enable you to steer the interview in the directions that it needs to go in so that you can understand whether or not any given candidate will assist in achieving your business' goals.

Sat, 02 May 2015 14:25:57 +0000 Erin Eagan

A rapidly growing international swim school franchise is trying to change the way parents think about infant and toddler swim lessons.

British Swim School has pioneered a non-traditional infant water safety program to help prevent these tragic deaths with a two-step curriculum that teaches children of all ages water safety and survival skills first, swimming skill development second.

Research has shown that participation in formal swim programs such as British Swim School can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children who are most at risk for deaths caused by drowning.

To further accomplish its mission, British Swim School has developed a franchise opportunity that is rapidly expanding throughout the country. Based in Coral Springs, Fla., British Swim School uses a revolutionary water survival program that is gentle and fun to teach children three months old and older the most important water survival skill, the ability to float on their back.

For more information about franchise opportunities, visit the British Swim School website.

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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