r2 - 2009-08-29 - 21:55:14 - TWikiContributorYou are here: TWiki >  TWiki Web  > HeadlinesPlugin

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/ ) 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:

HeadlinesPlugin ERROR: 501 Protocol scheme 'https' is not supported (Crypt::SSLeay or IO::Socket::SSL not installed)

Business Opportunities Weblog


%HEADLINES{ "http://www.business-opportunities.biz/feed" limit="2" }%

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

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 06:05:08 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:36:22 +0000 Bizop Team

Marketing on a Small Budget
A major overhead of most many businesses are the costs of marketing and promotion.

These expenses can cover a wide range of different services from branding and web design to content and social media.

Sometimes a marketing budget won’t stretch to cover everything, and in many cases trying to do everything with limited funds means you aren't using your budget effectively.

Marketing agency every1 explains how a business can make effective use of a smaller marketing budget.


Maximizing Effectiveness


The key to using a small budget properly is identifying the areas where it absolutely has to be used.


Begin by performing an audit of your current marketing plan. Identify all the areas where you promote your business and assess how much you spend in each area. Evaluate how effective each program is working for you now.

From there you can see where the strengths to your marketing plan are. Maybe you are producing fantastic content but your website has a range of issues that prevent it from ranking?

Maybe the brand you are trying to promote isn't effectively telling potential customers what it is you actually do.


Initially you should look to solve any of the major problems in place that run the risk of hamstringing your marketing efforts.


Then, focus your budget into the areas you can do well and are the most cost effective. This could be your content, or it could be that your business sees most of its leads and traffic coming from PPC. Whatever it is, focus on it.


Focussing your efforts on already successful areas can help them to grow and maximise their effectiveness – as opposed to spreading your budget too thin in the name of trying to do everything.


Reassess, Refine


You can’t just set it and forget it. The key to continuing to make a smaller budget work for your business is to constantly reassess your marketing. Keep looking for things that are working and work them harder. Also look for any problems that can be fixed and fix them.


Look at what you've done from month to month, what worked, what didn't? Use this as a guide to refining your marketing efforts.


This might mean focussing more on a specific topic with content, either to promote a specific service or to maximise on current trending topics.


You might need to divert your social efforts into a particular platform, either to build upon existing success or because you are noticing an increase in the amount of tractions your posts are getting.


Diverting effort into areas that are working can help you to capitalise on momentum and build on previous successes. Refining your strategy based on trackable metrics such as engagement, conversions or even leads generated by a particular marketing piece can help you to decide where and how to spend a marketing budget.


The key with a small budget is to understand that most elements of online marketing will see results over time as opposed to instantly. Which is why periodic reviews are crucial.


A small budget doesn't mean that your marketing will be ineffective. It just means that it needs to be more focused and guided more closely with a constant focus on strategy. Be flexible and prepared to adapt and adjust to improving successful campaigns and fixing emerging issues. Never stop refining your marketing approach in order to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign.




Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:14:58 +0000 Bizop Team

Storage Ideas for Space-Starved Startups


Business storage; the how, the where and the when. It is the key to efficient selling and stock control. The bigger the space, the more complicated it gets to keep track of everything. Regardless of your stock level during the startup phase, putting methods and systems into place early can most certainly help you be organized and efficient into the future. Here are a few ideas for you:


Cloud Based/Online Storage 

The smartest start-ups get their cloud storage organized as one of their first jobs, and as a matter of priority. For security and peace of mind, as well as streamlining business operations, cloud storage is a smart business investment. Your business is going to need things and the more cloud based software and storage you have the better. Here are a few reasons why?

  • Computers can crash
  • Devices get misplaced
  • You need access to files on the go
  • You need to share files with colleagues or co-workers
  • You need to collaborate with colleagues in real-time
  • Some multimedia files are too big to email
  • You need reliable data backup
  • You need effective project management for efficient teamwork
  • You need to simplify banking and accounting


Cloud based software and storage solutions is the answer. There are many business solutions available to start-ups regardless of their budget or IT knowledge.Thinking ahead is key to arranging the best fit cloud storage solution for your future business needs. Because you can't predict everything your business will need in the future, look for a solution that offers scalability.

Examples include Microsoft Office 365, which you can join as a personal user and move up to an Enterprise level subscriptions as your business expansion warrants it. Alternatively, file share system like Dropbox offer both free personal user accounts and subscription business accounts as you grow and scale.

Every start-up will have different needs, so get familiar with the software before you make your choice. This will save you unnecessary complication and the expense of having to change providers in the future.

Check into their customer support also. Are they easy to get a hold of? Do they answer your questions promptly? Do they offer live chat for immediate help? These are other very important considerations if you anticipate having a lot of questions as you grow and scale.


Physical Storage Space 

Many businesses today begin at home in an office area or garage. While this is a great idea in the beginning, as your business grows you might feel the need to take on employees, and more stock and can quickly outgrow your home space. When this happens, a more professional space will be the answer.

It is pretty hard to skimp and save on office space, professional fees, insurance and staffing expenses. However, one area you might be able to save money is on physical storage for your stock.

Your business might require additional space for many reasons. Everything from needing to store seasonal inventory to being able to take advantage of overstock purchasing opportunities. Whatever the case, not having the space can lead to lost opportunities for your business.

One solution that can be temporary and easily scalable is self storage units. These units can be used for both storage and for operations like packing and dispatching. Often times you can tailor your rented space size to your startup needs. Cost advantages include low rentals and short term contracts. You're not locked into long term arrangements, and avoid utility and VAT expenses. Many soft storage companies welcome business owners.


Organizing Storage for Peak Efficiency

Wherever stock is kept, it needs to be organized in an accessible way.

Knowing your inventory is key to stock organization. Make sure you know:

  • How quickly items move.
  • Which items take the longest to sell.
  • How varied your stock is.
  • How it changes from season to season.
  • Which items/colours/sizes are most popular.


Having the answers will help you organize your shelving:

  • Place the fastest sellers between shoulder and waist height.
  • Order items by category, color, or size.
  • Use transparent tubs in place of cardboard boxes so you know what you have
  • Label everything upon receipt, especially stock in a new line or range.


Make stock taking easier by performing stock counts every month instead of having a massive stock take at the end of the year. Maintain a physical running tally on the outside of boxes or containers as well as religiously updating computer records.

There are a hundred and one things to consider during startup, with stock storage and it's care and organization being one of the most important. Take the time now to set up your systems in the right way and as you grow, you will be very glad you did.

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: v2.3 - 29 Aug 2009
Change History:  
29 Aug 2009: 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: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin
Feedback: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginDev
Appraisal: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginAppraisal

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 29 Aug 2009

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