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.


  • RSS (Rich Site Summary) is an XML standard used to publish frequently updated works such as blog entries, news headlines and audio.
  • Atom is an XML syndication format used for web feeds.
  • Syndic8.com at 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:

HeadlinesPlugin ERROR: 501 Protocol scheme 'https' is not supported (LWP::Protocol::https not installed)

Business Opportunities Weblog


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

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

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 10:30:37 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 10:16:14 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Image Credit: Tumisu on Pixabay

Sometimes in life, things just don’t work out the way we plan. Perhaps you had to close the doors on your business. Maybe health problems led you into more debt than you can possibly repay. If you’re a resident of the UK, you might be looking for an insolvency practitioner, and you might be having to consider the option of an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, or IVA.

If you find yourself in similar trouble in the US, search for consumer credit counseling services. These agencies can help you to obtain some relief from overwhelming debt.

In this article we take a close look at what you should look for in an insolvency practitioner. Additionally, we take a look at some of the commonly asked questions you'll most likely have along the way.


Do You Feel Comfortable with Your Insolvency Practitioner?

First and foremost, you should feel completely comfortable with your chosen insolvency advisor. What’s more, you should also feel good about the firm they work for. After all, you'll be discussing some personal information with them. Therefore, it's imperative that you feel at ease. You need to be confident that you'll have a good working relationship going forward.

Remember, an IVA will typically last for a period of five years. Therefore, it's important that you're both fully committed to getting the best results. As a matter of fact, both you and your insolvency practitioner need to be confident that you can work together during the entire time.

Furthermore, once approved, you won't be able to change your advisor throughout the duration of your IVA. Therefore, ask as many questions as you feel necessary before signing on the dotted line and committing yourself.

Do They Charge Upfront Fees?

Never be tempted to work with any firm that asks for upfront fees. Most practitioners will allow you to spread their charges over the duration of your IVA. Such an arrangement should ultimately make the arrangement much more affordable for you. What's more, if you pay fees upfront and 75% of your creditors refuse to accept your IVA proposal, you could lose your deposit.

What Are Your Options?

Make sure that your insolvency advisor is absolutely clear with you about what you should expect from your IVA (both good and bad!). He or she should also talk you through any other options which might be available. Keep in mind that your choices may change, depending on your personal circumstances. If they only recommend an IVA without discussing other avenues, you might want to look elsewhere. After all, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement isn't a suitable option for everyone.

Don't Agree to Something That Won't Work for You

Once you've discussed your financial position with your insolvency advisor, he or she will start to work on your proposal for submission to your creditors. However, your advisor will pass it on to you for approval first.

It’s important to remember never to be tempted to agree to something which you don't feel is realistic. That’s because, once approved, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement is a legally binding agreement. This means you'll have to maintain the 60 monthly payments going forward.

If you don't think this is going to be achievable (for whatever reason) then honesty's the best policy. Never sign up for something which you don't think will work. If your IVA fails there can be serious implications. This can include the prospect of your creditors applying to make you bankrupt.

Trust Your Instincts

Always go with your gut feeling when it comes to choosing the right firm and the right insolvency advisor to work with. If there's anything you're not quite sure about, don't be afraid to ask. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

The post Overwhelmed with Debt? What to Look for in an Insolvency Practitioner appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Thu, 14 Feb 2019 05:36:31 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

Stock market investing can be a prudent financial decision. However, you must educate yourself first. Also, you’ll need to manage your funds wisely.

Moreover, like an old English proverb says, ''A fool and his money are soon parted.''

Unfortunately, too many people are tempted to throw caution to the winds. They think they can get rich overnight in the stock market, but this is seldom the case.


Experts generally recommend that you consult either a broker or an investment adviser. However, it is possible to work out an effective investment strategy on your own. Do this by conducting the appropriate research.

stock market investing 300w, stock-market-600x322.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 612px) 100vw, 612px" />
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Take Some Advice from the SEC

For instance, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has detailed some important steps. Follow their advice, as it can help you to define and meet your financial goals. Here's the gist of their Roadmap to Saving and Investing:

Define Your Goals

Determine an acceptable time frame for meeting specific goals. Do this by calculating what you'll need to save each year.

Evaluate Your Finances

Create a personal net worth statement. That is, look at what you own alongside what you owe. Next, determine whether you have a positive or negative net worth. In other words, subtract your liabilities from your assets.

Start Tracking Your Income and Expenses

Tracking your income and expenses will tell you how much of your income you have available to invest.

Take Advantage of Compound Interest

Leveraging even small amounts of money in savings can lead to big returns because of compound interest. In short, avoiding impulse purchases could be your key to financial success.

Eliminate High-Interest Debt

Experts encourage consumers to pay off credit cards before doing any stock market investing.

Put Money in Savings

Even though your money will earn a low interest rate, it's typically safer to put it in savings accounts, checking accounts, and certificates of deposit. That way, your money will be insured.

Assess the Risks

You always assume some degree of risk with stock market investing. It’s true that returns on successful investments can be greater than many other options. However, in some cases, it's possible to lose the entire amount that you've invested.

Understand Your Risk Tolerance

If you want your money to grow faster, you might have to  consider riskier investment products.

Know Your Investment Options

There is a variety of products for consumers to consider for stock market investing. For example, you could invest in stocks or mutual funds. There are also corporate and municipal bonds, annuities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), money market funds, and U.S. Treasury securities.

Know the Types of Stocks and Their Costs

According to Nasdaq, there are two different types of stocks when it comes to stock market investing. That is, there are full-service stocks and discount stocks.

Investors with a higher net worth typically partner with full-service brokers. These brokers provide them with stock recommendations, guidance, and so on.

However, if you want to stay in charge of all of your investment decisions, then seek out a discount broker. That’s because discount brokers charge significantly lower fees than full-service brokers do.

What Fees Can You Expect?

There are two main fees that investors incur in with stock market investing. The first comes in the form of commissions every time you purchase and trade stocks. These fees can range from $10 to $30 per transaction through discount brokers.

Additionally, there are mutual fund fees. These are the fees that you’ll incur when you invest in mutual funds.

Remember, the best way to manage risk is by investing in a range of assets. This is also known as diversification. For example, a well-diversified portfolio will often incorporate mutual funds that include a large number of stocks and other investments.

Should You Invest in Products or in Stocks?

A concept that some people struggle with is whether they will earn more from investing in a stock or in a product.

To answer this question, a group of consumers conducted in-depth research on 35 different companies. They sought to determine how much they would have made if they had invested in a company’s stock instead of buying that company’s product or service.

Apart from a few exceptions, these investors concluded that an investor would make a profit if they invested in a company instead of purchasing that company’s product. The key takeaway was that the changes in a company's stock value can dramatically alter an initial investment.

Educate Yourself Before You Begin Stock Market Investing

Finally, it pays to do your homework and educate yourself before you begin investing in the stock market. Follow the suggestions here and you’ll be sure to have greater success with your own stock market investing.

The post Stock Market Investing: The Best Ways to Educate Yourself appeared first on Business Opportunities.

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: © 2002-2012 Peter Thoeny, TWiki.org
© 2005-2007 Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: 2012-09-05
Change History:  
2012-09-05: TWikibug:Item6837: Doc fixes
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: r6 - 2012-09-05 - TWikiContributor
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