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, 18 Oct 2018 02:26:31 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Thu, 18 Oct 2018 02:26:31 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

The growth of ecommerce has made retail business highly competitive. For example, in 2018, ecommerce shares made up 11.9% of the total retail market. What’s more, ecommerce is not showing any signs of slowing down. As a matter of fact, experts say it will hold an 18% share of the retail market by 2021. Therefore, never has there been a better time to start an ecommerce store. And if you already own one, there’s never been a better time to improve it.

Today, ecommerce store owners have multiple tools at their disposal. What’s more, these tools are better than ever, and these days you don't need to break the bank to start an ecommerce store. Today we share some tips that will help you to improve your ecommerce store’s efficiency.




1. Streamline Order Fulfillment

In ecommerce, it is extremely important to have a shipping partner that brings a real solution to your business. Therefore, find a business courier that takes the pain out of shipping and makes the process a breeze.

Often people consider price to be the main factor that defines which courier company they should use. This is a mistake. However, while price is something you’ll need to keep in mind, there are other important factors to consider as well. For example:

  • Scalability

Do you have to manually place your own shipping orders? If so, are you able to send out one, five, or even 50 parcels a day easily?

  • Convenience

Do you have to physically go to the post office to send a product, or will a carrier pick up your parcels from your place of business?

  • Flat-Rate Prices

Are shipping costs complicated and confusing?

  • Management

Do you have a platform where you can manage all your orders in one place?

  • Ecommerce Integrations

Can you easily integrate shipping with your ecommerce store?

  • International Shipping

Can you ship overseas?

  • Perks

Are you getting frequent flyer points every time you send? Even further are you helping the environment by using carbon neutral delivery?

Think about what your current shipping service offers you. Are they helping you grow? Your shipping company needs to make your life easier, not give you another headache. There are currently lots of services that offer competitive pricing. The question is, what else do they offer?


2. Improve Your Customer Service

Competitors can sell the same products you do. However, they will never be able to copy your customer service.

It’s true that sometimes things can go wrong. However, instead of thinking of slip-ups as disadvantages, consider them opportunities to build relationships with your customers. Having great customer service makes the difference between losing a customer or creating a loyal one.

But when you lack face-to-face communication, how can you possibly improve customer service? There are a few ways to set yourself apart from the rest. It all relies on prompt communication and quick solutions. You’ll find that a 24/7 chatbot or a phone service such as Bold360 make the difference between cart abandonment and a loyal customer. Therefore, offer support for before, during, and after the sale. How you handle each interaction will either improve customer satisfaction with your product and brand-or not.


3. Always Optimize

You might think that your ecommerce store is already operating at its best. However, there is always room for improvement.

For example, you might find that you can improve the placement of your cart, the color of your background, or how well visitors can navigate your site. By testing different variables you'll be able to see which features work best to create responsive consumers.

Start by testing one variable at a time. Using simple A/B testing, choose a single metric such as conversions or click-through rates. Your tests should help you to determine the best variable for your site.

Later, you can use multivariate testing. This will help you to determine what site layout or color scheme provides the most conversions for your business. There are some platforms you can use for these tests. These include Google Optimize and Adobe.


4. Understand SEO

In simple terms, search engine optimization, or SEO, helps businesses increase their website visibility and traffic on search engines such as Google or Bing. Basically, you want to put your best foot forward and choose the most relevant search phrases as keywords for your business. Then the search engines will begin to rank your website higher in their results pages. When this happens, your customers will be able to find your website more easily.

To improve the SEO of your ecommerce store, learn all you can about the tactics you can use to improve the usability, experience, and content of your website.


5. Start a Blog

Blogging has multiple benefits for your ecommerce store. For one thing, blogging allows you to share valuable information with your customers. For another, you can educate them about your product or service.

Create content that users find valuable. When you do, they will begin to share your content with friends and family by way of social media. This process will help you to build brand authority as a go-to source. And it will also reach potential new customers. What’s more, it will give your website more backlinks and therefore boost your rankings in the search engines.


Watch as Sales Rise in Your Ecommerce Store

Use these tips to improve the efficiency of your ecommerce store. Then watch as your sales begin to soar.

The post 5 Tips for Improving the Efficiency of Your Ecommerce Store appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Thu, 18 Oct 2018 02:19:16 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by icon0.com from Pexels

With all of the uncertainties of life, particularly in the turbulent financial markets, it is essential for business owners to have life insurance. However, choosing the right life insurance plan is every bit as important as having one in the first place.

The life insurance plan you choose establishes the level of support that you would receive in case your health declines. However, it can also be the wild card you might need for your financial map. What’s more, there are other benefits to having the right life insurance plan. However, the most important benefit of a life insurance plan gives is the financial support that your family would receive in the event of your untimely demise.




Make your choice of a life insurance plan after assessing your current and anticipated income. In other words, choose your life insurance plan on the basis of your medical state, your financial portfolio, and your age. Moreover, be mindful of your ability to pay the premiums now and in future. Further, consider the following factors when choosing life insurance:


Cost-Benefit Ratio

The cost of a life insurance plan can vary due to many factors. These include what is covered under the policy and what's not. Therefore, make sure that every bit of the cost you pay is justified by the benefits you will receive under the policy. In simple words, it is important to strike the right balance between the benefits and the cost of a life insurance plan.



Moreover, ensure that your life insurance plan covers all your dependents. Also, ensure that your policy provides coverage against major health-related issues.

Additionally, when you’re choosing a life insurance plan, it is important to understand the various types of life insurance plans that available. You’ll want to choose the plan that best suits your needs. For example, would you you prefer to buy a pure life insurance plan or one that comes with investment benefits?

The four most important types of life insurance plans are as follows:

Term Life Insurance Plans

Term plans or term assurance plans are life insurance plans that provide life coverage for a specified period of time.

Endowment Plans

An endowment plan is another kind of life insurance plan that ensures a payout in the form of a lump sum post maturity or in the event of the policyholder's death, whichever happens earlier.

Unit-Linked Insurance Plans

This type of life insurance plan provides for coverage wherein the value of the policy varies from time to time based on the value of the plan’s principal assets at that point in time.

Money-Back Plans

Unlike a usual endowment insurance policy, in which the survival benefit is payable after the endowment period is over, a money-back policy offers cyclic payment of the survival benefit in parts throughout the policy term.


Comparing the Types of Plans

When comparing between these plans it is important that you keep in mind the factors we discussed earlier.

Moreover, you’ll need to recognize the financial needs of your dependents. This will allow you to ascertain the level of life insurance coverage that you need. The basic rule is to opt for a plan that provides for at least ten times your income. However, the amount might vary based on how you intend to use that sum.

Basically, you need to settle on an amount that you want your dependents to receive in the event of your death. Your premiums will be determined from that amount. Therefore, compare various life insurance plans and make your choice among them accordingly.

The post How to Choose the Life Insurance Plan That’s Right for You 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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