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.

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:

Business Opportunities Weblog


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

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

Sun, 02 Oct 2022 20:26:23 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Sun, 02 Oct 2022 20:26:21 +0000 Carrol Strain
Featured image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Although many small companies now use computers more often, their storage and backup strategy hasn’t kept up. This can be the result of a lack of understanding regarding the numerous storage possibilities. Or it could simply be business leaders’ failure to recognize that the outdated paradigm of the occasional batch backup is insufficient.

Meanwhile, businesses today produce more data than ever. In that context, IT services are now more important than ever to a small business’s success. Fortunately, hard disk drives and related storage technologies have never been more affordable per gigabyte. Moreover, the emergence of technologies such as cloud storage present even more opportunities to accomplish more with less.


This post highlights the most popular storage approaches and demonstrates how you can use them to create the ideal storage strategy for your small business.

Rely on Cloud and NAS Backup Solutions in Your Storage and Backup Plan

Recent years have seen a significant increase in cloud migration. More businesses than ever are turning to cloud providers for data storage. Whether a major company is trying to preserve data in the cloud or a small business is, cloud backup services have proven essential.

With cloud backups, you can rest easy knowing that you have stored all of your crucial corporate data off-site. Data is easily accessible in case of a disaster thanks to the added protection and redundancy provided by cloud backup services. But because some cloud backup services provide limitless capacity for unlimited users, they can be rather pricey.

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Image from Taylor Vick via Unsplash

However, you might still not be convinced about going all in on cloud backup services when it comes to delegating your storage and backup strategy. In this case, you can also utilize the so-called network-attached storage devices, or NAS cloud backup systems. These will provide you the ability to back up your data using a local area network. If you decide to go with a NAS cloud backup device, you will get double the protection. That is, all your docs and data will be backed up both in the cloud and locally.

Use Portable Hard Drives for Backup Data Storage

Many businesses’s backup procedures depend heavily on high-volume external hard drives, particularly when used in conjunction with archiving software. This kind of software reduces your critical data recovery time (RPO) to only a few minutes by enabling users to recover files from an external hard drive.

But a single hard disk won’t be sufficient when data quantities rise. What’s more, RPO climbs along with greater demands for your services. In these situations, IT professionals frequently rely on redundancy a more intricate data backup approach.

Carry out Manual Backups on Portable Media

Using portable data storage media such as USB sticks, DVDs, and Blu-Ray disks is one of the most common and straightforward ways to do manual backups. This approach accommodates the simplest processes. However, larger data volumes necessitate progressively larger drives. This makes the recovery procedure more challenging. Additionally, you must ensure to keep data backups in a secure place to prevent loss in the event of a disaster or on-site theft.

Identify and Protect Your Vital Information in Your Backup Plan

Any data backup plan should start by determining which data is most crucial for company continuity. Without this data, including contacts, papers, emails, images, calendars, and more, your business would be unable to run. Most firms store all of this important data in one or two shared files across all network devices. However, this strategy leaves data particularly exposed.

Store Backups of Your Data in a Remote Location

You should make sure that data backups are limited regardless of the kind of storage device or backup solution you employ. Make sure to maintain them in a separate or distant spot that is inaccessible to all but the most trusted personnel. One of the reasons for this is that malware may frequently move quickly to storage that is connected physically or over a local network.

Employ Online Storage

With the bulk of email servers and several websites now utilizing the cloud, cloud services are being utilized more and more frequently every year for online backup. This eliminates the need for purchasing expensive gear. Meanwhile, it retains your backup storage in a separate, off-site place that is simple to access.

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Image by Siyuan Hu via Unsplash

Businesses can often store a modest number of off-site backups in the cloud for free. Then, when a small organization needs premium services with bigger storage capacity, they can obtain it at a reasonable cost.

Think About Using Service Providers

The industry is currently quite developed, and the majority of cloud providers provide reliable affordable solutions. It is usually best to work with IT experts to put up an unfailing data backup strategy. Navigating bundles and packages without their assistance may result in your business having to pay more in the long run.

Establish a Recurring Backup Schedule

Last but not least, you must develop an incremental backup process to guarantee that any data you need to restore is current. Data backup solutions that can be automated are a good option. This is because manual backups may be time-consuming and offer too many possibilities for human mistakes. Backup automation saves you time. Moreover, it works while ensuring that you always have the latest copies of your data.


Final Thoughts

When you’ve finished defining your strategy, the next step is to put it into action. Next, regularly monitor how well it’s performing. A large number of businesses have gotten themselves into a bind because they wrongly believed their approach was successful. As a consequence, they have lost insurmountable quantities of data.


The post Develop a Storage and Backup Strategy for Your Small Business appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Sun, 02 Oct 2022 16:22:35 +0000 Carrol Strain
Featured image by Maurotoro

Suppose you own a grocery or corner store. In that case, you play a significant role in helping your community. Nonetheless, competing with big box stores is becoming an ever-greater challenge. If you’re looking for ways to save money and improve your firm's performance, consider these tips.


Whether you own a new business or a small business of long standing, managing the overhead costs, employee training, and customer concerns takes a lot of work. Operating as a small business owner isn't easy these days. Moreover, there are particular challenges for people who work in the food industry.

Faced with issues like rising food costs from suppliers, you may be scratching your head over higher costs than ever of running your business. You would probably appreciate new ways to improve your operations and cut costs.

Tip 1: Use Upgraded Technology in Your Grocery or Corner Store

Technology might not be a big priority for some local businesses. This makes sense if you've been established in your area for a while. But you might find you can reduce costs and create a smoother workflow by implementing newer points of sale, using inventory tracking apps, or upgrading other systems.

The right software and technology options will vary, depending on the needs of your business. Still, it's worth looking into making some changes that could make your firm run more efficiently all around.

Tip 2: Be Creative About Saving Money

Even if you don't desire to cut costs in your business, sometimes it's a reality. This is especially the case when so many living costs have gone up. There are some creative ways to reduce overhead and feel less strain, though.

Try these ideas to save money for your grocery or corner store:

Improve Recordkeeping

This tip goes hand in hand with utilizing better technology. You're less likely to overspend if you have a more efficient method of keeping track of such functions as inventory and your budget.

Focus on Consistency

Even if competition in your area is fierce, you can dedicate yourself to ensuring consistency. Improve the customer experience by providing a clean store, friendly employees, and positive policies that your clients love.

Build an Email List

Marketing is vital for all companies, but you might not have much extra room in your budget for ads. If such is the case, you could compile an email list of customers through rewards or a similar program, and email them coupons and information directly.

These ideas might not completely alter your final costs, but they could at least help you save a bit. Even small changes in how you run your grocery or corner store can make a big difference over time.

Tip 3: Make the Brand of Your Grocery or Corner Store Personal

While larger chains might be able to underprice your outfit, you retain a couple of crucial advantages. One is your connection to your community.

It's vital to maintain loyalty with your customers for this reason. And one way to bring more dedicated customers into the store is with a unique message.

You may highlight this if you're all about giving back to people without food. You might not even need to say a thing about it if you prefer not to toot your own horn. Word gets around in neighborhoods like yours.

Similarly, if you like to focus on volunteering at local schools, make this the focus of the brand story for your grocery or corner store. These things can be done authentically and make locals eager to support you.


Embracing the Role of Your Corner Store or Grocery in Your Area

Running any store in the food industry is admittedly challenging. But you have a vital service and can help people in your community connect. You might even offer exceptional experiences or unique points of view, such as fresh produce. Focus on the unique and special things you have to provide. Then implement a few ideas on this list for the opportunity to experience even greater success.


The post 3 Tips for Improving Your Grocery or Corner Store Business appeared first on Business Opportunities.

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: © 2002-2010, Peter Thoeny, Twiki, Inc.; 2005-2007, Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: v2.6 - 2010-05-16
Change History:  
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: TWikiPlugins, AdminDocumentationCategory, TWikiPreferences

Topic revision: r1 - 2010.05.17 - TWikiContributor
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