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:

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 23:02:38 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Sun, 21 Oct 2018 23:01:28 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Image credit: TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay

When is the right time to get a small business loan? Well, that depends.

The right time might be when you expect to have a flurry of business and need to increase your inventory. Perhaps you need to hire more staff. Or maybe you'll need a small business loan when you need to expand. On the other hand, maybe you'll need a small business loan when you need some cash to cover unexpected expenses.

But there are other factors to consider as well. For example, variations among industries and business types can also affect how you search for the right loan and when you should do so.

Moreover, you don't always have time to work through a lengthy loan process. Fortunately, fast business loans and funding can provide you with what you need in minimal time. You can get approval for your small business loan, often within twenty-four hours.

Let's look at some of the various factors that can affect the time when you should look into taking out a small business loan.




In the Healthcare Industry

People in the healthcare industry understand that patient volume ebbs and flows throughout the year. For example, many people try to cram all their visits into the last few weeks of summer vacation. That’s when kids need updated immunizations for school.

The back-to-school rush means more money for the business eventually. However, beforehand it means beefing up on new equipment or upgrading old systems. It also means paying for additional staff while you wait for your accounts receivable to be paid.

As a doctor, therapist, dentist, or other healthcare professional operating your own practice, you need to start thinking about funding these additional costs long before late summer. Therefore, start your loan search in the winter or spring, well before you need the funds, to be sure you have them available when the rush starts.



For Retailers

Many retailers see a spike in sales through the holidays. This means big business in November and December. However, you need to be ready well ahead of time for Black Friday sales, Small Business Saturday promotions, and Cyber Monday deals.

This holiday frivolity will need to be backed by extra staff working long hours. Naturally, your employees will be hoping for big paychecks or annual bonuses. But before the mayhem begins, you must consider how you'll pay for all of the help you'll need.

Applying for a loan in the spring or summer gives you the cash on hand you need to hire staff, keep your business open longer hours, beef up inventory, and update your website to increase online traffic and sales.

Other Factors for Retailers to Consider

Short-term loans, merchant cash advances, and lines of credit are flexible options to cover any extra costs you incur prior to your seasonal rush. The idea is that you'll make the money back in holiday sales quickly. Therefore, you’ll be able to pay off the loan right away.

Analyze your past sales trends and look at other businesses in the area to figure out how much money you need to stay competitive. In this way, you'll be able to accurately estimate your income and expenditures. This will help you to apply for a reasonable loan that won't overextend your financial abilities but will be enough to get you through.


For Construction Businesses

Summer is construction season. The weather is finally nice again, and inclement weather doesn’t interrupt your work as frequently. It's time to hang up your winter coat, dust off your boots, and get to work.

Applying for a construction loan in early spring allows you to lease new equipment, hire certified contractors, and cover the cost of the big project you just landed. Starting the application process early gives you the cash you need to prepare for the construction season. Additionally, it can supply you with enough left over to get you through the next slow winter.

If it took you longer to get up and running this year than last, and you didn't have time to secure funding, short-term loans and business lines of credit are flexible. Moreover, some lenders fund them faster than they do other options.


In the Restaurant Industry

Restaurants don't often see the spikes in business around the holiday season that retailers do. As a matter of fact, many people spend holidays at home, enjoying meals with family around their own dining room tables.

However, the problem for restaurateurs is that their expenses don't decrease just because their business does. As a restaurateur, you must continue to find a way to cover the costs of servers, cooks, food, rent, utilities, and other overhead, regardless of how full your restaurant is.

Therefore, the best time for restaurant owners to look for loans is in the fall before business slows. Hopefully, however, you'll have a surplus from a busy summer to carry you until you need to look at loan options.

You might also need equipment financing to help you buy new appliances. Additionally, a commercial mortgage could allow you to renovate during the slow season for a fresh look in the spring. You could also investigate a merchant cash advance. Then you can pay it back when business picks up again.


Don't Hesitate to Look into a Small Business Loan Today

Don't wait until it's too late to look at loan options for your business. The right time is always today, not tomorrow. If you need it desperately, there's no reason to delay. On the other hand, if you don't need it now but know you will soon, it's never too early to look into a small business loan.

The post When Is the Best Time to Get a Small Business Loan? appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 15:21:29 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Image Credit: ColiN00B on Pixabay

Finding the most efficient energy supplier can be a big hassle. Especially if you’re a small business owner, you simply don't have the time to keep track of the fluctuations of the energy market. What’s more, these fluctuations can cause differences in rates between suppliers and the contracts they offer. Thankfully, there is a way for businesses to stay up-to-date with these changes. That is, you can hire an expert energy broker.

Hiring an energy broker can help to ensure that you are paying the best possible rate for your energy usage. However, what exactly does an energy broker do? What’s more, does it make financial sense to hire one, in the grand scheme of things?




What Is an Energy Broker?

An energy broker is someone who helps clients in securing energy from suppliers. A broker can help to ensure that your company is paying the best and most efficient rates.

Securing these efficient rates on your own could be difficult. That’s because energy prices fluctuate almost continuously. Fortunately, energy brokers have the tools with which to analyze your business's energy needs against suppliers’ rates. The broker will then provide you with suggestions for a contract based on that analysis that they feel is best suited for your company.


What Are the Benefits?

There are multiple benefits that hiring an energy broker could provide for your company. For one thing, you would have someone to manage your energy contracts. You would have an expert on your side who could help you to decide which energy supplier to use. You would save the time and resources it takes to analyze the energy market. Additionally, you would save money on the contracts you finally decide to accept.

Without an energy broker your company wouldn’t have the resources the broker has for comparing prices efficiently. Therefore, you would have a more difficult time finding the best deal. In the worst case, your company could become locked into an inefficient contract that wastes your capital.

Saving time is another benefit. That’s because it takes precious hours to compare energy rates. Moreover, most small businesses lack the right connections for identifying the best possible energy rates. However, hiring a broker allows you to find the best rate possible. While your energy broker goes to work for you in this way, you’ll be free to use your valuable time and resources working on your business.


Is It Worth It?

At the end of the day, the value of an energy broker to your company will depend on your company’s situation. To answer the question, “Is it worth it?” perform a cost-benefit analysis. This will help you to gauge whether your company truly needs to hire a broker.

You’ll be able to see then whether the amount of money you would save on your energy rates is greater than the amount of money that hiring a broker would cost you. You just might find that the cost savings from having a better energy contract would make hiring an energy broker well worth the money.

The post Should I Hire an Energy Broker? What Are the Benefits? appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 15:09:11 +0000 Laurie Bennett

Most people don't understand what a blockchain is. Of those who do, few understand where blockchain came from. Fewer still understand where blockchain is going or what its purpose is. Moreover, there is a flurry of online misinformation that stops most people from digging into the realities of blockchain. And when it comes to private blockchains, the bewilderment deepens even further.

To make matters worse, the mere mention of the word ''blockchain'' brings to many people’s minds images of a nefarious hacker in a basement somewhere who uses blockchain to pay for illicit activities. Then, when you add the word ''private'' to the word “blockchain,” a nervous frenzy ensues.

However, is all this anxious speculation misguided? Let’s take a deeper look.




What Are Private Blockchains?

Admittedly, private blockchains don't make much sense to many people. The entire point of blockchain, as far as most people know, is to be a secure, open-source way to share and utilize information in a broad way. Therefore, the idea of private blockchains does not align with this purpose in most people’s minds.

However, it’s simply untrue to say that all private blockchains are harmful. On the contrary, they provide a way to test blockchain implementations. As a matter of fact, private blockchains usually start when someone creates a new framework to build upon.

The designer makes a genesis block that acts as the original starting point. Other designers can then create subsequent blocks from that genesis block. Each new node acts as yet another host for all of the transactions that have occurred-and will occur-on that particular blockchain.

Additionally, private blockchains are often used as demos or testnets for ICO’s. ICO’s are initial coin offerings. These are basically ways for businesses or groups to create private blockchain environments. These entities then use their private blockchains to develop and test new systems. They base future customized solutions on the successful systems that emerge from these tests.


Where Did the Stigma Come From?

Nonetheless, the idea that a blockchain could be private raises suspicion and inspires criticism. Some people wonder whether private blockchains have anything to do with mysterious and nefarious circles. However, people can use private blockchains, as they can use most technological tools, for either good or ill. It’s true that private blockchains do provide opportunities for abuse in malevolent hands. However, they are more often than not used by those whose causes are neutral, if not noble.

What’s more, most companies create private blockchain solutions for financial reasons. Using blockchain-based solutions as a ledger to keep company data secure simply makes good sense. Additionally, it’s interesting to notice that blockchain is becoming a basic regulatory tool for many companies. As a matter of fact, for every underground purpose that you might hear about, another five companies adopt blockchain for legitimate purposes.

Simply put, blockchain is a tool. What’s more, its technology is necessary for the development of ever more complex solutions. For example, blockchain provides decentralized information storage that cannot be manipulated.


What’s the Bottom Line?

The bias against the initiative to create private blockchains comes from a lack of information. Therefore, it’s good to keep in mind that private blockchains can be used by individuals or groups for their own purposes. And most of the time, those purposes are perfectly legitimate.

The post Private Blockchains: Are They a Threat? Illegal? Or Just a Training Tool? 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: © 2002-2009, 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
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platformCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback
Note: Please contribute updates to this topic on TWiki.org at TWiki:TWiki.HeadlinesPlugin