News Clipper Version 1.32, Open Source

News Clipper is an information integrator. It creates a custom web page from a
template HTML file with special tags, replacing those tags with dynamic
information acquired from the internet.

This is the Open Source version of News Clipper.  You either got this in
conjunction with a purchase of a commercial version, or in source-only form.
If you got it the latter way, you can buy the commercial version which will
get you: technical support, a nice user's manual, pre-compiled binaries, and
free upgrades for a year. Visit for more

New in version 1.32:
- Fixed more installation problems
- Dropped DBI requirement during installation because it's really optional.
- Changed commercial version so it can run on any operating system with the
  same registration key. (Old keys will continue to work if on the same
  operating system, but new ones will need to be issued if a new operating
  system is needed.)
- Made handler loading routines more robust to illegal characters in the
  handler name.

See the file CHANGES for a complete change history.


The News Clipper development website is hosted by SourceForge at There are design documents there
describing how News Clipper works, as well as planned enhancements, known
bugs, etc.


Support for News Clipper Open Source is provided through the News Clipper User
and News Clipper Developer mailing lists. Instructions for joining are at

'perldoc' will give you an overview of the software. A complete
user's manual is available with the purchase of the commercial version (see

Also try running with the -d switch if you have problems, or see the FAQ at

Report bugs to


- NOTE: This version of News Clipper uses a custom version of File::Cache. You
  may encounter a warning during installation about a pre-existing
  File/ file. You can safely ignore this warning. Secondly, you will
  need to install File::Spec version 0.82 or better.
- If you do not have Perl installed on your system, download and install it
  from You will need Perl version 5.004 or newer.
- Windows users will need to install nmake if they do not already have it. It
  can be downloaded from
- News Clipper requires the following packages:
  Be advised that these modules also require other modules:
    URI requires MIME::Base64
    HTML::Tree requires libwww and Font::AFM
    libwww requires URI, MIME::Base64, HTML::Parser, and Net::FTP (in libnet).
  In addition, Windows users will need to install the latest version of
  libwin32, and RedHat Linux users should install a newer version of IO.

  Windows users should use the ppm utility that comes with ActivePerl to
  install these modules. Run "ppm", then type "install MODULE" for each
  module, in the following order: MIME-Base64, libnet, Font-AFM,
  Digest-MD5, URI, HTML-Parser, libwww-perl, TimeDate, Time-modules, HTML-Tree,
  libwin32. There isn't a ppm version of the File::Cache
  distribution yet. You'll have to install it manually from the URL below.

  Non-Windows users should download and install the modules from the following
  URLs, in order:

  MIME-Base64-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  libnet-X.XXXX.tar.gz =>
  Font-AFM-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  Digest-MD5-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  URI-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  HTML-Parser-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  libwww-perl-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  TimeDate-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  Time-modules-XX.XXXXXX.tar.gz =>
  HTML-Tree-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  IO-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  File-Cache-X.XX.tar.gz =>
  LockFile-Simple-X.X.X.tar.gz =>
  Log-Agent-X.X.X.tar.gz =>
  Log-Agent-Rotate-X.X.X.tar.gz =>
  Storable-X.X.X.tar.gz =>


[Note that these instructions have worked for Windows in the past, but they
have not been verified recently. Your mileage may vary.]
- run "perl Makefile.PL"
- On Unix-like systems, you have the option of installing News Clipper as a
  single user, or system-wide. Install as a single user if you do not have
  root access on your system, or if you do not want to make News Clipper
  accessible to all the users on your system.

  For a single user installation, you will have to specify the locations of
  the News Clipper root directory, and the manual pages. You can create a
  symbolic link from the binaries in the bin subdirectory to your ~/bin
  directory, or augment your PATH environment variable to include the bin
  subdirectory.  Likewise, you can specify a man page installation path that
  is already in your MANPATH environment variable, or augment your MANPATH
  environment variable.

  For a system-wide installation, the installation program will install the
  programs and man pages in the default perl locations. The system-wide
  NewsClipper.cfg file should be placed in a location that is readable by all
  users. (And make sure the permissions are set correctly.)
- On Windows systems, you will need to specify a location where News Clipper
  can store its handlers and configuration information. You will also need to
  specify your time zone in one of the following formats.
    Universal:  GMT, UT
    US zones :  EST, EDT, CST, CDT, MST, MDT, PST, PDT
    Military :  A to Z (except J)
    Other    :  +HHMM or -HHMM
    ISO 8601 :  +HH:MM, +HH, -HH:MM, -HH
  For example, if you are in the Central Standard Time zone, you would enter
- run "make" or "nmake"
- run "make install" or "nmake install"
- Either copy NewsClipper.cfg to ~/.NewsClipper, or set the NEWSCLIPPER
  environment variable as described in the CONFIGURING section below.


- In this distribution you will find a program called "ConvertHandler", which
  will update any handlers you may have written for a previous version of News
  Clipper. You should delete handlers you did not write from your handlers
  directory -- new versions will be automatically be downloaded from the News
  Clipper handler server.
- During installation, Makefile.PL will attempt to find any existing
  NewsClipper.cfg file you have and convert it to the current version using
  the "ConvertConfig" application that comes with the distribution.
- Run "ConvertConfig NewsClipper.cfg" from the command prompt to update any
  other NewsClipper.cfg files you have.


- On Windows systems, the location of the configuration file is stored in the
- On non-Windows systems, configuration information is first looked for in the
  system-wide location specified by the NEWSCLIPPER environment variable. News
  Clipper will then load the user's NewsClipper.cfg from $home/.NewsClipper.
  Options that appear in the personal configuration file override those in the
  system-wide configuration file.

  This means that a user's configuration file can consist solely of
    %config = (
      'inputFiles' => ['input.txt'],
      'outputFiles' => ['output.html'],
- Each line in the News Clipper configuration file (NewsClipper.cfg) that
  begins with a '#' is a comment that describes the option following it.
- See "perldoc" for a description of the configuration


- To run on Windows platforms, start a command prompt and change directories
  to the SampleFiles directory included in the distribution. Run
  "perl INSTALLDIR\bin\"
- To run on non-Windows platforms, change directories to the SampleFiles
  directory included in the distribution. Run "INSTALLDIR/bin/"
  for a single-user installation, or something like "/usr/bin/"
  for a system-wide installation.

This will cause News Clipper to process the input file specified in the
NewsClipper.cfg file. (When you first install News Clipper, this will be a
file located in the SampleFiles directory.) The first time you run News
Clipper, News Clipper will download the handlers it needs. There is also some
delay in contacting the handler server and the content provider. Please be
patient.  Subsequent executions will be faster.

The default installation processes a sample input file found in the
"INSTALLDIR\SampleFiles" directory.  You can view the output file (located in
"INSTALLDIR\SampleFiles\output.html") using your favorite web browser.


To see how News Clipper might add value to your web site, do the following:
- Choose a web page to enhance.
- Edit you configuration file so that the full path and filename of the file
  is specified for the input file. (Optionally, you can change the output
- Edit you input file using a text editor, or an HTML editor.
- Choose a suitable location for the content, and then insert one of the
  following News Clipper commands as an HTML comment:

    <input name=yahootopstories source=ap>
    <filter name=map filter=hash2string
             format='<a href="%{url}">%{headline}</a>'>
    <filter name=limit number=10>
    <output name=array numcols=1>

    <input name=yahootopstories source=reuters>
    <filter name=map filter=hash2string
             format='<a href="%{url}">%{headline}</a>'>
    <filter name=limit number=10>
    <output name=array numcols=2>

    <input name=yahootopstories source=sports>
    <filter name=map filter=hash2string
             format='%{url}: %{headline}'>
    <filter name=limit number=10>
    <output name=array numcols=1>

    <input name=yahootopstories source=ap>
    <filter name=map filter=hash2string
             format='<a href="%{url}">%{headline}</a>'>
    <filter name=limit number=10>
    <output name=array numcols=1 prefix='--&gt;' suffix='<br>'>

- Run News Clipper to create the output file.
- View the output file in your favorite browser.


The latest open source version is always available at

David Coppit (
Spinnaker Software (


Copyright 1997,1998,1999,2000 David Coppit (,

This code is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). See
html:// and