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News Clipper is a program that allows the user to integrate dynamic information into their web page(s). This information might be something as simple as the time and date, or complex like a set of links to recent Usenet postings.

News Clipper operates as an off-line preprocessor - you create a set of input files, which News Clipper then processes, inserting the dynamic content you tell it to. The output files are then saved in your server's HTML directory. This method is faster than Server-Side Includes because the information isn't generated when the page is served.

Input files can be created with any HTML editor. You specify the insertion of dynamic content using an HTML-like syntax. News Clipper allows the user to specify

  • The source of data
  • How that data should be filtered
  • How that data should be formatted for output
This configurability will allow you to seamlessly incorporate acquired data easily into your web page(s). Here are some examples...

Example #1
The inclusion of this in your News Clipper input file:

<!-- newsclipper
<input name=slashdot>

will generate output to your web page like this:

IT'S THAT EASY! Now, let's customize our output a bit more to display virtually all the article information we can.

Example #2
The inclusion of this in your News Clipper source file:

<!-- newsclipper
  <input name=slashdot type=articles>
  <filter name=slashdot type=LinksAndText>
  <filter name=limit number=4>
  <filter name=map filter=limit number=200 chars>
  <output name=array numcols=1 prefix="<p>--&gt;" suffix="</p>">

will generate output to your web page like this:

->Is Red Hat the Next Microsoft?
Patrick Dunn writes "On ZDNET's Smart Reseller they have a story about Red Hat maybe being a mini-Microsoft by it's business practices." I'd guess that the 2 most common c...

->Mozilla M3 Release Available Now
Makali writes "Just took a quick peek at the Sunsite FTP mirror of and is up and contains tarballs for several platforms. Fetch! " ...

->Wired on Kipling
The Dodger writes "The Kipling 'Hacker' luggage debacle gets coverage in Wired, along with slightly derogatory references to the Slashdotters' ability (or rather lack of it) to 'crack ...

->CeBIT Tidbits
MadMan2 has sent us a report from CeBIT. Little bits about bigass Samsung Dimms, Not so upgradable Palm Pilots, SuSE, AOL-Scape and Applix. Hit the link below to read MadMan2's machine g...

Now, let's tell News Clipper to filter headlines from Yahoo Tech News so that only headlines having to do with Microsoft or Y2K are shown, and that they should be printed in one column, with these words highlighted.

Example #3
The inclusion of this in your News Clipper source file:

  <input name=yahootopstories source=tech>
  <filter name=grep words="microsoft,y2k">
  <filter name=map filter=highlight words="microsoft,y2k">
  <output name=array numcols=1>

will generate output to your web page like this:

Complete customization of News Clipper's output is:
  • Simple - Easily modify News Clipper's output to "fit" your page.
  • Versatile - Display snippets of articles, or more informational excerpts.
  • Powerful - List only the articles you choose.
Want to see some handlers in action? Click Here to go to our Handlers page to sample more dynamic handler output!
News Clipper's automated content delivery is versatile yet powerful. Some of the more prominent features are:
  • Ability to automatically download updates when the data acquisition method changes.
  • Powerful customization ability lets you control the appearance and placement of the data you acquire.
  • Flexible "handler" architecture allows easy extension to new information sources.
  • Instant access to over 200 news and data sources. (See the handler database.)
  • Support for news published in RDF format provides access to 200 more news sources. (See XMLTree for a catalog.)
  • Automatic download of missing, updated or new handlers.
  • Can be easily extended to your favorite news and data sources with the included "Makehandler" program.
  • Support for running News Clipper locally and then FTPing the output files to the server.
  • Handles unresponsive web servers intuitively and gracefully.
Below are some sites which have utilized News Clipper to provide versatile automatically updated web page content.


Graphics Muse
Graphics Muse
Cancer Shock
Binary Research International
Binary Research
One can break down the news personalization process into a few steps:
  • Finding the relevant information.
  • Acquiring the information.
  • Integrating it into a common style.
There are many web sites that offer services similar to what News Clipper delivers. Typically, mega-companies make deals with other mega-companies to use their content, which is then made available to users and webmasters for a subscription fee.

Most of these personalized news sources only give users a limited version of integration, if any. They choose from a set of predefined information sources, and have a limited choice on how the information is presented.

News Clipper is a more flexible solution as it gives users the power of choosing and acquiring the information only if they desire to implement it - without worrying about subscription costs. There is no limit to the information you can Snip and Ship to your web page(s) with News Clipper!

Most information on the Internet is copyrighted. When something is copyrighted, it means that the expression of the idea is protected by law. The person who expressed the idea has the right to control how that ex-pression is reproduced. So, for example, if a journalist writes a story, then that journalist holds the copyright to the story. The same is true for art work and even headlines.


The law makes exceptions to copyrights, which it calls fair use. Examples are a teacher who makes photocopies of material for educational reasons, a musician who mimics a song for satire, or a movie reviewer who plays a film clip for an audience. Another important exception is that of personal use, which means that a reproduction can be made by an individual for the individualís own use. Of course, the owners of copyrights can use the material however they want.

When agreeing to the licensing terms for News Clipper, users agreed that they would not use News Clipper to violate copyright laws. What this generally means is that material protected by copyright can not be re-published, unless prior agreement from the copyright holder has been received. In other words, do not make News Clipper-enhanced web pages available on the web without verifying that copyrights are not being violated.


Spinnaker Software, Inc. is currently working with Internet publishers to acquire syndication rights for material that is to be re-published on the web. Most likely, end users will have to pay royalties to the copyright holder either when they acquire a handler that allows re-publishing of the material, or when they actually use the handler to re-publish the material. As these partnerships are established, announcements will be made on the News Clipper website.

In the mean time, companies that wish to re-publish news and other content are advised to syndicate that content from the provider whenever possible. News Clipper can then be used to integrate that information into corporate web pages.

Of course, authors of copyrighted works can re-publish all they like. 

Below are some links to web sites containing information regarding Copyright.

Copyright © 1999 David Coppit - All rights reserved
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