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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers: A Guide to Developing Internet Agents with PHP/CURL » User review

Automating data collection with your eyes closed...

  • Mar 5, 2012
  • by
Rating:
+5
This is a review of Michael's 2nd Edition of the same book (I received an early release copy from the publisher, I did not have an opportunity to read the 1st edition):

I thoroughly enjoy this book. I found myself glued to this topic, I have heard about it many times before just never investigated it. This is "good stuff" and I missed out by not starting earlier. The author, Michael Schrenk knows his stuff and is passionate about his craft and it shows in the way he writes. All throughout his book his excitement about how incredible this technology is, and his use of these tools in creative ways is contagious. I like to read books by authors who are so enthusiastic about their subject matter, as oppose to just droning out facts and knowledge. Reading this book was exciting and addicting. Following along, tinkering with his examples was just play fun. His excitement and ingenious way of looking at things just rubs off, even before I got to the real-world examples the ideas just started flowing. It's like I just discovered the next BIG THING, but I'm not going to shared that here. 
 
He does a great job of explaining everything in step by step details and then compliments them with photos and diagrams to aide with comprehension. His code examples are simple and it was easy to see what was going on. His code examples are written in an imperative, or procedural style as oppose to an object oriented style, which in my opinion, is better suited when teaching new or difficult concepts. Also, it's just easier to follow along by a wider range of people with varying programming backgrounds. He also provides his own supplemental library (via the book website), to simplify using cURL itself. Using his library, I was able to quickly get things up and running and see how everything works, and that is a good thing when learning something new. It sets you on a possible spin and leaves you with nothing but good stuff to say about the subject you just learned. In the end, would I recommend this book to others? Absolutely. It is just like learning the command line, once you start and see the benefits, you never look back.
Automating data collection with your eyes closed...

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March 08, 2012
Informative!
 
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More Webbots, Spiders, and Screen S... reviews
review by . July 03, 2007
'Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers: A Guide to Developing Internet Agents with PHP/CURL' by Michael Schrenk is an absolute GEM of a book for all internet computer nerds that love trying new things and hacking for a hobby!! If you are one of the afformentioned and love to try new things and see how you can scour the internet with the greatest of ease, you owe it yourself to read and DO this guide!! When I say DO I mean don't just read, but input the examples you'll find within and play around …
About the reviewer
Gregory Zentkovich ()
Ranked #417
I like to spend time with my family... I love my wife, and I love my kids (3). I love to travel, run, surf, play with computers, and write code.... oh, and review tech books =)      … more
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About this book

Wiki

The Internet is bigger and better than what a mere browser allows.Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapersis for programmers and businesspeople who want to take full advantage of the vast resources available on the Web. There's no reason to let browsers limit your online experience--especially when you can easily automate online tasks to suit your individual needs.

Learn how to write webbots and spiders that do all this and more:
  • Programmatically download entire websites
  • Effectively parse data from web pages
  • Manage cookies
  • Decode encrypted files
  • Automate form submissions
  • Send and receive email
  • Send SMS alerts to your cell phone
  • Unlock password-protected websites
  • Automatically bid in online auctions
  • view wiki

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    Details

    ISBN-10: 1593271204
    ISBN-13: 978-1593271206
    Author: Michael Schrenk
    Publisher: No Starch Press

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