Parker Thompson wrote:
> Try Dapper (http://www.dappit.com/), it may turn your screen scraping
> problem into an xml parsing problem.

I have been playing around with dapper, and while I liked the idea, and 
also the GUI (scRUBYt! currently does not have any kind of GUI, so 
dappit is a clear winner here) I found several problems.

First of all I could not reliably scrape everything I wanted as I wanted 
(i.e. 100% accuracy, every records found ect) nearly on any page I tried 
- which is not the case with scRUBYt!. Of course there are bugs and 
problems and needed enhancements in scRUBYt! too, but I have total 
control over these  (and anybody who is able to hack with Ruby on an 
intermediate level). Besides this, I have the extractor - I know what's 
happening all the time. And if this is still not enough I can sprinkle 
the whole stuff with pure Ruby code.

Then I don't really like the model that your extractor is on the server 
- what if you would like to scrape confidential data, or you are logging 
in to sites with passwords, or to your banking account or ...

The idea is really neat and I am sure dapper has a lot of use cases, but 
it's quite a different product with different philosophy and target 
audience compared to scRUBYt! Shortly, you should use the right tool for 
the right job - and for the things I would like to scrape, scRUBYt! is 
much better suited. I am sure dapper is great for other kind of things, 
so if you are into those, it's a great tool!

Cheers,
Peter

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