On Feb 19, 2007, at 11:31 AM, David Vallner wrote:

> The number of monthly instances where I have to announce to various  
> people that yes, I'm going to work 40 hours a week as I always do,  
> and lo and behold, even on the project I'm assigned to, just like  
> all the months before, has finally reached into the two-digit  
> numbers. </whine>
>
> Since that also involves interacting with a slew? horde? school?  
> mob? of webapps, at various levels of being enterprisey (read:  
> laborious and unhelpful), I finally broke and decided to hack  
> myself a set of screenscrapers to invoke at the proper times do  
> fill in cookie-cutter values for me.

I wholeheartdly understand you.

> Eeexcept I never did any screenscraping before - so I'm on the  
> lookout for a toolkit recommendation. So far, WATIR seems the most  
> comprehensive, but I'm afraid it might be overkill or plain  
> unsuitable for this task (being an acceptance testing tool). My  
> criteria are being able to handle the fact most of these apps are  
> clickfests of ASP / ASP.NET provenience, and the HTML source code  
> could probably scare small children, so I'd like to have the  
> toolkit handle most of the textmunging.

I'd recommend Watir, forget it can be _applied_ to testing, it is the  
easy and more robust way to do screen-scrapping, because it delegates  
all the parsing, JavaScript, etc. to a real browser. The drawback is  
that you use an actual instance of IE/Firefox/Safari, but for some  
applications like this one that is not an issue, the easy of use  
weights more. The code will be easy, and it will work with your  
lovely Project Central-kind of enterprisey thing.

-- fxn