Re: Scripting-language for interacting with World Wide Web?

From: William Park (
Date: 06/22/04

Date: 22 Jun 2004 00:03:42 GMT

Baard Ove Kopperud <> wrote:
> I'm in need of a scripting-language/library/extension that enables
> me to make scripts for non-interactive interaction with World Wide Web
> (web-pages). What I need is something like a cross between 'wget'
> and 'expect'.
> I know there was something for 'perl' called 'elza', but as far as
> I can understand, work on 'elza' stopped ages ago. The primary
> download-site is also closed (gone commercial)... all I found was
> an old(?) version at Debian.
> Does anyone know if 'elza' is still being worked on? Are there
> any similar tools out there (for 'perl' or other languages)?
> Are there any specilized lanuages (e.g. based on LISP, Forth,...)?
> An ability to handle other protocols (FTP, NNTP, POP, IMAP, SMTP)
> would be a pluss.
> To help you suggest something suitable, here is a range of intended usage:
> *Automatic log-in to accounts for web-based services to prevent
> deletion. Would require correct handling of cookies and secure
> connections. I intend to make a list of URL and username/password
> pairs for the script to parse. The script could be run by cron.
> (That I don't *use* what I have signed-up for once long, long ago,
> don't mean I want to loose my account :-).
> *Downloading multi-chaptered stories from various sites (e.g.
> automatically after specifying a story-id. Some
> of the site requires log-in.
> *Automatically downloading a range of messages from various Yahoo-groups
> (and similar services). Requires log-in.
> *Automatically download web-based mail (e.g. Yahoo).

As soon as you write a script, they'll change the interface which breaks
your script. The very reason why they make it so labour-intensive, is
to prevent what you're trying to do with automated script. :-)

William Park, Open Geometry Consulting, <>
No, I will not fix your computer!  I'll reformat your harddisk, though.