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Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers: A Guide to Developing Internet Agents with PHP/CURL (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. März 2012

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  • Taschenbuch: 388 Seiten
  • Verlag: No Starch Press; Auflage: 2., nd Edition (19. März 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1593273975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593273972
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17,8 x 2,5 x 22,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 106.093 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Michael Schrenk develops webbots and spiders for clients across North America. He has written for "Computerworld" and "Web Techniques" magazines and has taught college courses on web usability and Internet marketing. He is also an occasional speaker at DEFCON.

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Von anonym am 5. November 2012
Format: Taschenbuch
Sehr für Einsteiger geeignet die sich dem Thema widmen wollen. Für Personen die sich bereits mit Web Technologien befasst haben weniger zu empfehlen
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Amazon.com: 25 Rezensionen
34 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great Concept, Horrible Execution 25. April 2012
Von Adam Barrett - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
If you have been reading my reviews for any amount of time you know that I love tech books, and I usually give them pretty glowing reviews, especially No Starch books. They are informative, teach you things, make you think outside the box. I love No Starch books.

Alright, now that you know I love No Starch I am sad to report I have found the bad apple in the bunch. Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers. I didn't come to this point of view lightly, I really tried to find the good in this book, and there is some, however it is overshadowed by what I consider to be a pretty lame mistake on the authors part.

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers is all about the what, how and why of webbots, spiders and screen scrapers. Basically a guide to why you need them, how to make them, and what they should be doing. It is a great reference as to what webbots are, and you can learn a thing or two while reading this book.

My gripe is pretty simple, and there is a work around for it, but here it is. The author, Michael Schrenk, didn't teach us all about writing webbots, spiders and screen scrapers. The book was meant to be an tool in teaching the PHP/cURL involved in writing these bots. Instead the author wrote a library of functions and tells you to include it, and then uses the book as an almost 400 page reference to his own library.

Sure you could open the library up and read though the code and get an idea of what is going on, but really that wasn't the point of the book. The point of the book was to show you how to use PHP and cURL to build your own bots, and spiders. What you get is a book that tells you how to build HIS bots and spiders. Furthermore the library comes with disclaimers about bugs in the code, instead of fixes to the code. So now you have a book that won't teach you to code PHP /cURL webbots, and it gives you code that may or may not work for what you are doing.

The silver lining in all of this is that the book did come with the library and if you are inclined to open it up and read through the code, then you can get a sense of what you really wanted to know in the first place. How to handle pages as files, how to parse for information, and how to store the information you pulled. I really would have liked the book to have been more about the building of the library than a reference to the library.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good book for professionals, excellent for beginners. 19. März 2012
Von David S. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
The code in the book is exceptionally simple as another reviewer pointed out, but that is the point. The author does not have Donald Knuth envy, nor should he, if you want to learn every eventuality of every algorithm, read Knuth.

Any experienced programmer worth his salt knows the language a book is written for does not matter, it is the insight that matters, and this book is very insightful.

The use of PHP and simple functions as the main interface for the books supplied libraries makes many of the concepts available to relatively green web programmers who are probably not particular comfortable with classes if they even know what classes are... even many seasoned PHP programmers do not know how to effectively leverage the power of objects in my experience.

In other professional programming environments such as systems programming or application development you almost always hack together a very rough and simplified solution to new systems or routines before you review precisely how the pieces are going to fit together; Then you go back and engineer a real solution. This book saves you most of those efforts!
As an example reading through chapter 17 on spiders an experienced software engineer can pick out that a Strategy Pattern as prescribed by the gang of four would make an excellent and extensible harvester routine.

In summary if you are watching for ways to use the ideas presented you will come out with a wealth of insight, and this book will serve you well. If you want someone to tell you precisely how to write your project, skip this book and hire someone to build it for you.
This is absolutely not the review I intended to write here, but the other reviewer hit a nerve. I hope people find it useful none the less.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Ask Felgall - Book Review 1. April 2012
Von Stephen Chapman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This edition has been significantly updated from the first edition. While the book still contains the same amount of material there are several chapters from the first edition which have been completely removed and several new chapters on different subjects added. The author comments in the introduction about the huge amount of feedback received for the first edition and so presumably much of the change is a result of that feedback. This should make the second edition of the book even more useful than the first edition.

One of the new chapters is called "Advanced Parsing With Regular Expressions" and rather interestingly a section in the chapter on how Regular Expressions are often not the right tool to use for parsing. It seems that many readers of the first edition disagreed with the authors view that Regular Expressions can match patterns but are ineffective at determining context and that since the context is what you are generally looking for in scraping content that there are better ways to do it that don't involve Regular Expressions. The prior chapter in both editions covers exactly that but the author has listened to the feedback and provided information in this new chapter on how to extract patterns using Regular Expressions where the context is of lesser importance.

A large part of chapter 31 deals with potential legal issues in connection with running these types of script. The author makes it very clear that the information provided in this chapter is not legal advice and also that much of what is discussed relates to laws that apply in a specific country. In this way he is able to provide many examples of the sorts of things that could get you into trouble and need to be avoided without any suggestion that these are the only such issues.

Overall the book presents a well balanced introduction to this topic. The many example applications covered in the "Projects" section of the book will make a useful starting point for developing your own scripts. Simply pick one that does a part of what you need and add the code to do the rest.

Perhaps the most useful feature of this book isn't in the book itself but is on the associated web site. The author has very kindly provided a selection of dummy web sites suitable to test scripts against without the risk of your script drawing the attention of site owners if it malfunctions and does something inappropriate. By using this service you can make sure that the script actually works properly before letting it loose on real web sites.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An Essential Book for Programmers Who Want to Learn to Make Bots 23. August 2012
Von Shawn Plep - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
For a few years now, I've advised beginning PHP programmers - those who wanted to really learn how to make web apps - to read two books: PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition), and Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers by Mike Schrenk.

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers is what I consider to be THE standard work on webbot programming. This was the first book dedicated to the subject, and (because it was written for the PHP programmer) the concepts are accessible, easy to understand, and easy to implement for all experience levels. If someone with basic PHP knowledge will work through this book, they will end up with a very practical set of skills as well as a usable way of thinking about solving problems - and how to use webbots to solve them.

With this book, the student gets the complete "toolkit" he needs in order to not only learn how it all works, but to build real-life bots that he really will use. A major strength of this book is that a complete set of webbot functions is included and referenced throughout each chapter. The student starts off with a very comprehensive framework - a ready-made class of webbot tools that can be used over and over again.

Another major strength of this book is that it teaches the subject thoroughly. As a reader of this books's first edition, I was excited to have the doors of knowledge opened up to me - and Schrenk does a good job of covering all the bases. There are various examples of how to build webbots that can interact with a variety of internet protocols: not only is basic screen-scraping covered, but also email and FTP. (A student who studies this book will be able to handle just about anything thrown at him!)

One of the benefits I gained from this book (that I found especially useful) was a fairly decent understanding of how to use PHP/cURL - and how to create my own bots when I need them. I have to admit that I still do use a couple of Schrenk's ready-made functions, but I've also created many of my own go-to scripts based on what he taught. This knowledge has served me well both as an affiliate marketer and in the SEO profession.

There's no substitute for experimentation, trial-and-error, and learning things on one's own by working in the trenches - and I've learned a lot of things that way. But there's a great deal of value in learning from someone who has expertise and wide knowledge of their subject. If you want to learn Webbots, then this book gives you insight and knowledge directly from an expert - and I highly recommend it.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers 14. Mai 2012
Von Eddibobetty - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I have always been interested in the ideas of webbot to help simplify tasks. They can be a good thing or bad kind of like a super hero's powers. Before I read this book I was still leery about the use of them.

I have now been converted, turning from the dark side so to say. Each idea was straight forward and the projects were easy to do. Every step was explained in detail and in terms anyone can understand. All in all a good read.
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