Thread: Your advice please on what programming language to use

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003

    Your advice please on what programming language to use

    Preface: I have not used a programming language in ~10 years (i.e. Turbo Pascal for DOS, Basic)...

    I need to check out existing Internet webpages and on those pages, I'll need to analyze the contents of that webpage & create an entry in a database (for each webpage) where different fields will show the different characteristics of that page (e.g. a field for what year the webpage was created, a field for "the author of the article" which appears on that page, a field for "Is this article still relevant today, as it was when it was written?",...)

    I am thinking the easiest way to analyze many pages, is to create a Windows program which runs in a "always-on-top" window, which is ~1/16th the size of the full screen dimensions (such that if you're running Windows at 800x600, then this always-on-top window will be 200x150 pixels in dimension) ... such that I can easily view the underlying internet webpage & will be able to enter the field values for that webpage, in the always-on-top program.

    If possible, instead of copying the URL of the wepage from Internet Explorer & pasting it into the always-on-top program, it would be great if the always-on-top program could have the ability to "suck out" the URL from the underlying IE webpage ... is that possible?

    I would then want to save the information of those various webpages into an output file, where that output file can easily be inputted into a "database program".

    Can you suggest any programming languages that is easy enough to learn, to create this kind of database-entry like Windows program?


  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Well you could just use Perl

    But if you want it smoother for database, you can use C++ (or even C) coupled with the Winsock API.

    To scan a website, you need to create an http client program.

    1) Create the client
    2) Connect to the site
    3) Write the data receive to a local file
    4) Scan the file for the details

    Much like what a web browser does

  3. #3
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    >>> I have not used a programming language in ~10 years (i.e. Turbo Pascal for DOS, Basic)...

    Given that, and the amount things have changed in the last 10 years, I think you will find the task you have set yourself ermm, ambitious?

    I don't want to discourage you, but with that kind of pedigree, a simple Windows app would require some research/work.

    There are some class libraries which would help you if you want to acheive a one off project, but they tend to break down as you get more advanced, (I'm thinking specifically about Borlands VCL, I think for this kind of project, it would be better/easier than MFC)

    You will otherwise need to explore the protocols of the net, certainly http, and the html "language", but nowdays also many pages are active and to pull them apart you'd need to style sheets, scripts, etc. etc.
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream.

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