Creating a PHP Screen Scraper

So, I guess when most people get a 3 week holiday break from work, the first thing they do is try to get away from the laptop.. where is the fun in that I ask you?

This x-mas I took a small trip around the world of PHP and took the opportunity to write some enhancements for my better half’s online retail website.  PHP is very C-like in it’s syntax, but one of the easier languages to get around if you’re not working with coding on a day to day basis.

In my 3 weeks, I essentially wrote a plug-in to the aforementioned website which automatically logs in to other websites and intelligently processes the pages of tabular data behind the authenticated curtain. It then takes this tabular data and squirts it out into an XML file, which is then used for some reporting.

If you are looking to understand a bit about how screen-scraping works, or how to mimic interactive HTTP requests to a web server, this blog may be useful for you.

OK, let’s crack on.

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