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petdance (2468)

AOL IM: petdance (Add Buddy, Send Message)
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I'm Andy Lester, and I like to test stuff. I also write for the Perl Journal, and do tech edits on books. Sometimes I write code, too.

Journal of petdance (2468)

Tuesday April 08, 2003
05:12 PM

Evangelism and WWW::Mechanize

[ #11530 ]
Just got this in the mail. It made my day, and it just adds fuel to something I've been thinking about recently. The article he discusses is one that Randal wrote recently.

I ran into the Linux Mag with the article about
WWW:Mechanize.  It finally got me interested in Perl
(had been using PHP on some stuff).  Coming from a VB,
Java, C++ and C# background it took me a while to get
used to the sigils. lol.  Been playing with it for a
couple of weeks now.  I had been looking for a tool
like WWW::Mechanize for a long time.  Any plans to
expand on this module?

... # many questions about WWW::Mechanize

I wanted to let you know that your ideas/code had
brought another person into the Perl fold.


I was chatting w/Uri the other day and he said, roughly, "No knock on you or Mechanize, but I don't understand its popularity. It really doesn't do that much." He's right, of course. It's basically a wrapper around LWP::UserAgent, HTML::Parser and HTML::Form.

So why is it so popular? Is it just that people talk about it? It fits a niche need that people need and makes it accessible? It's not even anything I've done so much. All I did was fork it from WWW::Automate, fix some bugs, and talk about it.

Is discussion the key? Is it a social thing? Is talking about the tools we write what it takes?

And how cool is it that a given module sells Perl as a language? Who would have thought of WWW::Mechanize as a killer app?

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  • Wrappers are good things. Even if they just wrap something simple, they present a simpler interface.

    Compare using WWW::Mech to creating the UA, sending reuest, sending result to HTML::Form, or LinkExtor, getting a new request object from that, sending that. It's simpler and results in one only having to worry about the methods you provide rather than the methods these arbitrary modules provide.
      ---ict / Spoon
  • Sweet Spot (Score:2, Insightful)

    It's all about the sweet spot. I must admit that every time I contemplated doing what WWW::Mechanize does, I usually gave up on LWP and went back to curl(1), plus a few bits of shell scripting nastiness. WWW::Mechanize makes it easy to say what you want, clearly and concisely.