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Accessing isbnsearch dot org via perl

by sg (Pilgrim)
on Dec 30, 2013 at 00:38 UTC ( #1068705=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

sg has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

The site http://www.isbnsearch.org/ is interesting because (manually) searching an ISBN number returns:

  • names of stores that have the book,
  • new or used condition,
  • price for the book, and
  • shipping price.

I have used WWW::Scraper::ISBN (via drivers LOC, ISBNnu, and GoogleBooks) and am aware of WebService::ISBNDB::API::Books, but these modules do not appear to support accessing http://www.isbnsearch.org. Regarding http://www.isbndb.com, a manual search fails to return information on pricing (the site just hangs with the message "Loading Prices").

Searching for "isbnsearch" on perl monks and on CPAN returned nothing.

I did find this project http://isbnsearch.sourceforge.net/ which may or not may not be related to the site http://www.isbnsearch.org but the project appears to be dead, or more exactly, many of the links on the project's page are broken.

Would appreciate any pointers for getting the information in the bulleted list above by accessing http://www.isbnsearch.org via perl.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Accessing isbnsearch dot org via perl
by davido (Cardinal) on Dec 30, 2013 at 02:28 UTC

    The site accepts queries in the URLs in a fairly straightforward format: "http://www.isbnsearch.org/isbn/9780596000271" really requires no explanation.

    If you "view source" on the results page, you can easily see <div class= tags for merchant, price, shipping, and notes. Notes is the field that seems to be used to describe the book's condition, but it's probably the least reliable (or hardest to make assumptions about) field. The rest are also relatively straightforward. All of the fields would be easy to parse using one of the many HTML parsers on CPAN.

    Obtaining the result page could be as simple as hitting it with LWP::Simple. So here is the strategy: Construct a legitimate query URL, request it with something like LWP::Simple, and parse the results using your favorite HTML parser. The rest is just programming. ;) If you get hung up implementing this strategy, let us know where you're stuck.


    Dave

Re: Accessing isbnsearch dot org via perl
by atcroft (Abbot) on Dec 30, 2013 at 01:15 UTC

    Are you trying to enter data in the page at http://www.isbnsearch.org/ and get a response, or are you trying to access URLs in the form http://www.isbnsearch.org/search?s=<isbn here> ? If you are using the former, then have you tried the latter?

    Hope that helps...

      atcroft What prompts your question (isbnsearch.org and isbndb.com are different sites)? What I am looking for help on is to develop a perl routine that takes an isbn number such as 9780596000271 as input and extracts the information on the page Pricing info for The Camel Book as returned by isbnsearch dot org So the key task would be extraction of the information from the returned html page.

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