CkSpider Perl Reference Documentation

CkSpider

Chilkat Spider web crawler component.

Object Creation

$obj = chilkat::CkSpider()->new();

Properties

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_AbortCurrent();
$spider->put_AbortCurrent($boolVal);

Introduced in version 9.5.0.58

When set to 1, causes the currently running method to abort. Methods that always finish quickly (i.e.have no length file operations or network communications) are not affected. If no method is running, then this property is automatically reset to 0 when the next method is called. When the abort occurs, this property is reset to 0. Both synchronous and asynchronous method calls can be aborted. (A synchronous method call could be aborted by setting this property from a separate thread.)

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_AvoidHttps();
$spider->put_AvoidHttps($boolVal);

If set the 1 (true) the spider will avoid all HTTPS URLs. The default is 0 (false).

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_CacheDir($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->cacheDir();
$spider->put_CacheDir($strVal);

Specifies a cache directory to use for spidering. If either of the FetchFromCache or UpdateCache properties are true, this is the location of the cache to be used. Note: the Internet Explorer, Netscape, and FireFox caches are completely separate from the Chilkat Spider cache directory. You should specify a new and empty directory.

Caching Web Pages to the Filesystem

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_ChopAtQuery();
$spider->put_ChopAtQuery($boolVal);

If equal to 1 (true), then the query portion of all URLs are automatically removed when adding to the unspidered list. The default value is 0 (false).

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_ConnectTimeout();
$spider->put_ConnectTimeout($intVal);

The maximum number of seconds to wait while connecting to an HTTP server.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_DebugLogFilePath($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->debugLogFilePath();
$spider->put_DebugLogFilePath($strVal);

If set to a file path, causes each Chilkat method or property call to automatically append it's LastErrorText to the specified log file. The information is appended such that if a hang or crash occurs, it is possible to see the context in which the problem occurred, as well as a history of all Chilkat calls up to the point of the problem. The VerboseLogging property can be set to provide more detailed information.

This property is typically used for debugging the rare cases where a Chilkat method call hangs or generates an exception that halts program execution (i.e. crashes). A hang or crash should generally never happen. The typical causes of a hang are:

  1. a timeout related property was set to 0 to explicitly indicate that an infinite timeout is desired,
  2. the hang is actually a hang within an event callback (i.e. it is a hang within the application code), or
  3. there is an internal problem (bug) in the Chilkat code that causes the hang.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_Domain($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->domain();

The domain name that is being spidered. This is the domain previously set in the Initialize method.

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_FetchFromCache();
$spider->put_FetchFromCache($boolVal);

If equal to 1 (true) then pages are fetched from cache when possible. If 0, the cache is ignored. The default value is 1. Regardless, if no CacheDir is set then the cache is not used.

Caching Web Pages to the Filesystem

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastErrorHtml($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastErrorHtml();

Provides information in HTML format about the last method/property called. If a method call returns a value indicating failure, or behaves unexpectedly, examine this property to get more information.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastErrorText($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastErrorText();

Provides information in plain-text format about the last method/property called. If a method call returns a value indicating failure, or behaves unexpectedly, examine this property to get more information.

Concept of LastErrorText

LastErrorText Standard Information

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastErrorXml($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastErrorXml();

Provides information in XML format about the last method/property called. If a method call returns a value indicating failure, or behaves unexpectedly, examine this property to get more information.

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_LastFromCache();

Equal to 1 if the last page spidered was fetched from the cache. Otherwise equal to 0.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastHtml($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastHtml();

The HTML text of the last paged fetched by the spider.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastHtmlDescription($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastHtmlDescription();

The HTML META description from the last page fetched by the spider.

Extract HTML Title, Description, Keywords

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastHtmlKeywords($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastHtmlKeywords();

The HTML META keywords from the last page fetched by the spider.

Extract HTML Title, Description, Keywords

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastHtmlTitle($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastHtmlTitle();

The HTML title from the last page fetched by the spider.

Extract HTML Title, Description, Keywords

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_LastMethodSuccess();
$spider->put_LastMethodSuccess($boolVal);

Introduced in version 9.5.0.52

Indicate whether the last method call succeeded or failed. A value of 1 indicates success, a value of 0 indicates failure. This property is automatically set for method calls. It is not modified by property accesses. The property is automatically set to indicate success for the following types of method calls:

  • Any method that returns a string.
  • Any method returning a Chilkat object, binary bytes, or a date/time.
  • Any method returning a standard boolean status value where success = 1 and failure = 0.
  • Any method returning an integer where failure is defined by a return value less than zero.

Note: Methods that do not fit the above requirements will always set this property equal to 1. For example, a method that returns no value (such as a "void" in C++) will technically always succeed.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastModDateStr($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastModDateStr();

The last modification date/time from the last page fetched by the spider.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_LastUrl($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->lastUrl();

The URL of the last page spidered.

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_MaxResponseSize();
$spider->put_MaxResponseSize($intVal);

The maximum HTTP response size allowed. The spider will automatically fail any pages larger than this size. The default value is 250,000 bytes.

Setting a Maximum Response Size

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_MaxUrlLen();
$spider->put_MaxUrlLen($intVal);

The maximum URL length allowed. URLs longer than this are not added to the unspidered list. The default value is 200.

Setting a Maximum URL Length

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_NumAvoidPatterns();

The number of avoid patterns previously set by calling AddAvoidPattern.

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_NumFailed();

The number of URLs in the component's failed URL list.

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_NumOutboundLinks();

The number of URLs in the component's outbound links URL list.

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_NumSpidered();

The number of URLs in the component's already-spidered URL list.

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_NumUnspidered();

The number of URLs in the component's unspidered URL list.

Getting Started Example

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_PreferIpv6();
$spider->put_PreferIpv6($boolVal);

If 1, then use IPv6 over IPv4 when both are supported for a particular domain. The default value of this property is 0, which will choose IPv4 over IPv6.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_ProxyDomain($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->proxyDomain();
$spider->put_ProxyDomain($strVal);

The domain name of a proxy host if an HTTP proxy is used.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_ProxyLogin($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->proxyLogin();
$spider->put_ProxyLogin($strVal);

If an HTTP proxy is used and it requires authentication, this property specifies the HTTP proxy login.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_ProxyPassword($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->proxyPassword();
$spider->put_ProxyPassword($strVal);

If an HTTP proxy is used and it requires authentication, this property specifies the HTTP proxy password.

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_ProxyPort();
$spider->put_ProxyPort($intVal);

The port number of a proxy server if an HTTP proxy is used.

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_ReadTimeout();
$spider->put_ReadTimeout($intVal);

The maximum number of seconds to wait when reading from an HTTP server.

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_UpdateCache();
$spider->put_UpdateCache($boolVal);

If equal to 1 (true) then pages saved to the cache. If 0, the cache is ignored. The default value is 1. Regardless, if no CacheDir is set then the cache is not used.

Caching Web Pages to the Filesystem

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_UserAgent($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->userAgent();
$spider->put_UserAgent($strVal);

The value of the HTTP user-agent header field to be sent with HTTP requests. The default value is "Chilkat/1.0.0 (+http://www.chilkatsoft.com/ChilkatHttpUA.asp)"

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_Utf8();
$spider->put_Utf8($boolVal);

When set to 1, all "const char *" arguments are interpreted as utf-8 strings. If set to 0 (the default), then "const char *" arguments are interpreted as ANSI strings. Also, when set to 1, and Chilkat method returning a "const char *" is returning the utf-8 representation. If set to 0, all "const char *" return values are ANSI strings.

# $boolVal is a boolean
$boolVal = $spider->get_VerboseLogging();
$spider->put_VerboseLogging($boolVal);

If set to 1, then the contents of LastErrorText (or LastErrorXml, or LastErrorHtml) may contain more verbose information. The default value is 0. Verbose logging should only be used for debugging. The potentially large quantity of logged information may adversely affect peformance.

# $strVal is a string
# $ckStr is a CkString
$spider->get_Version($ckStr);
$strVal = $spider->version();

Version of the component/library, such as "9.5.0.63"

# $intVal is an integer
$intVal = $spider->get_WindDownCount();
$spider->put_WindDownCount($intVal);

The "wind-down" phase begins when this number of URLs has been spidered. When in the wind-down phase, no new URLs are added to the unspidered list. The default value is 0 which means that there is NO wind-down phase.

Methods

# $pattern is a string
$spider->AddAvoidOutboundLinkPattern($pattern);

Adds a wildcarded pattern to prevent collecting matching outbound link URLs. For example, if "*google*" is added, then any outbound links containing the word "google" will be ignored. The "*" character matches zero or more of any character.

Avoiding Outbound Links Matching Patterns

# $pattern is a string
$spider->AddAvoidPattern($pattern);

Adds a wildcarded pattern to prevent spidering matching URLs. For example, if "*register*" is added, then any url containing the word "register" is not spidered. The "*" character matches zero or more of any character.

Avoid URLs Matching Any of a Set of Patterns

# $pattern is a string
$spider->AddMustMatchPattern($pattern);

Adds a wildcarded pattern to limit spidering to only URLs that match the pattern. For example, if "*/products/*" is added, then only URLs containing "/products/" are spidered. This is helpful for only spidering a portion of a website. The "*" character matches zero or more of any character.

Must-Match Patterns

# $url is a string
$spider->AddUnspidered($url);

To begin spidering you must call this method one or more times to provide starting points. It adds a single URL to the component's internal queue of URLs to be spidered.

Crawling the Web

# $url is a string
# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->CanonicalizeUrl($url, $outStr);
$retStr = $spider->canonicalizeUrl($url);

Canonicalizes a URL by doing the following:

  • Drops username/password if present.
  • Drops fragment if present.
  • Converts domain to lowercase.
  • Removes port 80 or 443
  • Remove default.asp, index.html, index.htm, default.html, index.htm, default.htm, index.php, index.asp, default.php, .cfm, .aspx, ,php3, .pl, .cgi, .txt, .shtml, .phtml
  • Remove www. from the domain if present.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

Canonicalize a URL

$spider->ClearFailedUrls();

Clears the component's internal list of URLs that could not be downloaded.

$spider->ClearOutboundLinks();

Clears the component's internal list of outbound URLs that will automatically accumulate while spidering.

$spider->ClearSpideredUrls();

Clears the component's internal list of already-spidered URLs that will automatically accumulate while spidering.

$retBool = $spider->CrawlNext();

Crawls the next URL in the internal list of unspidered URLs. The URL is moved from the unspidered list to the spidered list. Any new links within the same domain and not yet spidered are added to the unspidered list. (providing that they do not match "avoid" patterns, etc.) Any new outbound links are added to the outbound URL list. If successful, the HTML of the downloaded page is available in the LastHtml property. If there are no more URLs left unspidered, the method returns 0. Information about the URL crawled is available in the properties LastUrl, LastFromCache, and LastModDate.

Crawling the Web

Getting Started Example

# returns a CkTask
$ret_task = $spider->CrawlNextAsync();

Creates an asynchronous task to call the CrawlNext method with the arguments provided. (Async methods are available starting in Chilkat v9.5.0.52.)

Returns null on failure

How to Run an Asynchronous Task

# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->FetchRobotsText($outStr);
$retStr = $spider->fetchRobotsText();

Returns the contents of the robots.txt file from the domain being crawled. This spider component will not crawl URLs excluded by robots.txt. If you believe the spider is not behaving correctly, please notify us at support@chilkatsoft.com and provide information detailing a case that allows us to reproduce the problem.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

Fetch robots.txt for a Site

# returns a CkTask
$ret_task = $spider->FetchRobotsTextAsync();

Creates an asynchronous task to call the FetchRobotsText method with the arguments provided. (Async methods are available starting in Chilkat v9.5.0.52.)

Returns null on failure

How to Run an Asynchronous Task

# $index is an integer
# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->GetAvoidPattern($index, $outStr);
$retStr = $spider->getAvoidPattern($index);

Returns the Nth avoid pattern previously added by calling AddAvoidPattern. Indexing begins at 0.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

# $domain is a string
# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->GetBaseDomain($domain, $outStr);
$retStr = $spider->getBaseDomain($domain);

To be documented soon.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

Convert a Domain Name into a "domain base"

# $index is an integer
# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->GetFailedUrl($index, $outStr);
$retStr = $spider->getFailedUrl($index);

Returns the Nth URL in the failed URL list. Indexing begins at 0.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

# $index is an integer
# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->GetOutboundLink($index, $outStr);
$retStr = $spider->getOutboundLink($index);

Returns the Nth URL in the outbound link URL list. Indexing begins at 0.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

# $index is an integer
# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->GetSpideredUrl($index, $outStr);
$retStr = $spider->getSpideredUrl($index);

Returns the Nth URL in the already-spidered URL list. Indexing begins at 0.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

# $index is an integer
# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->GetUnspideredUrl($index, $outStr);
$retStr = $spider->getUnspideredUrl($index);

Returns the Nth URL in the unspidered URL list. Indexing begins at 0.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

# $url is a string
# $outStr is a CkString (output)
$status = $spider->GetUrlDomain($url, $outStr);
$retStr = $spider->getUrlDomain($url);

Returns the domain name part of a URL. For example, if the URL is "http://www.chilkatsoft.com/test.asp", then "www.chilkatsoft.com" is returned.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

# $domain is a string
$spider->Initialize($domain);

Initializes the component to begin spidering a domain. Calling Initialize clears any patterns added via the AddAvoidOutboundLinkPattern, AddAvoidPattern, and AddMustMatchPattern methods. The domain name passed to this method is what is returned by the Domain property. The spider only crawls URLs within the same domain.

Crawling the Web

Getting Started Example

$retBool = $spider->RecrawlLast();

Re-crawls the last URL spidered. This helpful when cookies set in a previous page load cause the page to be loaded differently the next time.

# returns a CkTask
$ret_task = $spider->RecrawlLastAsync();

Creates an asynchronous task to call the RecrawlLast method with the arguments provided. (Async methods are available starting in Chilkat v9.5.0.52.)

Returns null on failure

How to Run an Asynchronous Task

# $path is a string
$status = $spider->SaveLastError($path);

Saves the last-error information (the contents of LastErrorXml) to an XML formatted file.

Returns 1 for success, 0 for failure.

# $index is an integer
$spider->SkipUnspidered($index);

Moves a URL from the unspidered list to the spidered list. This allows an application to skip a specific URL.

# $numMilliseconds is an integer
$spider->SleepMs($numMilliseconds);

Suspends the execution of the current thread until the time-out interval elapses.