Forum OpenACS Development: API for parsing html-forms

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Posted by Nima Mazloumi on
Hi everybody,

is there a more convenient way to parse a html-page for it's form part? I used ns_http_read to get its content. I want to figure out the form action, the method (post,get) and the input fields it uses.

I tried to use regexp but it's not elegant and I have problems to extract multiple occurences of input fields :(

I really appreciate your help.

Best wishes,
Nima

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Posted by Tilmann Singer on
A collection of non-elegant regexps for doing exactly this can be found in http://tclwebtest.sf.net .

When you are using aolserver 4 it is fairly easy to use tclwebtest from within with 'package require'. Otherwise it becomes tricky - one way I made it work is by calling tcl's 'source' before calling tclwebtest commands, but this is propably not very efficient.

With aolserver 4 you might want to use http://tcllib.sourceforge.net/doc/htmlparse.html instead.

Or use tdom - it has a html parsing mode, although it is not very forgiving on broken html, e.g. it crashes on things like non-closed tables etc. And I'm not sure if the html mode is available in the aolserver module.

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Posted by Nima Mazloumi on
Thank you very much. Unfortunately I have AOLserver 3.3oacs1 installed - in accordance to the documentation. Why isn't the newest AOLServer 4.0 used anyway? Has this something to do with the modules needed for OpenACS? From your reply I understand that you use v4.0. Would you suggest to upgrade the server to 4.0? And where could I find more information on how I can do thatß

Thank you very much,
Nima

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Posted by Nima Mazloumi on
For the Documentation it says that the following patches are needed. Did you patch v4.0?

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Posted by Jeff Davis on
openacs works just fine on 4.0 with no patching. The reason none of the docs mention using it is that the official release of 4.0 only happened 3 days ago.

The only change in install stuff is that you have to include the nsdb module and "package require tdom" rather than using nstdom (well besides building 4.0 which changed a lot as tcl has been broken out and aolserver is just linked against the standard tcl libs...).

Btw, where was that documentation from? We should probably update it.

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Posted by Nima Mazloumi on
I copied that part from the cvs head-doc:

http://openacs.org/doc/openacs-HEAD/individual-programs.html

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Posted by Joel Aufrecht on
I don't think we should switch the testing platform from AOLserver 3.3oacs1 to AOLserver 4 while in Beta on OpenACS 5.0.  I think we should ship 5.0 and then consider AOLserver 4.0 support as a new feature in 5.1.  By "support" I mean have some core developers AND automated test servers and installers using AOLserver 4 - we did do some testing against 4.0 and it uncovered a few subtle things, like changes in config.tcl, that we need to handle carefully.
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Posted by Jeff Davis on
I put in a ticket for the out of date version stuff in software.xml.

As for 4.0, I have been using 4.0 since march for pretty much all the testing I have done and have not run into any problems (and I think Don, Bart, and Roberto have been running it too). It seems pretty bulletproof (although I agree its probably a 5.1 or 5.0.1 change).

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Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Joel, from a software stability assurance point of view your thoughts on sticking with AOLserver 3.3+patches for OpenACS 5.0 make sense, but in the long run we're all going to better off the faster we get everyone onto AOLserver 4.0. And a lot of OpenACS 5.0 users are, overall, going to find it easier to use AOLserver 4.0 than the older version, not harder.

So if people are willing to update the necessary docs and config files for in time, I'd OpenACS 5.0 should recommend and support both versions of AOLserver, with the note that in the future AOLserver 4.x will become the standard.

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Posted by Nima Mazloumi on
Is there any special step I have to consider before porting OpenACS to v4.0?
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Posted by Jeff Davis on
You need tcl 8.4 (built with --enable-threads), you need to add nsdb.so to your modules, and you should use "package require tdom" to load tdom (rather than using nstdom).

Apart from the package require tdom, there are no changes needed to openacs.

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Posted by Nima Mazloumi on
Hi Jeff,
I installed TCL 8.4.4 and the AOLServer v4:

3 questions:

1. I compared the bin directory of Aolserver 3.3 and 4:

v3.3:
libphp4.so nscache.so nscp.so  nsd-postgres nsfts.so  nsopenssl.so nsperm.so nsrewrite.so nssock.so libtdom.so  nscgi.so nsext.so nslog.so nspam.so nspostgres.so  nssha1.so nsxml.so

v4:
nscgi.so nscp.so nsdb.so nsext.so nslog.so nsperm.so  nssock.so

Can I simple copy these files or do I have to recompile them using the v4.0 source code.

2. Where do I have to make the setting package require tdom?

3. There is a sample-config.tcl file included in v4.0. Can I copy the missing settings from my current OpenACS config.tcl file? Do you have a config.tcl for OpenACS 5 file that the v4 server uses?

They still have the docs of v3 online at aolserver.org :(

Thank you for your help.

Greetings,
Nima

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Posted by Malte Sussdorff on
Hi Nima,

though I'm not Jeff, I will answer anyway ;)

  1. No you can't. Aolserver 3 and 4 work differently, just recompile them.
  2. So far I have always linked it up and not used package require, but Jeff and I clearly have different opinions on this. In general though it seems that package require is the way openacs is going to suggest the use of AOLserver
  3. Not as of now. Just make sure you include nsdb.so in your module section (ns_param nsdb ${bindir}/nsdb.so). And, depending on the way you install tdom, make sure this is included as well.
  4. Use the -b yourip:yourport when starting AOLserver. Though only required for priviledged ports, it is useful to remember this and use it all the time.
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Posted by Nima Mazloumi on
Hi Malte my friend. How are you?

Thank you for your reply. I thought I read somewhere that you wanted to write a little document on how to install the Aolserver 4. Am I right? Will it be on your companies web site?

Greetings,
Nima

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Posted by Malte Sussdorff on
Actually I plan to put it into the CVS for 5.0. Furthermore it is already posted somewhere in the forums (though with a focus on "OS X". Not very detailed, just a step by step guide.
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Posted by Randy O'Meara on
Malte graciously posted his instrcutions here:

http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=135723

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Posted by Nima Mazloumi on
I found Maltes instructions under

http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=139390

Thank you Malte.