Webbots, Spiders and Screen Scrapers: A Guide to Developing Internet Agents with PHP/CURL, sweet baby jesus, just the title of this book makes my head hurt. And what in the hell are webbots, spiders and screen scrapers?
Just a general gist of what I've gathered from this Internet guide filled with things I've never heard of: Webbots can basically run your life. They can be programed to keep you updated on specific current events that interest you, and you can also program it to ignore certain Internet articles. For instance, I would never again care to see an article about a mother who murdered her children. A webbot can handle that for me. There are a million other things a webbot can be programed to do, but you will have to see for yourself, I do have a life. Moving on... A "spider" is a software program that travels the Web, locating and indexing websites for search engines. So when you type "book review blogs" into Google, supposedly this "spider" character would be the reason my blog showed up. Screen scrapers appear to be the type of programs that help hackers steal information from your computers. This book is basically dedicated to helping your computer programs help you. Author Michael Schrenk can explain it all far better than I can.