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Watch web pages and arbitrary URLs for changes

Project description

URLWATCH README
===============

ABOUT
-----

This is a simple URL watcher, designed to send you diffs of webpages as they
change. Ideal for watching web pages of university courses, so you always
know when lecture dates have changed or new tasks are online :)


DEPENDENCIES
------------

This package requires the "concurrent.futures" module as included in Python
3.2. For Python versions < 3.2, you can install it using:

pip install futures

or download and install it manually from its project page at

http://code.google.com/p/pythonfutures/


QUICK START
-----------

1. Start "urlwatch"
2. Edit and rename the examples in ~/.urlwatch/
3. Add "urlwatch" to your crontab (crontab -e)
4. Receive change notifications via e-mail
5. Customize your hooks in ~/.urlwatch/lib/


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
--------------------------

Q: How do I add/remove URLs?
A: Edit ~/.urlwatch/urls.txt

Q: A page changes some content on every reload. How do I prevent urlwatch
from always displaying these changes?
A: Edit ~/.urlwatch/lib/hooks.py and implement your filters there. Examples
are included in the urlwatch source distribution.

Q: How do I configure urlwatch as a cron job?
A: Use "crontab -e" to add the command "urlwatch" to your crontab. Make sure
stdout of your cronjobs is mailed to you, so you also get the notifications.

Q: Is there an easy way to show changes of .ics files?
A: Indeed there is. See the example hooks.py file.

Q: What about badly-formed HTML (long lines, etc..)?
A: Use python-utidylib. See the example hooks.py file.

Q: Is there a way to make the output more human-readable?
Q: Is there a way to turn it into a diff of parsed HTML perhaps?
A: Of course. See the example hooks.py file -> use html2txt.html2text(data)

Q: Why do I get an error with URLs with spaces in them?
A: Please make sure to URL-encode the URLs properly. Use %20 for spaces.

Q: The website I want to watch requires a POST request. How do I send one?
A: Add the POST data in the same line, separated by a single space. The format
in urls.txt is: http://example.org/script.cgi value=5&q=search&button=Go


CONTACT
-------

Website: http://thp.io/2008/urlwatch/
E-Mail: m@thp.io
Jabber/XMPP: thp@jabber.org

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