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thespin

Webview Scraping

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"Hello FileMaker World"

Looks like you have a great forum here!

I am a noob evaluating Filemaker 8.5 as a possible vehicle to parse and scrape content from web pages - saving said content to an FM database for massaging and printing.

I have looked around the forum and see that it's possible to access the web page source and parse it with scripts.

I do have the following questions:

1. What is the native character encoding of text entered into FM scripts ?

2. Is content scraped from a web page source in the original web page encoding or is it converted automatically to FM native encoding ?

3. Does FM use 'regular expressions' ?

4. Can scripts call external routines ? If so, what is the preferred compiler language for these routines ?

5. Can FM highlight data of interest in the web viewer ? If the user highlights data in the web viewer, can FM determine which data has been highlighted ?

6. Can UTF-8 characters be saved to an FM database ? If the appropriate fonts are available, can reports be generated using UTF-8 characters ?

7. If 'No' to question #6, what encodings may be saved to an FM database ?

And if anyone knows, will there be a version of Filemaker for Linux/Ubuntu anytime soon ?

Thanks soooo much for any help you may offer.

- Andy

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Hi Andy,

I noticed no one has replied to you, so I'll try to answer the ones I can.

1. What is the native character encoding of text entered into FM scripts ?

Unicode, specifically, UTF-16, but data read in can be in other formats (UTF-8) too.

2. Is content scraped from a web page source in the original web page encoding or is it converted automatically to FM native encoding ?

Every piece of text data within FileMaker has been converted to Unicode, there is no way to store text data in a different format.

3. Does FM use 'regular expressions' ?

Natively, just simple ones inside "Find" mode. I do have an example on my website that implements perl-style regular expressions via custom functions that is probably closer to what you meant.

4. Can scripts call external routines ? If so, what is the preferred compiler language for these routines ?

The calculation engine which scripting uses supports plug-ins. FileMaker provides a C and a C++ API to plug-in developers.

5. Can FM highlight data of interest in the web viewer ? If the user highlights data in the web viewer, can FM determine which data has been highlighted ?

I doubt it, but I don't really know.

6. Can UTF-8 characters be saved to an FM database ? If the appropriate fonts are available, can reports be generated using UTF-8 characters ?

As I mention above, only UTF-16 is every stored internally, the conversion to UTF-16 is automatic when text is brought in from other sources.

And if anyone knows, will there be a version of Filemaker for Linux/Ubuntu anytime soon ?

Highly unlikely, there was a Linux version of server around 6.0, but I don't believe the company has done any releases for Linux since then.

Hope this helps.

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