mechanize vs watir

I am trying to do some html ajax scraping using watir. But I was just told mechanize is better than watir as mechanize doesn't require a web browser runing while doing the scraping work. Does it sound right?

I am interested in knowing which is better in terms of functionality, performance, continued community support, and multi-threading. In addition, I would like to know if either of them can work with Java. Can anyone share some thoughts?
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That's a great article that leakim971 posted. You can also check out
for more background and an introduction into various screen-scraping approaches. It also has a 2nd part to the article and a few other links. It was written quite a while ago by the fellow who developed scRUBYt and is one of the first articles I found when I was looking into screen-scraping and Ruby.
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