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How do I get curl to pull back a page that has options on it after a redirect?

Posted on 2011-09-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I am using bash script with curl in Ubuntu 11.04 to capture a web page. I am new to this and this seems to be a complicated case in that it has a redirect and then options on the page for the data. I can't seem to get the options to change. I have tried both -b to send the cookie and -d to send a setting. Perhaps its the order I am doing this as I also have a -L for the redirect and -A to send as Chrome.

So the page has a drop down for the language and it defaults to a language I can't use. I want to select a different language in that drop down. When I do this on the web page, the URL does not change at all.
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Question by:ccbe
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Expert Comment

by:noci
ID: 36716116
Please do a view page as source in a browser.
First check if the page is using java script or not.

If not then curl can be used straight away, but you may need several steps (request/responses) to continue to use it..

If javascript is used you need to work out what it does and emulate it using bash (or perl etc).
That might complicate things. Afaict there is no js interpreter that is usable for such things.

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Author Comment

by:ccbe
ID: 36717492
Thanks for the help.

It is using javascript.

Clearly I'm a newbie, but isn't there a simple way to avoid this complication by using the cookie? The site has my settings when I return in Chrome or FF. I was thinking that because of the redirect I am sending the cookie at the wrong time?

Would it be:

curl -L -b cookie.txt "http:\\www.site.com"

If not, what happens to the sites request for the cookie after the redirect?

Here is an example  of the setting I want to change:

<span id="UPB"><div class='prefsbox'>
<select name="ctl00$LDDL" onchange="javascript:setTimeout(&#39;__doPostBack(\&#39;ctl00$LDDL\&#39;,\&#39;\&#39;)&#39;, 0)" id="LDDL">
                  <option value="1">English (N. American)</option>
                  <option selected="selected" value="2">Italiano (Italian)</option>
                  <option value="3">Suomi (Finnish)</option>
                  <option value="4">Deutsch (German)</option>
                  <option value="5">Norsk (Norwegian)</option>
                  <option value="6">Portugu&#234;s (Portuguese)</option>
                  <option value="7">Espa&#241;ol (Spanish)</option>
                  <option value="8">Svenska (Swedish)</option>
</select></div>
      </span>


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Expert Comment

by:noci
ID: 36718187
Well there clearly is form around this, that provides the url,
what does settimeout do (most porbably, start a timer and tun the doPostBack).

Then what does doPostBack do?  You realy need to get into the small items... if there is a form post, THAT what's needed to set a variable/cookie.
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Assisted Solution

by:parparov
parparov earned 400 total points
ID: 36718325
You may want to use Rhino Shell:
https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Rhino_Shell

for scripting the Javascript commands
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Author Comment

by:ccbe
ID: 36719187
nocl: I don't know what any of the pieces do, I didn't put the site together. I am just trying to get some info off of it automatically so I can create a report over time.

parpov: Does this allow me to do what I said above? Again, I am a newbie at this, I looked at the page you gave me, I just don't want to go down another road filled with roadblocks.

Thanks to you both for the help.
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Accepted Solution

by:
noci earned 1600 total points
ID: 36719752
When the selection of the language causes the onSelect to be executed.
what is done is described in __doPostBack()
The code for it is in one of the downloaded css sheets, the html file or just referenced before.

@parpov, interesting tool i have to look into that...

checking out.../compiling ... it seems to work.

It might be usable if it can connect to the remote site, at least the actions of the onSelect can be executed.
But the steps still need to be setup in some order like you would click & select through a page when done.
Curl may be used for cookie management & http queries .., but it needs quite some work...
either way.
There is insufficient info to provide more detailed steps.
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