Hi friends:
First of all, thanks for your time.
I was wondering if it´s possible to develop (using Python, of course) some kind of application which can interact whith an internet page to which I'am a registered user (it´s not a matter of hacking) and to work whith the results retrieved (mostly article prices).
The thing is, in a first page, I have to log in, once logged, and then the second screen gives me an input where to make the consults. All of this I can do it with any web browser but I want to change the interfase to add more functionallity.
Can you give some guide about it?

Thanks, from Argentina,

Albini, Gabriel E.-

11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by N317V

This question intrigued me and sent me into the details of Foundations of Python Network Programming.

Think about it like this:

(1) You need to authenticate.
(2) You need to read the data.
(3) You need to find some way to display and manipulate the data.

I assume that your desire is for read-only functionality; i.e., you aren't trying to send the manipulated data back to the server?

The thing is, (1) and (2) are trivial. (3) is hard(er).

Here's simple code (tweaked from FoPNP) that spits out the contents of a web page:

import sys, urllib2

URL = raw_input("Where shall we go today? ") # ex.:  http://www.google.com
req = urllib2.Request(URL)
fd = urllib2.urlopen(req)

while True:
    data = fd.read(1024)
    if not len(data):

Note that this is a really mindless program; it won't even think to attach the "http://" for you. If needed, authentication is handled by urllib2.HTTPBasicAuthHandler.

If you run it with, say, http://www.google.com, you'll get the text version of the HTML.

This is where part (3) comes in. To get a Firefox-like rendering of the web-page, your program has to replicate browser functionality. Congratulations! You get to re-write Netscape! YUCK.

Another possibility is that you could read in the HTML, tweak it (by parsing it, and then inserting stuff of your own), and then write it as a local .htm file that you could use Firefox (or IE if you must) to display. That's a do-able project, and it only requires learning to parse HTML.

Fortunately, the modules HTMLParser and htmllib are available to help you. I've never done this, so my help must stop here.


The other possibility would be to create your own FireFox extension to modify your browser to create the tools you need. That's probably the right solution for your problem, but I know nothing about that and can't even say whether it would be easy or hard. Here is a tutorial on writing FF extensions:



Did You consider writing a Greasemonkey script? That is a rather simple way so enhance a webpages functionality.


Thanks everybody for your answers.
Jeff: Those are really good news, :-) I'm not crazy for for something like this. I´ve tried your code and worked fine.
N317V: Great alternative!!! I like the idea, instead of python I've to learn javascript... pitty, I liked Python.
Woooee: A bit too much for me yet.

Thanks again,



N317V: Great alternative!!! I like the idea, instead of python I've to learn javascript... pitty, I liked Python.

I suggest you learn both. :-)

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