[thelist] auction site integration

me me at cgiguy.com
Wed Oct 24 12:51:51 CDT 2001


i once wrote a cgi for a stock trader in LA.
He wanted to submit a message to multiple "message board" type
websites. We ended up with a single page whereby he could enter
a message in a textarea box, click one or more checkboxes to tell
the cgi which message sites to send the message to. The cgi would

a) automatically create a new login account for each site. (if needed)
b) login to each site. (if needed)
c) navigate thru the site and post the message.

It was nothing short of challenging to do this. In a nutshell, what i
built was nothing short of a browser simulator. The websites actually
thought i was a netscape browser coming to their site. I think that i let
think that i was netscape. for what its worth, there are trivial differences
as to how the different browsers negotiate cookies, etc.

Anyway, yes, it would be possible for you to automatically submit
anything to any site. The way i did it, you basically have to manually
open a socket to the site, read the site's html(just like a browser would)
and then react accordingly.

I've actually gotten a request, though i dont have the fine details yet, to
write some code that would know how to automatically buy and/or
sell via several major stock exchanges/sites around the world. The idea
would be for my code to look for certain patterns and then act
accordingly. Maybe when X happens at a particular exchange, do something
else, maybe buy or sell at another exchange. it sure sounds fun.

When i wrote the message board distribution code, i wrote a simulated
web server that, when called by netscape for example, allowed me to
see exactly what netscape was sending to the webserver. This way, i
knew exactly what to send to the message board via my cgi.

Funny thing is, the stock trader that i wrote the message submission
code for, he foolishly flooded the message boards with so many messages
that it almost made him look stupid. i told him, but he did not listen.
he ended up looking like a common spammer. onward forward.

by the way, its a lot easier to do such a thing in a lower level language,
such as c. and unix only makes it just that much easier too.

And, keep in mind, that my methods dont rely on any kind of API
whatsoever. In fact, it really matters to me none if the site in question
even approves of my automatic submissions. Hell, thats what makes
it fun. But, if their site layout changes, you will need to make some
modifications to your site too. But also if you are careful about how
you code it, they can make minor changes to their site and your
auto submit code will still run.

And, there may be easier ways to accomplish this...
I focus primarily on the lower level stuff. Thats all.

Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

----- Original Message -----
From: Les Lytollis <les.lytollis at morse.com>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2001 6:26 AM
Subject: [thelist] auction site integration

> Hi Evolters,
> I am trying to build some functionality into a site built for collectors
> traders which will allow them to store or enter their account details
> say eBay) on their own site, which would then allow them to seamlessly
> upload content from their own database (or whatever datastore) to their
> auction site account without having to re-enter all the details (at, say
> eBay).
> As an example, a collector (OK, me;)) has a hundred comics to sell which
> all stored in a mySQL database. Using his own content management system
> (built in PHP), the collector would be able to select ten of these comics
> and click a "publish to eBay" (or QXL, whatever) button and the comics
> be published under the seller's account on the auction site and also
> displayed on his own site with a link to each auction.
> Does this mean I would have to contact each site and get some sort of API,
> or is it fairly trivial to template the site forms and just convert the
> from the seller's db (in XML?), passing login details along with the
> content?
> Lot's of questions and fairly vague, I know - but if I can at least get
> directed questions from you guys, it will help me work out where I am
> with this.
> Lez
> <tip author="lez" type="php">
> Never discount the usefulness of phpinfo.
> If you have errors like "can't connect to tmp/sock/mysql", use it to check
> that php is using the copy of php.ini that you think it is (Configuration
> File (php.ini) Path).
> </tip>
> ---------------------------------------
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