++ed by:
FOXCOOL JWANG KEEDI MISHIN PJF

7 PAUSE user(s)
8 non-PAUSE user(s).

Max Maischein

NAME

WWW::Mechanize::Firefox - use Firefox as if it were WWW::Mechanize

SYNOPSIS

  use WWW::Mechanize::Firefox;
  my $mech = WWW::Mechanize::Firefox->new();
  $mech->get('http://google.com');

  $mech->eval_in_page('alert("Hello Firefox")');
  my $png = $mech->content_as_png();

This module will let you automate Firefox through the Mozrepl plugin. You need to have installed that plugin in your Firefox.

For more examples see WWW::Mechanize::Firefox::Examples.

CONSTRUCTOR and CONFIGURATION

$mech->new( %args )

  use WWW::Mechanize::Firefox;
  my $mech = WWW::Mechanize::Firefox->new();

Creates a new instance and connects it to Firefox.

Note that Firefox must have the mozrepl extension installed and enabled.

The following options are recognized:

  • tab - regex for the title of the tab to reuse. If no matching tab is found, the constructor dies.

    If you pass in the string current, the currently active tab will be used instead.

    If you pass in a MozRepl::RemoteObject instance, this will be used as the new tab. This is convenient if you have an existing tab in Firefox as object already, for example created through Firefox::Application->addTab().

  • create - will create a new tab if no existing tab matching the criteria given in tab can be found.

  • activate - make the tab the active tab

  • launch - name of the program to launch if we can't connect to it on the first try.

  • frames - an array reference of ids of subframes to include when searching for elements on a page.

    If you want to always search through all frames, just pass 1. This is the default.

    To prevent searching through frames, pass

              frames => 0

    To whitelist frames to be searched, pass the list of frame selectors:

              frames => ['#content_frame']
  • autodie - whether web failures converted are fatal Perl errors. See the autodie accessor. True by default to make error checking easier.

    To make errors non-fatal, pass

        autodie => 0

    in the constructor.

  • agent - the name of the User Agent to use. This overrides how Firefox identifies itself.

  • log - array reference to log levels, passed through to MozRepl::RemoteObject

  • bufsize - Net::Telnet buffer size, if the default of 1MB is not enough

  • events - the set of default Javascript events to listen for while waiting for a reply. In fact, WWW::Mechanize::Firefox will almost always wait until a 'DOMContentLoaded' or 'load' event. 'pagehide' events will tell it for what frames to wait.

    The default set is

      'DOMContentLoaded','load', 
      'pageshow',
      'pagehide',
      'error','abort','stop',
  • app - a premade Firefox::Application

  • repl - a premade MozRepl::RemoteObject instance or a connection string suitable for initializing one

  • use_queue - whether to use the command queueing of MozRepl::RemoteObject. Default is 1.

  • js_JSON - whether to use native JSON encoder of Firefox

        js_JSON => 'native', # force using the native JSON encoder

    The default is to autodetect whether a native JSON encoder is available and whether the transport is UTF-8 safe.

  • pre_events - the events that are sent to an input field before its value is changed. By default this is [focus].

  • post_events - the events that are sent to an input field after its value is changed. By default this is [blur, change].

$mech->agent( $product_id );

    $mech->agent('wonderbot/JS 1.0');

Set the product token that is used to identify the user agent on the network. The agent value is sent as the "User-Agent" header in the requests. The default is whatever Firefox uses.

To reset the user agent to the Firefox default, pass an empty string:

    $mech->agent('');

$mech->autodie( [$state] )

  $mech->autodie(0);

Accessor to get/set whether warnings become fatal.

$mech->events()

  $mech->events( ['load'] );

Sets or gets the set of Javascript events that WWW::Mechanize::Firefox will wait for after requesting a new page. Returns an array reference.

Changing the set of events will most likely make WWW::Mechanize::Firefox stall while waiting for a response.

This method is special to WWW::Mechanize::Firefox.

$mech->on_event()

  $mech->on_event(1); # prints every page load event

  # or give it a callback
  $mech->on_event(sub { warn "Page loaded with $ev->{name} event" });

Gets/sets the notification handler for the Javascript event that finished a page load. Set it to 1 to output via warn, or a code reference to call it with the event.

This method is special to WWW::Mechanize::Firefox.

$mech->cookies()

  my $cookie_jar = $mech->cookies();

Returns a HTTP::Cookies object that was initialized from the live Firefox instance.

Note: ->set_cookie is not yet implemented, as is saving the cookie jar.

JAVASCRIPT METHODS

$mech->allow( %options )

Enables or disables browser features for the current tab. The following options are recognized:

  • plugins - Whether to allow plugin execution.

  • javascript - Whether to allow Javascript execution.

  • metaredirects - Attribute stating if refresh based redirects can be allowed.

  • frames, subframes - Attribute stating if it should allow subframes (framesets/iframes) or not.

  • images - Attribute stating whether or not images should be loaded.

Options not listed remain unchanged.

Disable Javascript

  $mech->allow( javascript => 0 );

$mech->js_errors()

  print $_->{message}
      for $mech->js_errors();

An interface to the Javascript Error Console

Returns the list of errors in the JEC

Maybe this should be called js_messages or js_console_messages instead.

$mech->clear_js_errors()

    $mech->clear_js_errors();

Clears all Javascript messages from the console

$mech->eval_in_page( $str [, $env [, $document]] )

$mech->eval( $str [, $env [, $document]] )

  my ($value, $type) = $mech->eval( '2+2' );

Evaluates the given Javascript fragment in the context of the web page. Returns a pair of value and Javascript type.

This allows access to variables and functions declared "globally" on the web page.

The returned result needs to be treated with extreme care because it might lead to Javascript execution in the context of your application instead of the context of the webpage. This should be evident for functions and complex data structures like objects. When working with results from untrusted sources, you can only safely use simple types like string.

If you want to modify the environment the code is run under, pass in a hash reference as the second parameter. All keys will be inserted into the this object as well as this.window. Also, complex data structures are only supported if they contain no objects. If you need finer control, you'll have to write the Javascript yourself.

This method is special to WWW::Mechanize::Firefox.

Also, using this method opens a potential security risk as the returned values can be objects and using these objects can execute malicious code in the context of the Firefox application.

$mech->unsafe_page_property_access( ELEMENT )

Allows you unsafe access to properties of the current page. Using such properties is an incredibly bad idea.

This is why the function dies. If you really want to use this function, edit the source code.

UI METHODS

See also Firefox::Application for how to add more than one tab and how to manipulate windows and tabs.

$mech->application()

    my $ff = $mech->application();

Returns the Firefox::Application object for manipulating more parts of the Firefox UI and application.

$mech->autoclose_tab

  $mech->autoclose_tab( 0 ); # keep tab open after program end

Set whether to close the tab associated with the instance.

$mech->tab()

Gets the object that represents the Firefox tab used by WWW::Mechanize::Firefox.

This method is special to WWW::Mechanize::Firefox.

$mech->make_progress_listener( %callbacks )

    my $eventlistener = $mech->progress_listener(
        onStateChange => \&onStateChange,
    );

Creates an unconnected nsIWebProgressListener interface which calls the Perl subroutines you pass in.

Returns a handle. Once the handle gets released, all callbacks will get stopped. Also, all Perl callbacks will get deregistered from the Javascript bridge, so make sure not to use the same callback in different progress listeners at the same time. The sender may still call your callbacks.

$mech->progress_listener( $source, %callbacks )

    my $eventlistener = progress_listener(
        $browser,
        onLocationChange => \&onLocationChange,
    );

Sets up the callbacks for the nsIWebProgressListener interface to be the Perl subroutines you pass in.

$source needs to support .addProgressListener and .removeProgressListener.

Returns a handle. Once the handle gets released, all callbacks will get stopped. Also, all Perl callbacks will get deregistered from the Javascript bridge, so make sure not to use the same callback in different progress listeners at the same time.

$mech->repl()

  my ($value,$type) = $mech->repl->expr('2+2');

Gets the MozRepl::RemoteObject instance that is used.

This method is special to WWW::Mechanize::Firefox.

$mech->highlight_node( @nodes )

    my @links = $mech->selector('a');
    $mech->highlight_node(@links);

Convenience method that marks all nodes in the arguments with

  background: red;
  border: solid black 1px;
  display: block; /* if the element was display: none before */

This is convenient if you need visual verification that you've got the right nodes.

There currently is no way to restore the nodes to their original visual state except reloading the page.

NAVIGATION METHODS

$mech->get( $url, %options )

  $mech->get( $url, ':content_file' => $tempfile );

Retrieves the URL URL into the tab.

It returns a faked HTTP::Response object for interface compatibility with WWW::Mechanize.

Recognized options:

  • :content_file - filename to store the data in

  • no_cache - if true, bypass the browser cache

  • synchronize - wait until all elements have loaded

    The default is to wait until all elements have loaded. You can switch this off by passing

        synchronize => 0

    for example if you want to manually poll for an element that appears fairly early during the load of a complex page.

$mech->get_local( $filename , %options )

  $mech->get_local('test.html');

Shorthand method to construct the appropriate file:// URI and load it into Firefox. Relative paths will be interpreted as relative to $0.

This method accepts the same options as ->get().

This method is special to WWW::Mechanize::Firefox but could also exist in WWW::Mechanize through a plugin.

$mech->post( $url, %options )

  $mech->post( 'http://example.com',
      params => { param => "Hello World" },
      headers => {
        "Content-Type" => 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded',
      },
      charset => 'utf-8',
  );

Sends a POST request to $url.

A Content-Length header will be automatically calculated if it is not given.

The following options are recognized:

  • headers - a hash of HTTP headers to send. If not given, the content type will be generated automatically.

  • data - the raw data to send, if you've encoded it already.

$mech->add_header( $name => $value, ... )

    $mech->add_header(
        'X-WWW-Mechanize-Firefox' => "I'm using it",
        Encoding => 'text/klingon',
    );

This method sets up custom headers that will be sent with every HTTP(S) request that Firefox makes.

Using multiple instances of WWW::Mechanize::Firefox objects with the same application together with changed request headers will most likely have weird effects. So don't do that.

Note that currently, we only support one value per header.

$mech->delete_header( $name , $name2... )

    $mech->delete_header( 'User-Agent' );
    

Removes HTTP headers from the agent's list of special headers. Note that Firefox may still send a header with its default value.

$mech->reset_headers

    $mech->reset_headers();

Removes all custom headers and makes Firefox send its defaults again.

$mech->synchronize( $event, $callback )

Wraps a synchronization semaphore around the callback and waits until the event $event fires on the browser. If you want to wait for one of multiple events to occur, pass an array reference as the first parameter.

Usually, you want to use it like this:

  my $l = $mech->xpath('//a[@onclick]', single => 1);
  $mech->synchronize('DOMFrameContentLoaded', sub {
      $mech->click( $l );
  });

It is necessary to synchronize with the browser whenever a click performs an action that takes longer and fires an event on the browser object.

The DOMFrameContentLoaded event is fired by Firefox when the whole DOM and all iframes have been loaded. If your document doesn't have frames, use the DOMContentLoaded event instead.

If you leave out $event, the value of ->events() will be used instead.

$mech->res() / $mech->response(%options)

    my $response = $mech->response(headers => 0);

Returns the current response as a HTTP::Response object.

The headers option tells the module whether to fetch the headers from Firefox or not. This is mainly an internal optimization hack.

$mech->success()

    $mech->get('http://google.com');
    print "Yay"
        if $mech->success();

Returns a boolean telling whether the last request was successful. If there hasn't been an operation yet, returns false.

This is a convenience function that wraps $mech->res->is_success.

$mech->status()

    $mech->get('http://google.com');
    print $mech->status();
    # 200

Returns the HTTP status code of the response. This is a 3-digit number like 200 for OK, 404 for not found, and so on.

$mech->reload( [$bypass_cache] )

    $mech->reload();

Reloads the current page. If $bypass_cache is a true value, the browser is not allowed to use a cached page. This is the difference between pressing F5 (cached) and shift-F5 (uncached).

Returns the (new) response.

$mech->back( [$synchronize] )

    $mech->back();

Goes one page back in the page history.

Returns the (new) response.

$mech->forward( [$synchronize] )

    $mech->forward();

Goes one page forward in the page history.

Returns the (new) response.

$mech->uri()

    print "We are at " . $mech->uri;

Returns the current document URI.

CONTENT METHODS

$mech->document()

Returns the DOM document object.

This is WWW::Mechanize::Firefox specific.

$mech->docshell()

    my $ds = $mech->docshell;

Returns the docShell Javascript object associated with the tab.

This is WWW::Mechanize::Firefox specific.

$mech->content( %options )

  print $mech->content;
  print $mech->content( format => 'html' ); # default
  print $mech->content( format => 'text' ); # identical to ->text

This always returns the content as a Unicode string. It tries to decode the raw content according to its input encoding. This currently only works for HTML pages, not for images etc.

Recognized options:

  • document - the document to use.

    Default is $self->document.

  • format - the stuff to return

    The allowed values are html and text. The default is html.

$mech->text()

Returns the text of the current HTML content. If the content isn't HTML, $mech will die.

$mech->content_encoding()

    print "The content is encoded as ", $mech->content_encoding;

Returns the encoding that the content is in. This can be used to convert the content from UTF-8 back to its native encoding.

$mech->update_html( $html )

  $mech->update_html($html);

Writes $html into the current document. This is mostly implemented as a convenience method for HTML::Display::MozRepl.

$mech->save_content( $localname [, $resource_directory] [, %options ] )

  $mech->get('http://google.com');
  $mech->save_content('google search page','google search page files');

Saves the given URL to the given filename. The URL will be fetched from the cache if possible, avoiding unnecessary network traffic.

If $resource_directory is given, the whole page will be saved. All CSS, subframes and images will be saved into that directory, while the page HTML itself will still be saved in the file pointed to by $localname.

Returns a nsIWebBrowserPersist object through which you can cancel the download by calling its ->cancelSave method. Also, you can poll the download status through the ->{currentState} property.

If you need to set persist flags pass the unsigned long value in the persist option.

$mech->get('http://zombisoft.com'); $mech->save_content('Zombisoft','zombisoft-resource-files', "persist" => 512 | 2048);

A list of flags and their values can be found at https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/XPCOM_Interface_Reference/nsIWebBrowserPersist

If you are interested in the intermediate download progress, create a ProgressListener through $mech->progress_listener and pass it in the progress option.

The download will continue in the background. It will not show up in the Download Manager.

$mech->save_url( $url, $localname, [%options] )

  $mech->save_url('http://google.com','google_index.html');

Saves the given URL to the given filename. The URL will be fetched from the cache if possible, avoiding unnecessary network traffic.

If you are interested in the intermediate download progress, create a ProgressListener through $mech->progress_listener and pass it in the progress option. The download will continue in the background. It will also not show up in the Download Manager.

If the progress option is not passed in, -save_url > will only return after the download has finished.

Returns a nsIWebBrowserPersist object through which you can cancel the download by calling its ->cancelSave method. Also, you can poll the download status through the ->{currentState} property.

$mech->base()

  print $mech->base;

Returns the URL base for the current page.

The base is either specified through a base tag or is the current URL.

This method is specific to WWW::Mechanize::Firefox

$mech->content_type()

$mech->ct()

  print $mech->content_type;

Returns the content type of the currently loaded document

$mech->is_html()

  print $mech->is_html();

Returns true/false on whether our content is HTML, according to the HTTP headers.

$mech->title()

  print "We are on page " . $mech->title;

Returns the current document title.

EXTRACTION METHODS

  print $_->text . " -> " . $_->url . "\n"
      for $mech->links;

Returns all links in the document as WWW::Mechanize::Link objects.

Currently accepts no parameters. See ->xpath or ->selector when you want more control.

  print $_->{innerHTML} . "\n"
      for $mech->find_link_dom( text_contains => 'CPAN' );

A method to find links, like WWW::Mechanize's ->find_links method. This method returns DOM objects from Firefox instead of WWW::Mechanize::Link objects.

Note that Firefox might have reordered the links or frame links in the document so the absolute numbers passed via n might not be the same between WWW::Mechanize and WWW::Mechanize::Firefox.

Returns the DOM object as MozRepl::RemoteObject::Instance.

The supported options are:

  • text and text_contains and text_regex

    Match the text of the link as a complete string, substring or regular expression.

    Matching as a complete string or substring is a bit faster, as it is done in the XPath engine of Firefox.

  • id and id_contains and id_regex

    Matches the id attribute of the link completely or as part

  • name and name_contains and name_regex

    Matches the name attribute of the link

  • url and url_regex

    Matches the URL attribute of the link (href, src or content).

  • class - the class attribute of the link

  • n - the (1-based) index. Defaults to returning the first link.

  • single - If true, ensure that only one element is found. Otherwise croak or carp, depending on the autodie parameter.

  • one - If true, ensure that at least one element is found. Otherwise croak or carp, depending on the autodie parameter.

    The method croaks if no link is found. If the single option is true, it also croaks when more than one link is found.

  print $_->text . "\n"
      for $mech->find_link_dom( text_contains => 'CPAN' );

A method quite similar to WWW::Mechanize's method. The options are documented in ->find_link_dom.

Returns a WWW::Mechanize::Link object.

This defaults to not look through child frames.

  print $_->text . "\n"
      for $mech->find_link_dom( text_regex => qr/google/i );

Finds all links in the document. The options are documented in ->find_link_dom.

Returns them as list or an array reference, depending on context.

This defaults to not look through child frames.

  print $_->{innerHTML} . "\n"
      for $mech->find_link_dom( text_regex => qr/google/i );

Finds all matching linky DOM nodes in the document. The options are documented in ->find_link_dom.

Returns them as list or an array reference, depending on context.

This defaults to not look through child frames.

  $mech->follow_link( xpath => '//a[text() = "Click here!"]' );

Follows the given link. Takes the same parameters that find_link_dom uses. In addition, synchronize can be passed to (not) force waiting for a new page to be loaded.

Note that ->follow_link will only try to follow link-like things like A tags.

$mech->xpath( $query, %options )

    my $link = $mech->xpath('//a[id="clickme"]', one => 1);
    # croaks if there is no link or more than one link found

    my @para = $mech->xpath('//p');
    # Collects all paragraphs

    my @para_text = $mech->xpath('//p/text()', type => $mech->xpathResult('STRING_TYPE'));
    # Collects all paragraphs as text

Runs an XPath query in Firefox against the current document.

If you need more information about the returned results, use the ->xpathEx() function.

The options allow the following keys:

  • document - document in which the query is to be executed. Use this to search a node within a specific subframe of $mech->document.

  • frames - if true, search all documents in all frames and iframes. This may or may not conflict with node. This will default to the frames setting of the WWW::Mechanize::Firefox object.

  • node - node relative to which the query is to be executed. Note that you will have to use a relative XPath expression as well. Use

      .//foo

    instead of

      //foo
  • single - If true, ensure that only one element is found. Otherwise croak or carp, depending on the autodie parameter.

  • one - If true, ensure that at least one element is found. Otherwise croak or carp, depending on the autodie parameter.

  • maybe - If true, ensure that at most one element is found. Otherwise croak or carp, depending on the autodie parameter.

  • all - If true, return all elements found. This is the default. You can use this option if you want to use ->xpath in scalar context to count the number of matched elements, as it will otherwise emit a warning for each usage in scalar context without any of the above restricting options.

  • any - no error is raised, no matter if an item is found or not.

  • type - force the return type of the query.

      type => $mech->xpathResult('ORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE'),

    WWW::Mechanize::Firefox tries a best effort in giving you the appropriate result of your query, be it a DOM node or a string or a number. In the case you need to restrict the return type, you can pass this in.

    The allowed strings are documented in the MDN. Interesting types are

      ANY_TYPE     (default, uses whatever things the query returns)
      STRING_TYPE
      NUMBER_TYPE
      ORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE

Returns the matched results.

You can pass in a list of queries as an array reference for the first parameter. The result will then be the list of all elements matching any of the queries.

This is a method that is not implemented in WWW::Mechanize.

In the long run, this should go into a general plugin for WWW::Mechanize.

$mech->xpathEx( $query, %options )

    my @links = $mech->xpathEx('//a[id="clickme"]');

Runs an XPath query in Firefox against a document. Returns a list of found elements. Each element in the result has the following properties:

  • resultType - the type of the result. The numerical value of $mech->xpathResult().

  • resultSize - the number of elements in this result. This is 1 for atomic results like strings or numbers, and the number of elements for nodesets.

  • result - the best result available. This is the nodeset or the text or number, depending on the query.

$mech->selector( $css_selector, %options )

  my @text = $mech->selector('p.content');

Returns all nodes matching the given CSS selector. If $css_selector is an array reference, it returns all nodes matched by any of the CSS selectors in the array.

This takes the same options that ->xpath does.

In the long run, this should go into a general plugin for WWW::Mechanize.

$mech->by_id( $id, %options )

  my @text = $mech->by_id('_foo:bar');

Returns all nodes matching the given ids. If $id is an array reference, it returns all nodes matched by any of the ids in the array.

This method is equivalent to calling ->xpath :

    $self->xpath(qq{//*[\@id="$_"], %options)

It is convenient when your element ids get mistaken for CSS selectors.

$mech->click( $name [,$x ,$y] )

  $mech->click( 'go' );
  $mech->click({ xpath => '//button[@name="go"]' });

Has the effect of clicking a button (or other element) on the current form. The first argument is the name of the button to be clicked. The second and third arguments (optional) allow you to specify the (x,y) coordinates of the click.

If there is only one button on the form, $mech->click() with no arguments simply clicks that one button.

If you pass in a hash reference instead of a name, the following keys are recognized:

  • selector - Find the element to click by the CSS selector

  • xpath - Find the element to click by the XPath query

  • dom - Click on the passed DOM element

    You can use this to click on arbitrary page elements. There is no convenient way to pass x/y co-ordinates with this method.

  • id - Click on the element with the given id

    This is useful if your document ids contain characters that do look like CSS selectors. It is equivalent to

        xpath => qq{//*[\@id="$id"]}
  • synchronize - Synchronize the click (default is 1)

    Synchronizing means that WWW::Mechanize::Firefox will wait until one of the events listed in events is fired. You want to switch it off when there will be no HTTP response or DOM event fired, for example for clicks that only modify the DOM.

    You can pass in a scalar that is a false value to not wait for any kind of event.

    Passing in an array reference will use the array elements as Javascript events to wait for.

    Passing in any other true value will use the value of ->events as the list of events to wait for.

Returns a HTTP::Response object.

As a deviation from the WWW::Mechanize API, you can also pass a hash reference as the first parameter. In it, you can specify the parameters to search much like for the find_link calls.

$mech->click_button( ... )

  $mech->click_button( name => 'go' );
  $mech->click_button( input => $mybutton );

Has the effect of clicking a button on the current form by specifying its name, value, or index. Its arguments are a list of key/value pairs. Only one of name, number, input or value must be specified in the keys.

  • name - name of the button

  • value - value of the button

  • input - DOM node

  • id - id of the button

  • number - number of the button

If you find yourself wanting to specify a button through its selector or xpath, consider using ->click instead.

FORM METHODS

$mech->current_form()

  print $mech->current_form->{name};

Returns the current form.

This method is incompatible with WWW::Mechanize. It returns the DOM <form> object and not a HTML::Form instance.

Note that WWW::Mechanize::Firefox has little way to know that the current form is not displayed in the browser anymore, so it often holds on to the last value. If you want to make sure that a fresh or no form is used, remove it:

    $mech->clear_current_form;
    

The current form will be reset by WWW::Mechanize::Firefox on calls to ->get() and ->get_local(), and on calls to ->submit() and ->submit_with_fields.

$mech->form_name( $name [, %options] )

  $mech->form_name( 'search' );

Selects the current form by its name. The options are identical to those accepted by the "$mech->xpath" method.

$mech->form_id( $id [, %options] )

  $mech->form_id( 'login' );

Selects the current form by its id attribute. The options are identical to those accepted by the "$mech->xpath" method.

This is equivalent to calling

    $mech->by_id($id,single => 1,%options)

$mech->form_number( $number [, %options] )

  $mech->form_number( 2 );

Selects the numberth form. The options are identical to those accepted by the "$mech->xpath" method.

$mech->form_with_fields( [$options], @fields )

  $mech->form_with_fields(
      'user', 'password'
  );

Find the form which has the listed fields.

If the first argument is a hash reference, it's taken as options to ->xpath.

See also "$mech->submit_form".

$mech->forms( %options )

  my @forms = $mech->forms();

When called in a list context, returns a list of the forms found in the last fetched page. In a scalar context, returns a reference to an array with those forms.

The options are identical to those accepted by the "$mech->selector" method.

The returned elements are the DOM <form> elements.

$mech->field( $selector, $value, [,\@pre_events [,\@post_events]] )

  $mech->field( user => 'joe' );
  $mech->field( not_empty => '', [], [] ); # bypass JS validation

Sets the field with the name given in $selector to the given value. Returns the value.

The method understands very basic CSS selectors in the value for $selector, like the HTML::Form find_input() method.

A selector prefixed with '#' must match the id attribute of the input. A selector prefixed with '.' matches the class attribute. A selector prefixed with '^' or with no prefix matches the name attribute.

By passing the array reference @pre_events, you can indicate which Javascript events you want to be triggered before setting the value. @post_events contains the events you want to be triggered after setting the value.

By default, the events set in the constructor for pre_events and post_events are triggered.

$mech->value( $selector_or_element, [%options] )

    print $mech->value( 'user' );

Returns the value of the field given by $selector_or_name or of the DOM element passed in.

The legacy form of

    $mech->value( name => value );

is also still supported but will likely be deprecated in favour of the ->field method.

For fields that can have multiple values, like a select field, the method is context sensitive and returns the first selected value in scalar context and all values in list context.

$mech->get_set_value( %options )

Allows fine-grained access to getting/setting a value with a different API. Supported keys are:

  pre
  post
  name
  value

in addition to all keys that $mech->xpath supports.

$mech->select( $name, $value )

$mech->select( $name, \@values )

Given the name of a select field, set its value to the value specified. If the field is not <select multiple> and the $value is an array, only the first value will be set. Passing $value as a hash with an n key selects an item by number (e.g. {n => 3} or {n => [2,4]}). The numbering starts at 1. This applies to the current form.

If you have a field with <select multiple> and you pass a single $value, then $value will be added to the list of fields selected, without clearing the others. However, if you pass an array reference, then all previously selected values will be cleared.

Returns true on successfully setting the value. On failure, returns false and calls $self>warn() with an error message.

$mech->tick( $name, $value [, $set ] )

    $mech->tick("confirmation_box", 'yes');

"Ticks" the first checkbox that has both the name and value associated with it on the current form. Dies if there is no named check box for that value. Passing in a false value as the third optional argument will cause the checkbox to be unticked.

(Un)ticking the checkbox is done by sending a click event to it if needed. If $value is undef, the first checkbox matching $name will be (un)ticked.

If $name is a reference to a hash, that hash will be used as the options to ->find_link_dom to find the element.

$mech->untick( $name, $value )

  $mech->untick('spam_confirm','yes',undef)

Causes the checkbox to be unticked. Shorthand for

  $mech->tick($name,$value,undef)

$mech->submit( $form )

  $mech->submit;

Submits the form. Note that this does not fire the onClick event and thus also does not fire eventual Javascript handlers. Maybe you want to use $mech->click instead.

The default is to submit the current form as returned by $mech->current_form.

$mech->submit_form( %options )

  $mech->submit_form(
      with_fields => {
          user => 'me',
          pass => 'secret',
      }
  );

This method lets you select a form from the previously fetched page, fill in its fields, and submit it. It combines the form_number/form_name, set_fields and click methods into one higher level call. Its arguments are a list of key/value pairs, all of which are optional.

  • form => $mech->current_form()

    Specifies the form to be filled and submitted. Defaults to the current form.

  • fields => \%fields

    Specifies the fields to be filled in the current form

  • with_fields => \%fields

    Probably all you need for the common case. It combines a smart form selector and data setting in one operation. It selects the first form that contains all fields mentioned in \%fields. This is nice because you don't need to know the name or number of the form to do this.

    (calls "$mech->form_with_fields()" and "$mech->set_fields()").

    If you choose this, the form_number, form_name, form_id and fields options will be ignored.

$mech->set_fields( $name => $value, ... )

  $mech->set_fields(
      user => 'me',
      pass => 'secret',
  );

This method sets multiple fields of the current form. It takes a list of field name and value pairs. If there is more than one field with the same name, the first one found is set. If you want to select which of the duplicate field to set, use a value which is an anonymous array which has the field value and its number as the 2 elements.

$mech->set_visible( @values )

  $mech->set_visible( $username, $password );

This method sets fields of the current form without having to know their names. So if you have a login screen that wants a username and password, you do not have to fetch the form and inspect the source (or use the mech-dump utility, installed with WWW::Mechanize) to see what the field names are; you can just say

  $mech->set_visible( $username, $password );

and the first and second fields will be set accordingly. The method is called set_visible because it acts only on visible fields; hidden form inputs are not considered. It also respects the respective return value of ->is_visible() for each field, so hiding of fields through CSS affects this too.

The specifiers that are possible in WWW::Mechanize are not yet supported.

$mech->is_visible( $element )

$mech->is_visible( %options )

  if ($mech->is_visible( selector => '#login' )) {
      print "You can log in now.";
  };

Returns true if the element is visible, that is, it is a member of the DOM and neither it nor its ancestors have a CSS visibility attribute of hidden or a display attribute of none.

You can either pass in a DOM element or a set of key/value pairs to search the document for the element you want.

  • xpath - the XPath query

  • selector - the CSS selector

  • dom - a DOM node

The remaining options are passed through to either the /$mech->xpath or /$mech->selector method.

$mech->wait_until_invisible( $element )

$mech->wait_until_invisible( %options )

  $mech->wait_until_invisible( $please_wait );

Waits until an element is not visible anymore.

Takes the same options as "->is_visible" in $mech->is_visible.

In addition, the following options are accepted:

  • timeout - the timeout after which the function will croak. To catch the condition and handle it in your calling program, use an eval block. A timeout of 0 means to never time out.

  • sleep - the interval in seconds used to sleep. Subsecond intervals are possible.

Note that when passing in a selector, that selector is requeried on every poll instance. So the following query will work as expected:

  xpath => '//*[contains(text(),"stand by")]'

This also means that if your selector query relies on finding a changing text, you need to pass the node explicitly instead of passing the selector.

$mech->clickables()

    print "You could click on\n";
    for my $el ($mech->clickables) {
        print $el->{innerHTML}, "\n";
    };

Returns all clickable elements, that is, all elements with an onclick attribute.

$mech->expand_frames( $spec )

  my @frames = $mech->expand_frames();

Expands the frame selectors (or 1 to match all frames) into their respective DOM document nodes according to the current document. All frames will be visited in breadth first order.

This is mostly an internal method.

IMAGE METHODS

$mech->content_as_png( [$tab, \%coordinates, \%target_size ] )

    my $png_data = $mech->content_as_png();

    # Create scaled-down 480px wide preview
    my $png_data = $mech->content_as_png(undef, undef, { width => 480 });

Returns the given tab or the current page rendered as PNG image.

All parameters are optional.

  • $tab defaults to the current tab.

  • If the coordinates are given, that rectangle will be cut out. The coordinates should be a hash with the four usual entries, left,top,width,height.

  • The target size of the image can also be given. It defaults to the size of the image. The allowed parameters in the hash are

    scalex, scaley - for specifying the scale, default is 1.0 in each direction.

    width, height - for specifying the target size

    If you want the resulting image to be 480 pixels wide, specify

        { width => 480 }

    The height will then be calculated from the ratio of original width to original height.

This method is specific to WWW::Mechanize::Firefox.

Currently, the data transfer between Firefox and Perl is done Base64-encoded. It would be beneficial to find what's necessary to make JSON handle binary data more gracefully.

$mech->element_as_png( $element )

    my $shiny = $mech->selector('#shiny', single => 1);
    my $i_want_this = $mech->element_as_png($shiny);

Returns PNG image data for a single element

$mech->element_coordinates( $element )

    my $shiny = $mech->selector('#shiny', single => 1);
    my ($pos) = $mech->element_coordinates($shiny);
    print $pos->{x},',', $pos->{y};

Returns the page-coordinates of the $element in pixels as a hash with four entries, left, top, width and height.

This function might get moved into another module more geared towards rendering HTML.

COOKIE HANDLING

Firefox cookies will be read through HTTP::Cookies::MozRepl. This is relatively slow currently.

INCOMPATIBILITIES WITH WWW::Mechanize

There are many incompatibilities with WWW::Mechanize, but enough similarities to warrant the same namespace. The main thing is that only the most needed WWW::Mechanize methods have been implemented by me so far.

In Firefox, the name attribute of links seems always to be present on links, even if it's empty. This is in difference to WWW::Mechanize, where the name attribute can be undef.

Frame tags

Firefox is much less lenient than WWW::Mechanize when it comes to FRAME tags. A page will not contain a FRAME tag if it contains content other than the FRAMESET. WWW::Mechanize has no such restriction.

Unsupported Methods

  • ->find_all_inputs

    This function is likely best implemented through $mech->selector.

  • ->find_all_submits

    This function is likely best implemented through $mech->selector.

  • ->images

    This function is likely best implemented through $mech->selector.

  • ->find_image

    This function is likely best implemented through $mech->selector.

  • ->find_all_images

    This function is likely best implemented through $mech->selector.

Functions that will likely never be implemented

These functions are unlikely to be implemented because they make little sense in the context of Firefox.

  • ->clone

  • ->credentials( $username, $password )

  • ->get_basic_credentials( $realm, $uri, $isproxy )

  • ->clear_credentials()

  • ->put

    I have no use for it

TODO

  • Add limit parameter to ->xpath() to allow an early exit-case when searching through frames.

  • Implement download progress via nsIWebBrowserPersist.progressListener and our own nsIWebProgressListener.

  • Rip out parts of Test::HTML::Content and graft them onto the links() and find_link() methods here. Firefox is a conveniently unified XPath engine.

    Preferrably, there should be a common API between the two.

  • Spin off XPath queries (->xpath) and CSS selectors (->selector) into their own Mechanize plugin(s).

INSTALLATION

See WWW::Mechanize::Firefox::Troubleshooting.

SEE ALSO

REPOSITORY

The public repository of this module is http://github.com/Corion/www-mechanize-firefox.

SUPPORT

The public support forum of this module is http://perlmonks.org/.

TALKS

I've given two talks about this module at Perl conferences:

German Perl Workshop, German

YAPC::Europe 2010, English

BUG TRACKER

Please report bugs in this module via the RT CPAN bug queue at https://rt.cpan.org/Public/Dist/Display.html?Name=WWW-Mechanize-Firefox or via mail to www-mechanize-firefox-Bugs@rt.cpan.org.

AUTHOR

Max Maischein corion@cpan.org

COPYRIGHT (c)

Copyright 2009-2013 by Max Maischein corion@cpan.org.

LICENSE

This module is released under the same terms as Perl itself.




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