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WWW::Sitebase::Poster - Base class for web site posting routines


Version 0.4


 package MyPostingModule;
 use WWW::Sitebase::Poster -Base;
 # Define your options
 sub default_options {
    my $options = super;

    $options->{cache_file} = { default => 'mypostingmodule' }; # (VERY IMPORTANT)
    $options->{my_option} = 0;  # 0 = not required. 1 means required.
    $options->{my_option} = { default => 'mydefault' }; # Sets a default for your option.
    # Some common example options, say for posting messages or comments:
    $options->{subject} = 1;  # Require subject
    $options->{message} = 1;  # Require a message

    return $options;

 # Add accessors if you like (usually a good idea)
 # ( already gives you the cache_file accessor).
 field 'my_option';
 field 'subject';
 field 'message';
 # Define your send_post method (see examples below)
 sub send_post {
    my ( $friend_id ) = @_;

    $result = $self->browser->do_something( $friend_id, $other_value );

    # ... Do anything else you need ...
    return $result;  # $result must be P, R, F, or undef. (Pass, Retry, Fail, or stop)

 Then you or others can write a script that uses your module.
 #!/usr/bin/perl -w
 use MyPostingModule;
 use WWW::Myspace;
 my @friend_list = &fancy_friend_gathering_routine;
 my $poster = new MyPostingModule(
    browser => new WWW::Myspace,  # Note, this'll prompt for username/password
    friend_ids => \@friend_list,
    subject => 'hi there!',
    message => 'I'm writing you a message!',
    noisy => 1,
    interactive => 1,

This is a base class for modules that need to post things and remember to whom they've posted. If you're writing a new module that needs to send something and remember stuff about it, you'll want to look at this module. It gives you all sorts of neat tools, like write_log and read_log to remember what you did, and it automatically parses all your arguments right in the new method, and can even read them from a config file in CFG or YAML format. All the "new" method stuff it just inherits from WWW::Sitebase, so look there for more info.

The cache_file is where write_log and read_log write and read their data.

You MUST set the cache_file default to something specific to your module. This will be used by the cache_file method to return (and create if needed) the default cache file for your module. Make sure it's unique to "Poster" modules. (Hint: name it after your module). Your default filename will be placed in the value returned by $self->cache_dir (.www-poster by default), so don't specify a path. If you're writing a WWW::Myspace module, you should override cache_dir. See "cache_dir" below.

This module itself is a subclass of WWW::Sitebase, so it inherits "new", default_options, and a few other methods from there. Be sure to read up on WWW::Sitebase if you're not familiar with it, as your class will magically inherit those methods too.

If you're writing a script that uses a subclass of this module, you can read up on the methods it provides below.


The following options can be passed to the new method, or set using accessor methods (see below).

Note that if you're writing a script using a subclass of this module, more options may be available to the specific subclass you're using.

 Options with sample values:
 friend_ids => [ 12345, 123456 ],  # Arrayref of friendIDs.
 cache_file => '/path/to/file',
 max_count => 50,  # Maximum number of successful posts before stopping
 html => 1,        # 1=display in HTML, 0=plain text.
 delay_time => 86400,  # Number of seconds to sleep on COUNTER/CAPTCHA
 interactive => 1,  # Can we ask questions? Turns on noisy also.
 noisy => 1,  # Display detailed output (1) or be quiet (0)?
 browser => $myspace,  # A valid, logged-in site browsing object (i.e. WWW::Myspace,
                       # or a subclass of WWW::Sitebase::Navigator).


Override this method to allow additional options to be passed to "new". You should also provide accessor methods for them. These are parsed by Params::Validate. In breif, setting an option to "0" means it's optional, "1" means it's required. See Params::Validate for more info. It looks like this:

    sub default_options {
        $self->{default_options} = {
            friend_ids          => 0,
            cache_file          => 0,
            html                => 0,
            browser             => 0,
            exclude_my_friends  => { default => 0 },
            interactive         => { default => 1 },
            noisy               => { default => 1 },
            max_count           => { default => 0 },
        return $self->{default_options};

    # So to add a "questions" option that's mandatory:

    sub default_options {
        return $self->{default_options};


Retreives/sets the list of friendIDs for whom we're going to post things.

 $message->friend_ids( 12345, 12347, 123456 ); # Set the list of friends
 @friend_ids = $message->friend_ids; # Retreive the list of friends

You can set the friend_ids to a list of friends, an arrayref to a list of friends, or to an object whose "get_friends" method will return the list of friends.

When called without arguments, returns a list of friends (even if you set it with an arrayref).


cache_dir sets or returns the directory in which we should store cache data. Defaults to $ENV{'HOME'}/.www-poster.

If you're subclassing this module to write a module that will use WWW::Myspace, you should override this method with something like:

 sub cache_dir { $self->browser->cache_dir( @_ ) }

This will put your module's cache data neatly into the same place as the other WWW::Myspace modules' data.


Sets or returns the cache filename. This defaults to $self->default_options->{cache_file}->{default} in cache_dir. If you try to call cache_file without a value and you haven't set default_options properly, it'll get really pissed off and throw nasty error messages all over your screen.

For convenience this method returns the value in all cases, so you can do this:

$cache_file = $commented->cache_file( "filename" );


Returns the full path to the cache_file.

html( [1] [0] )

Sets to display HTML-friendly output (only really useful with "noisy" turned on also).

Call html(1) to display HTML tags (currently just "BR" tags). Call html(0) to display plain text.

Text output (html = 0) is enabled by default.


$comment->html( 1 );


Sets/retreives the site navigation object with which we're logged in. You'll probably just pass that info to the new method, but the accessor is here if you want to use it.

 Hint: To make your module more site-specific, add a convenience method:
 sub myspace { $self->browser( @_ ) }
 sub bebo { $self->browser( @_ ) }


Sets/retrieves the value of the "exclude_my_friends" flag. If set to a true value, the "post" method will exclude the logged-in user's friends from the list of friendIDs set in the "friend_ids" method.

This works by calling the "get_friends" method of the browser object. If the object stored in "browser" doesn't have a "get_friends" method, the "post" routine will die.

Note that getting friends can take some time, so it's best to have your friend list properly filtered instead of using this option. But, it's here if you need it.


If set to 1, allows methods to ask questions by displaying a prompt and reading STDIN. Setting to 0 makes the script run non-interactively. Setting to 1 automatically sets "noisy" to 1 also.

noisy( [1] [0] )

If set to 1, the module should output status reports for each post. This, of course, will vary by module, and you'll probably want to document any module-specific output in your module.

If "noisy" is off (0), run silently, unless there is an error, until you have to stop. Then you may print a report or status.

noisy is off (0) by default.


Sets or returns the number of posts we should attempt before stopping. Default: 0 (don't stop).

This is handy if you want to stop before a CAPTCHA response, or if you want to limit your daily posts. Override this to set a default that's appropriate for your module (i.e. 50 for a Myspace commenting module)



You must override this method with your posting method. It will be called by the "post" method and passed an ID from the list of friend_ids (set using the option to the "new" method or using the "friend_ids" accessor method). It must return two values: a result code (P, R, F, or undef) and a human-readable reason string. The result codes mean "Pass", "Retry", "Fail", and "stop!" respectively, and the human-readable reason will be used in the report output when the "post" method stops.

 # Send Myspace group invitations.  The send_group_invitation method returns two
 # array references, one of passed IDs and one of failed.  We want to retry any
 # failures.
 sub send_post {
     my ( $id ) = @_;
     my ( $passed, $failed ) = $self->browser->send_group_invitation( $id );
     # We only passed 1 ID, so if "passed" has anything in it, our ID passed.
     if ( @{ $passed } ) {
         return 'P', 'Invitation Sent';
     } else {
         return 'R', 'Invitation send failed';
 # Post a comment on Myspace.  There are several possible codes post_comment could
 # return, so we want to decide for each whether to retry or not. Also, if we reach a
 # CAPTCHA response, we want to stop. Note that this example assumes your
 # subclass module defined "subject" and "message" accessors.
 sub send_post {
     my ( $id ) = @_;
     my $result = $self->browser->post_comment( $id, $self->subject, $self->message );
     if ( $result eq 'P' ) {
         return 'P', 'Passed';
     } elsif ( $result eq 'FC' ) {
         return undef;
     } elsif ( $result eq 'FN' ) {
         return 'R', "Network error";
     } elsif ( $result eq 'FF' ) { 
         return 'F', 'Person is not your friend';
     } else {
         return 'R', 'Failed - reason unknown';


This is the main method of the module. It is called to do the actual posting. It gathers the friendIDs and loops through them, calling the "send_post" method to send each post. It handles logging each post, and excluding previously-posted friends.


Returns the current number of successful posts (from the internal counter used by the "post" method.

 # Pause after every 25th post
 sleep 30 if ( ( $self->post_count % 25 ) == 0 );


reset_log( [ $filter ] )

Resets the log file. If passed a subroutine reference in $filter, items matching filter will be left in the log - everything else will be erased.

Say for example you wanted to retry all "Failed" items:

 $filter = sub { ( $_->{'status'} eq "P" ) };
 $self->reset_log( $filter );

To delete the log file completely, just do:


write_log( 'all' | $data )

If called with "all", write $self->{log} to the log file. If called with a hash of data, append a line to the log file.

 $self->write_log( 'all' );
 $self->write_log( {
    friend_id => $friend_id,
    status => $status
 } );

If there is a "time" field in the list of log_fields (there is by default), write_log will automatically write the current time (the value returned by the "time" function) to the file.


Returns a reference to an array of the columnn names you use in your log file. Defaults to friend_id, status, and time. The first field will be used as your unique key field.

Override this method if you want to use different columns in your log file.


Read items from the log file. The first time it's invoked, it reads the log file contents into $self->{log}, which is also neatly maintained by write_log. This lets you call read_log without worrying about huge performance losses, and also makes it extendable to use SQL in the future.

For future compatibility, you should access the log only through read_log (i.e. don't access $self->{log} directly).

 # Post something unless we've successfully posted before
 unless ( $self->read_log("$friend_id")->{'status'} =~ /^P/ ) {
    $myspace->post_something( $friend_id )

 # When did we last post to $friend_id?
 $last_time = $self->read_log("$friend_id")->{'time'};
 if ( $last_time ) {
    my ($sec,$min,$hour,$mday,$mon,$year,$wday,$yday,$isdst) =
    print "Successfully posted to $friend_id on: " .
        "$mon/$day/$year at $hour:$min:sec\n";;
 } else {
    print "I don't remember posting to $friend_id before\n";

read_log can be called with an optional filter argument, which can be the string "all", or a reference to a subroutine that will be used to filter the returned values. The subroutine will be passed a hashref of fieldnames and values, by default:

 { friend_id => 12345,
   status => P,
   time => time in 'time' format

This lets you do things like this:

 # Reload the cache in memory ($self->{log})
 $self->read_log( 'all' )

 # Return a list of friends that we've already posted
 # ("the 'o' flag means to optimize the RE because the RE is a constant).
 my $filter = sub { if ( $_->{'status'} =~ /^[PF]$/o ) { 1 } else { 0 } }
 @posted_friends = $self->read_log( $filter );
 # Of course, that's just for example - you'd really do this:
 @posted_friends = $self->read_log( sub { ( $_[0]->{'status'} =~ /^[PF]$/o ) } );

 # or this, which means "return anything that doesn't need to be retried"
 # (this is, in fact, what "read_posted" (see below) does).
 @posted_friends = $self->read_log( sub { ( $_[0]->{'status'} ne 'R' ) } );

Only the last post attempt for each key (friend_id by default) is stored in $self->{log}. It is possible for the cache file to have more than one in some circumstances, but only the last will be used, and if the file is re-written, previous entries will be erased.


Returns the keys of all posted rows (status isn't "R").

my @posted_friends = $self->read_posted;

previously_posted( $friend_id )

This convenience method returns true if there's a log entry for a previous successful posting. A posting is considered successful if the status code is "P" or "F".

 unless ( $self->previously_posted( $friend_id ) ) {
    $self->post( $friend_id );


Creates the cache directory in cache_dir. Only creates the top-level directory, croaks if it can't create it.


This function mainly exists for the internal login method to use, and for related sub-modules that store their cache files by default in WWW:Myspace's cache directory.


Grant Grueninger, <grantg at>


Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-www-myspace at, or through the web interface at I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

    perldoc WWW::Sitebase::Poster

You can also look for information at:



Copyright 2006 Grant Grueninger, all rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.