LWP::RobotUA - a class for well-behaved Web robots
use LWP::RobotUA; my $ua = LWP::RobotUA->new('my-robot/0.1', 'firstname.lastname@example.org'); $ua->delay(10); # be very nice -- max one hit every ten minutes! ... # Then just use it just like a normal LWP::UserAgent: my $response = $ua->get('http://whatever.int/...'); ...
This class implements a user agent that is suitable for robot applications. Robots should be nice to the servers they visit. They should consult the /robots.txt file to ensure that they are welcomed and they should not make requests too frequently.
But before you consider writing a robot, take a look at <URL:http://www.robotstxt.org/>.
When you use a LWP::RobotUA object as your user agent, then you do not really have to think about these things yourself;
robots.txt files are automatically consulted and obeyed, the server isn't queried too rapidly, and so on. Just send requests as you do when you are using a normal LWP::UserAgent object (using
$ua->request(...), etc.), and this special agent will make sure you are nice.
The LWP::RobotUA is a sub-class of LWP::UserAgent and implements the same methods. In addition the following methods are provided:
- $ua = LWP::RobotUA->new( $agent_name, $from )
- $ua = LWP::RobotUA->new( $agent_name, $from, $rules )
Your robot's name and the mail address of the human responsible for the robot (i.e. you) are required by the constructor.
Optionally it allows you to specify the WWW::RobotRules object to use. If you don't provide one, then this user agent will make its own internal database of robots.txt rules as needed.
- $ua->delay( $minutes )
Get/set the minimum delay between requests to the same server, in minutes. The default is 1 minute. Note that this number doesn't have to be an integer; for example, this sets the delay to 10 seconds:
- $ua->use_sleep( $boolean )
Get/set a value indicating whether the UA should sleep() if requests arrive too fast, defined as $ua->delay minutes not passed since last request to the given server. The default is TRUE. If this value is FALSE then an internal SERVICE_UNAVAILABLE response will be generated. It will have an Retry-After header that indicates when it is OK to send another request to this server.
- $ua->rules( $rules )
Set/get which WWW::RobotRules object to use.
- $ua->no_visits( $netloc )
Returns the number of documents fetched from this server host. Yeah I know, this method should probably have been named num_visits() or something like that. :-(
- $ua->host_wait( $netloc )
Returns the number of seconds (from now) you must wait before you can make a new request to this host.
Returns a string that describes the state of the UA. Mainly useful for debugging.
Copyright 1996-2002 Gisle Aas.
This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.