(Disclaimer : If anyone involved in this post does not like being used as example, please let me know. I can change the example.)
Actually what I've done is not a sophisticated thing. This is not a google-summer-of-code level of java program. This is way much simpler program than those made by geniuses. I do this for the sake of fun, that's it. (Maybe a little bit of sharpen the problem solving skill)
Problem statement : I really want to see my friends in the Salam Perantau column in Utusan Malaysia online, but there are too many pages to search. I have to skim all profiles in the galleries to find just 1 of my friends. It's worse if that friend posted 2 different Salam Perantau wishes.
Solution : Make a program that scan through the website and view all Salam Perantau wishes related to that person.
Technologies I use : Actually I tried to use Cobra HTML parser to scan through the website. While the coding would be neater and sophisticated, parsing HTML using the parser would take a very long time. So I decided to use the regular algorithm. To view the wishes, I use Lobobrowser which acts exactly like a normal browser except that it has limited capabilities and much slower run time.
How to use the program :
First, input all names of your friends whose Salam Perantau you want to view. You can input multiple names (however there are some bugs in the inteface; I'll talk about it later). Type in the name, and press "Add More Name" button. You'll see names listed in the text area at the bottom. After you finished, press "Go" button to process all the names.
It takes a while to process the names. Then, a dialog box will pop up to show the names and links of their Salam Perantau. As we can see, Syaza Amalina posted two different Salam Perantau wishes, so she has two links. Click the link to view the Salam Perantau.
Tadaa! You can view her Salam Perantau wish! This is a perfect tool for a stalker.
- It is possible to input multiple names, but right now the text area is so limited to view all names.
- Users might input too common names (like "Ashraf"), so there will be too many links displayed. This program runs smoothly if the user input specific and correct name which listed in Salam Perantau. If you input "Acap" but in my Salam Perantau wish I use "Muhammad Ashraf Ishak", then there'll be no output resulted.
- Slow processing capabilities (because there are so many pages to be processed)
- Slow browser display (may be this is not a big deal because the browser is not a sophisticated one)
Conclusion : As I said before, this is not a sophisticated program. Anyone who knows programming can do this. I just do it for fun (and stalking purpose lol). Nevertheless I will still fix the bugs. Hopefully I can improve the program and later on deploy it in form of MSI package by this week. (If anyone want to try this program, just contact me personally)