Makin search on the other site and getting data and writing in xml

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at
Tue Sep 26 09:28:11 CEST 2006

Steven D'Aprano wrote:

> Google don't define "automated query"it, and I don't think they can.

the phrases they use are well understood in the SE business.  that's 
good enough for everyone involved (including courts; see below).

> (What on earth is "meta-searching"? If you're going to use terms which
> don't have a commonly understood meaning, define what they mean.)

> If I want to search for "foo", and I type "foo" into the Firefox search
> box, is that an automated query?

nope.  unless you're a robot.

> What if I type "gg: foo" into Konqueror's address bar, which expands to
> ""? Is it okay if I type the URL by hand
> myself?

nope.  unless you're a robot.

> Can I use the browser to save the search page to a local HTML file? If
> Google says no, how can they possibly hope to stop me?

what you do with the search results once you've gotten them is outside 
the scope of that clause.

> What if I type this command into my shell?
> elinks --dump "" > output.html
> What if I type
> wget ""
> into the shell? Surely that's no more automated than typing "foo"
> into Google's search box.

neither is automated, unless you're a robot.

> Where is the line I must not cross?

letting a program generate search requests based on something other than 
"human wants to find something and types some keywords into a prompt 

> And that, it seems to me, is what the Original Poster wanted.

the OP wanted to read keywords from a text file generated in some 
unknown fashion.  that's bot behaviour, not human behaviour.

> Of course, what I think isn't important. If Google wants to write legal
> contracts that won't stand up in court (speaking as somebody who isn't a
> lawyer and whose legal advice is worthless)

well, "here's some random guy who didn't understand the terms used in 
the contract" isn't a valid defense in court; courts are more interested 
in whether people with experience from the relevant field can reasonably 
be expected to understand the contract.  but this isn't about court 
cases, of course; it's about getting banned by Google for abusing their 


More information about the Python-list mailing list