SUMMARY: automate extraction

From: Steven Vu (
Date: Sat May 07 1994 - 17:04:44 CDT

Thank you.

Original question:

>I am looking for some software to help me automatically extract
>information from an on-line information database server such as
>Compuserve or Dow Jones News Service. The database can be
>accessed either via modem on using the Internet. So I am looking
>for a version of Telnet, Kermit, Tip, Xmodem or any other program
>that will take commands from a file and logon to such a database
>service and extract information. I have seen a version of FTP
>that will execute commands from a file, but I have not found a
>version of Telnet or any serial communication program that can do
>the same.

Here are some of the responses:


From: Gene Rackow <>

The package that you want is "expect". It is an interactive scripting
language avaiable from most big archive sites.


From: (Peter Allan)

The current Unix Review (June 1994) carries an article on "Expect".
This is a general means of running things from a script even when
they are normally interactive.

fsck and passwd are used as examples in the article.

Look out for LISA and USENIC conference proceeedings from 1990
from Don Libes.

(The freelance journalist who wrote the article is Dinah McNutt )


From: Mario Dupuis <>

Probably the best thing to use for that is expect from Don Libes.
This will allow you to control intelligently ftp/telnet (or other
interactive bound process) and basically do what you want with them.

get it at


From: Paul Walters <>

There is a public domain telnet "cutcp-cute" which will allow you to use
scripts to run telnet sessions, for PCs. You need a Crnwyr packet driver.


From: Brad Burdick <>

Expect is a very useful language for this type of thing. It is based on
Tcl (Tool Command Language, pronounced tickle) and is perfect for doing
automated interactive queries.

It can be found all over the net, but here are a couple of sites:


From: (Andy Feldt)

   It is fairly easy to write programs in Perl which do this. (Especially
if you also get the Chat package for Perl.) Look in the perl newsgroup
for the FAQ for more information.


I did not include all the messages that I have received because they were
very simular. However, I still like to thank everyone for their input.

Steven Vu.

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