[RndTbl] auto fill in web forms

Dan Martin ummar143 at shaw.ca
Sun Jan 11 19:18:05 CST 2009

Problem:  to automatically fill form fields in a web page based on  
changing criteria.

I am sure this problem crops up in a number of areas.  In my case, I  
place buy and sell orders (different variations) for stocks on my  
broker's web page.  By the time I enter all the info and go through  
one or two confirmatory screens, the price has often changed and the  
order cannot be executed.

I would like to have a script that would offer me a choice of trading  
account and stock to select.  It would then calculate how many shares  
I could afford from the given account, and enter the info into the web  
page and subsequent pages, perhaps stopping before the very final  
confirmation.  Ideally, I would like visual confirmation of what has  

It appears that the broker's web page (https) contains Java script  

Possible Solutions:
1)  Use Applescript to control the Safari web browser on my Mac.   
Applescript can call a bash shell (or vice versa) to allow programmed  
2)  A perl script using "mech" (WWW::Mechanize).
3)  A script which calls curl.
4)  other?

I am unfamiliar with these technologies, and I have only a vague idea  
about how they would work.

Does anyone have suggestions on these or other approaches?

Dan Martin
GP Hospital Practitioner
Computer Scientist
ummar143 at shaw.ca
(204) 831-1746
until Jan 21: (204) 219-6685
answering machine always on

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