The blog has moved to ... Many google searches point here so I am leaving it operational, but there will be no new posts.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I needed to do some screen scrapping using Ruby, so after a few google searches I came across this post which looked very promising, after a quick scan through the comments scRUBYt looked even better.

stumbling block #1: well it did take me a bit to get it installed, turns out it is currently (0.3.4) hard-wired to use RubyInline 3.6.3, but I had RubyInLine 3.7.0 installed, this post gives the details to work around this issue, otherwise you will get an error something like Gem::Exception: can't activate RubyInline (= 3.6.3), already activated RubyInline-3.7.0].

stumbling block #2: trying the simple example for scrapping google here I got the following error -  can't convert Hash into String. So I tried commenting out some of the code, just limiting it to hit the submit button, the result - no error but no output either? after looking around on the scRUBYt forums turns out scRUBYt logging is not on by default, so turn it on... Scrubyt.logger = and run the code again [ERROR] No extractor defined, exiting... ok, so un-comment the code and run it again now that I have the logging on, same error, I am obviously doing something wrong? try a couple other code samples, more fun error messages - The error occurred while evaluating nil.example_type.

Well it turns out I was jumping ahead because I was calling this code from inside a Rake task. After moving the code into a regular ruby file and calling it using ruby instead of rake everything works just great! I did not look into why this code is failing from inside the rake task but I am guessing there is some conflict with the libraries? an exercise for another day...