Provided by: libwww-mechanize-shell-perl_0.57-1_all bug


       WWW::Mechanize::Shell - An interactive shell for WWW::Mechanize


       From the command line as

         perl -MWWW::Mechanize::Shell -eshell

       or alternatively as a custom shell program via :

         #!/usr/bin/perl -w
         use strict;
         use WWW::Mechanize::Shell;

         my $shell = WWW::Mechanize::Shell->new("shell");

         if (@ARGV) {
           $shell->source_file( @ARGV );
         } else {


       This module implements a www-like shell above WWW::Mechanize and also has the capability
       to output crude Perl code that recreates the recorded session. Its main use is as an
       interactive starting point for automating a session through WWW::Mechanize.

       The cookie support is there, but no cookies are read from your existing browser sessions.
       See HTTP::Cookies on how to implement reading/writing your current browsers cookies.

   "WWW::Mechanize::Shell->new %ARGS"
       This is the constructor for a new shell instance. Some of the options can be passed to the
       constructor as parameters.

       By default, a file ".mechanizerc" (respectively "mechanizerc" under Windows) in the users
       home directory is executed before the interactive shell loop is entered. This can be used
       to set some defaults. If you want to supply a different filename for the rcfile, the
       "rcfile" parameter can be passed to the constructor :

         rcfile => '.myapprc',

             my $shell = WWW::Mechanize::Shell->new(
                 agent => WWW::Mechanize::Chrome->new(),

           Pass in a premade custom user agent. This object must be compatible to WWW::Mechanize.
           Use this feature from the command line as

             perl -Ilib -MWWW::Mechanize::Chrome \
                        -MWWW::Mechanize::Shell \
                        -e"shell(agent => WWW::Mechanize::Chrome->new())"

       Since the shell stores a reference back to itself within the WWW::Mechanize instance, it
       is necessary to break this circular reference. This method does this.

   "$shell->source_file FILENAME"
       The "source_file" method executes the lines of FILENAME as if they were typed in.

         $shell->source_file( $filename );

       All user warnings are routed through this routine so they can be rerouted / disabled

   "$shell->print_paged LIST"
       Prints the text in LIST using $ENV{PAGER}. If $ENV{PAGER} is empty, prints directly to
       "STDOUT". Most of this routine comes from the "perldoc" utility.

   "$shell->link_text LINK"
       Returns a meaningful text from a WWW::Mechanize::Link object. This is (in order of
       precedence) :


       Returns the (relevant) shell history, that is, all commands that were not solely for the
       information of the user. The lines are returned as a list.

         print join "\n", $shell->history;

       Returns the shell history as a Perl program. The lines are returned as a list. The lines
       do not have a one-by-one correspondence to the lines in the history.

         print join "\n", $shell->script;

       "status" is called for status updates.

   "$shell->display FILENAME LINES"
       "display" is called to output listings, currently from the "history" and "script"
       commands. If the second parameter is defined, it is the name of the file to be written,
       otherwise the lines are displayed to the user.


       The shell implements various commands :

       Leaves the shell.

       Restart the shell.

       This is mostly useful when you are modifying the shell itself. It doesn't work if you use
       the shell in oneliner mode with "-e".

       Download a specific URL.

       This is used as the entry point in all sessions


         get URL

       Download a link into a file.

       If more than one link matches the RE, all matching links are saved. The filename is taken
       from the last part of the URL. Alternatively, the number of a link may also be given.


         save RE

       Display the content for the current page.

       Syntax: content [FILENAME]

       If the FILENAME argument is provided, save the content to the file.

       A trailing "\n" is added to the end of the content when using the shell, so this might not
       be ideally suited to save binary files without manual editing of the produced script.

       Display the current page title as found in the "<TITLE>" tag.

       Prints all "<H1>" through "<H5>" strings found in the content, indented accordingly.  With
       an argument, prints only those levels; e.g., "headers 145" prints H1,H4,H5 strings only.

       Get/set the current user agent


         # fake Internet Explorer
         ua "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows 98)"

         # fake QuickTime v5
         ua "QuickTime (qtver=5.0.2;os=Windows NT 5.0Service Pack 2)"

         # fake Mozilla/Gecko based
         ua "Mozilla/5.001 (windows; U; NT4.0; en-us) Gecko/25250101"

         # set empty user agent :
         ua ""

       Display all links on a page

       The links numbers displayed can used by "open" to directly select a link to follow.

       Display images on a page

       Dump the output of HTML::TokeParser of the current content

       Display all forms on the current page.

       Select the form named NAME

       If NAME matches "/^\d+$/", it is assumed to be the (1-based) index of the form to select.
       There is no way of selecting a numerically named form by its name.

       Dump the values of the current form

       Set a form value


         value NAME [VALUE]

       Set checkbox marks


         tick NAME VALUE(s)

       If no value is given, all boxes are checked.

       Remove checkbox marks


         untick NAME VALUE(s)

       If no value is given, all marks are removed.

       submits the form without clicking on any button

       Clicks on the button named NAME.

       No regular expression expansion is done on NAME.


         click NAME

       If you have a button that has no name (displayed as NONAME), use

         click ""

       to click on it.

       <open> accepts one argument, which can be a regular expression or the number of a link on
       the page, starting at zero. These numbers are displayed by the "links" function. It goes
       directly to the page if a number is used or if the RE has one match. Otherwise, a list of
       links matching the regular expression is displayed.

       The regular expression should start and end with "/".


         open  [ RE | # ]

       Go back one page in the browser page history.

       Repeat the last request, thus reloading the current page.

       Note that also POST requests are blindly repeated, as this command is mostly intended to
       be used when testing server side code.

       Open the web browser with the current page

       Displays the current page in the browser.

       Set a shell option


          set OPTION [value]

       The command lists all valid options. Here is a short overview over the different options
       available :

           autosync      - automatically synchronize the browser window
           autorestart   - restart the shell when any required module changes
                           This does not work with C<-e> oneliners.
           watchfiles    - watch all required modules for changes
           cookiefile    - the file where to store all cookies
           dumprequests  - dump all requests to STDOUT
           dumpresponses - dump the headers of the responses to STDOUT
           verbose       - print commands to STDERR as they are run,
                           when sourcing from a file

       Display your current session history as the relevant commands.


         history [FILENAME]

       Commands that have no influence on the browser state are not added to the history. If a
       parameter is given to the "history" command, the history is saved to that file instead of
       displayed onscreen.

       Display your current session history as a Perl script using WWW::Mechanize.


         script [FILENAME]

       If a parameter is given to the "script" command, the script is saved to that file instead
       of displayed on the console.

       This command was formerly known as "history".

       Adds a comment to the script and the history. The comment is prepended with a \n to
       increase readability.

       Fill out the current form

       Interactively asks the values hat have no preset value via the autofill command.

       Set basic authentication credentials.


         auth user password

       If you know the authority and the realm in advance, you can presupply the credentials, for
       example at the start of the script :

               >auth corion secret

       Display a table described by the columns COLUMNS.


         table COLUMNS


         table Product Price Description

       If there is a table on the current page that has in its first row the three columns
       "Product", "Price" and "Description" (not necessarily in that order), the script will
       display these columns of the whole table.

       The "HTML::TableExtract" module is needed for this feature.

       Display a list of tables.



       This command will display the top row for every table on the current page. This is
       convenient if you want to find out what the exact spellings for each column are.

       The command does not always work nice, for example if a site uses tables for layout, it
       will be harder to guess what tables are irrelevant and what tables are relevant.

       HTML::TableExtract is needed for this feature.

       Set the cookie file name


         cookies FILENAME

       Define an automatic value

       Sets a form value to be filled automatically. The NAME parameter is the
       WWW::Mechanize::FormFiller::Value subclass you want to use. For session fields, "Keep" is
       a good candidate, for interactive stuff, "Ask" is a value implemented by the shell.

       A field name starting and ending with a slash ("/") is taken to be a regular expression
       and will be applied to all fields with their name matching the expression. A field with a
       matching name still takes precedence over the regular expression.


         autofill NAME [PARAMETERS]


         autofill login Fixed corion
         autofill password Ask
         autofill selection Random red green orange
         autofill session Keep
         autofill "/date$/" Random::Date string "%m/%d/%Y"

       Evaluate Perl code and print the result


         eval CODE

       For the generated scripts, anything matching the regular expression "/\$self->agent\b/" is
       automatically replaced by $agent in your eval code, to do the Right Thing.


         # Say hello
         eval "Hello World"

         # And take a look at the current content type
         eval $self->agent->ct

       Execute a batch of commands from a file


         source FILENAME

       Print the version numbers of important modules



       Set new timeout value for the agent. Effects all subsequent requests. VALUE is in seconds.


         timeout VALUE

       prints the content type of the most current response.



       set the value of the Referer: header


         referer URL
         referrer URL

       Alias for referrer

       display the last server response

   "$shell->munge_code( CODE )"
       Munges a coderef to become code fit for output independent of WWW::Mechanize::Shell.

       This subroutine is exported by default as a convenience method so that the following
       oneliner invocation works:

           perl -MWWW::Mechanize::Shell -eshell

       You can pass constructor arguments to this routine as well. Any scripts given in @ARGV
       will be run. If @ARGV is empty, an interactive loop will be started.


   Entering values
         # Search for a term on Google
         value q "Corions Homepage"
         click btnG
         # (yes, this is a bad example of automating, as Google
         #  already has a Perl API. But other sites don't)

   Retrieving a table
         open "/Saints in/"
         table User Experience Level
         # now you have a program that gives you a csv file of
         # that table.

   Uploading a file
         get http://aliens:xxxxx/
         value f path/to/file
         click "upload"

   Batch download
         # download prerelease versions of my modules
         save /.tar.gz$/


       Some commands take regular expressions as parameters. A regular expression must be a
       single parameter matching "^/.*/([isxm]+)?$", so you have to use quotes around it if the
       expression contains spaces :

         /link_foo/       # will match as (?-xims:link_foo)
         "/link foo/"     # will match as (?-xims:link foo)

       Slashes do not need to be escaped, as the shell knows that a RE starts and ends with a
       slash :

         /link/foo/       # will match as (?-xims:link/foo)
         "/link/ /foo/"   # will match as (?-xims:link/\s/foo)

       The "/i" modifier works as expected.  If you desire more power over the regular
       expressions, consider dropping to Perl or recommend me a good parser module for regular


       WWW::Mechanize::Shell now uses the module HTML::Display to display the HTML of the current
       page in your browser.  Have a look at the documentation of HTML::Display how to make it
       use your browser of choice in the case it does not already guess it correctly.


       If you want to stay within the confines of the shell, but still want to fill out forms
       using custom Perl code, here is a recipe how to achieve this :

       Code passed to the "eval" command gets evaluated in the WWW::Mechanize::Shell namespace.
       You can inject new subroutines there and these get picked up by the Callback class of
       WWW::Mechanize::FormFiller :

         # Fill in the "date" field with the current date/time as string
         eval sub &::custom_today { scalar localtime };
         autofill date Callback WWW::Mechanize::Shell::custom_today

       This method can also be used to retrieve data from shell scripts :

         # Fill in the "date" field with the current date/time as string
         # works only if there is a program "date"
         eval sub &::custom_today { chomp `date` };
         autofill date Callback WWW::Mechanize::Shell::custom_today

       As the namespace is different between the shell and the generated script, make sure you
       always fully qualify your subroutine names, either in your own namespace or in the main


       The "script" command outputs a skeleton script that reproduces your actions as done in the
       current session. It pulls in "WWW::Mechanize::FormFiller", which is possibly not needed.
       You should add some error and connection checking afterwards.


       If you are automating a JavaScript dependent site, you will encounter JavaScript like this

             document.write( "<input type=submit name=submit>" );

       HTML::Form will not know about this and will not have provided a submit button for you
       (understandably). If you want to create such a submit button from within your automation
       script, use the following code :

         $agent->current_form->push_input( submit => { name => "submit", value =>"submit" } );

       This also works for other dynamically generated input fields.

       To fake an input field from within a shell session, use the "eval" command :

         eval $self->agent->current_form->push_input(submit=>{name=>"submit",value=>"submit"});

       And yes, the generated script should do the Right Thing for this eval as well.


       If you want to use the shell on a local file without setting up a "http" server to serve
       the file, you can use the "file:" URI scheme to load it into the "browser":

         get file:local.html


       Currently, the proxy support is realized via a call to the "env_proxy" method of the
       WWW::Mechanize object, which loads the proxies from the environment. There is no provision
       made to prevent using proxies (yet). The generated scripts also load their proxies from
       the environment.


       The online help feature is currently a bit broken in "Term::Shell", but a fix is in the
       works. Until then, you can re-enable the dynamic online help by patching "Term::Shell" :

       Remove the three lines

             my $smry = exists $o->{handlers}{$h}{smry}
           ? $o->summary($h)
           : "undocumented";

       in "sub run_help" and replace them by

             my $smry = $o->summary($h);

       The shell works without this patch and the online help is still available through "perldoc


       Bug reports are very welcome - please use the RT interface at or send a descriptive mail
       to . Please try to include as much (relevant)
       information as possible - a test script that replicates the undesired behaviour is welcome
       every time!

       ·   The two parameter version of the "auth" command guesses the realm from the last
           received response. Currently a RE is used to extract the realm, but this fails with
           some servers resp. in some cases. Use the four parameter version of "auth", or if not
           possible, code the extraction in Perl, either in the final script or through "eval"

       ·   The shell currently detects when you want to follow a JavaScript link and tells you
           that this is not supported. It would be nicer if there was some callback mechanism to
           (automatically?) extract URLs from JavaScript-infected links.


       ·   Add XPath expressions (by moving "WWW::Mechanize" from HTML::Parser to XML::XMLlib or
           maybe easier, by tacking Class::XPath onto an HTML tree)

       ·   Add "head" as a command ?

       ·   Optionally silence the HTML::Parser / HTML::Forms warnings about invalid HTML.


       The routine "shell" is exported into the importing namespace. This is mainly for
       convenience so you can use the following commandline invocation of the shell like with
       CPAN :

         perl -MWWW::Mechanize::Shell -e"shell"


       The public repository of this module is <>.


       The public support forum of this module is <>.


       This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same
       terms as Perl itself.

       Copyright (C) 2002-2017 Max Maischein


       Max Maischein, <>

       Please contact me if you find bugs or otherwise improve the module. More tests are also
       very welcome !