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Old 07-11-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
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Default How to Know When A new link is added

I am looking for a way to tell when a website has added a new link to their website. the reason i ask is there is a contest on a website where they will be adding a new link on one of about 100 websites each containing tons of links and the first one to find it wins. thanks for any input
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

There's no obvious way I can think of using a search engine or similar, google has a search for sites that link to certain pages, but that's it.

If I was approaching this seriously, I'd knock a program up that crawled all the pages on the sites and noted how many links there were in the source (count the HTML anchor tags.) I'd run the program, make a note of it and store the state of the current pages, then run it again when the link had been added. It'd then hopefully alert me of an extra appearance of an anchor tag, and a quick compare of the page in question with its previous version should reveal the extra link.

Not foolproof, but it's the easiest thing I can think of quickly that might work.
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

what your describing is along the lines of what i was thinking. I have general computer skills, but not near enough knowledge to make a program like that. is that hard to do or not. thanks for your help
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

If you haven't got much / any programming experience, you're going to find it tricky to say the least. To code this "properly" and without too many difficulties (at least the way I'd approach it) you're going to need to know some fairly advanced programming concepts like recursion and backtracking (used for cycling through the links), you'll need to have a good idea of different data structures and their uses (for storing details of the pages and the links) and you're going to need to know or come up with some other not overly complex, but not trivial algorithms.

I'd recommend this as a medium difficulty challenge for someone that's got a good grounding in programming and wants to work on bringing different aspects of their knowledge together, but I'm afraid if you're just starting out on the programming side of things or you haven't yet done any coding it's almost definitely going to be too tough.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

i appreciate your help but it sounds like this one is out of my league i guess. thanks again
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

No worries. If it was a quick 5 minute job I'd happily knock something up for you, but I haven't really got the time at the moment for a project that'll take much longer

A bit aside, but perhaps you could use it as a reason to start learning a programming language? It'll be too late for this by the time you've learnt enough, but other things will come up and it'll be useful then
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

There is a Firefox extension called 'Check For Change' or something like that. You could try using that (although it would notify you of any change, not just a link being added).
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

that firefox link may be what i need, but do you know if it will check the whole site or just the one page
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

IIRC that works on a per-page basis. So you'd need to individually register each page of each site with it...
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to Know When A new link is added

Just individual pages, I believe.
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