Chapter 23. Scraping Difficult Websites with Browser Macros

The online experience of the mid-’90s was very different from what we enjoy today. Watching web pages slowly render over a 28.8 modem connection defined the Internet experience of the 20th century. Faster network connections and a technology called AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) freed web surfers from having to wait for the next web page. The result is a fast, responsive, and highly interactive online experience that didn’t exist 15 years ago.

Like many aspects of the Internet, the development of AJAX happened in starts and fits over many years and with many contributors. AJAX was introduced slowly and only recently has received wide acceptance by developers. In 1995—even before ...

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