Batch Data Collector – Free Data Collector

04. Preliminary Operations

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  3. 04. Preliminary Operations

To set your language, go to:
Settings > Interface and Accessibility >What language would you like to use? Choose an option from the drop-down menu and confirm with Save and Apply. More localized versions will be available soon.

Next, let’s decide on the level of complexity you want to see in your interface. Part of this choice is made by toggling the Simplified Interface switch described in point #5 of the previous chapter.

Now let’s focus on web languages. We’ll summarize a lot of the basic concepts in the next chapter, however it’s good for you to know that Free and Batch Data Collector work in two modes:

  • with DOM elements and CSS selectors, and therefore through the unambiguous identification of the nodes of a web page to incorporate into your Recipes;
  • on the source code text (visible or hidden), as if we were analyzing a single large sequence of characters (String).

The latter does not require an extensive vocabulary of keywords, and simply asks you to indicate the bookends (text or code) between which the information to be extracted is contained. For example, in the presence of the text:

Number of rainy days: 24.

If we wanted to extract the number “24” working only within the text, we’d tell Batch Data Collector that it is contained between the strings “Number of rainy days: ” and “.”.

The same operation could be performed by looking at the source code which, quite possibly, could be as follows:

<div id=”current_info”>
Number of rainy days : <span id=”rainydays”>24</span>.

The element-of-interest can be similarly identified by the CSS selector span#rainydays.

The same selector, taking into account the hierarchical representation of the sample HTML code, could also be expressed as div#current_info span.

The choice of the method best suited to your needs is up to you! Remember that while it may be difficult to learn the basics, over time it will absolutely worth the time invested, as the most powerful recipes are those that are independent of the textual content of the individual pages analyzed.

Choose your path, and safe travels!