Iain Truskett (PAUSE Custodial Account) > WWW-Yahoo-Groups > WWW::Yahoo::Groups



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WWW::Yahoo::Groups - Automated access to Yahoo! Groups archives.


    my $y = WWW::Yahoo::Groups->new();
    $y->login( $user => $pass );
    $y->list( 'Jade_Pagoda' );
    my $email = $y->fetch_message( 2345 );

    # Error catching
    my $email = eval { $y->fetch_message( 93848 ) };
    if ( $@ and ref $@ and $@->isa('X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups') )
        warn "Problem: ".$@->error;


WWW::Yahoo::Groups retrieves messages from the archive of Yahoo Groups. It provides a simple OO interface to logging in and retrieving said messages which you may then do with as you will.

Things it does


Try to be a well behaved bot and sleep() for a few seconds (at least) after doing things. It's considered polite. There's an autosleep method that should be useful for this. Recently, this has been set to a default of 1 second. Feel free to tweak if necessary.

If you're used to seeing munged email addresses when you view the message archive (i.e. you're not a moderator or owner of the group) then you'll be pleased to know that WWW::Yahoo::Groups can demunge those email addresses.

All exceptions are subclasses of X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups, itself a subclass of Exception::Class. See WWW::Yahoo::Groups::Errors for details.


Spidering Hacks, by Kevin Hemenway and Tara Calishain

Spidering Hacks from O'Reilly (http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/spiderhks/) is a great book for anyone wanting to know more about screen-scraping and spidering.

There is a WWW::Yahoo::Groups based hack by Andy Lester:

44 Archiving Yahoo! Groups Messages with WWW::Yahoo::Groups

and two hacks, not related to this module, by me, Iain Truskett:

19 Scraping with HTML::TreeBuilder
57 Related Amazon.com Products with Alexa




Create a new WWW::Yahoo::Groups robot.

    my $y = WWW::Yahoo::Groups->new();

It can take a has of named arguments. Two arguments are defined: debug and autosleep. They correspond to the methods of the same name.

    my $y = WWW::Yahoo::Groups->new(
        debug => 1,
        autosleep => 4,



Enable/disable/read debugging mode.

    $y->debug(0); # Disable
    $y->debug(1); # Enable
    warn "Debugging!" if $y->debug();

The debug method of the current agent object will be invoked with the truth of the argument. This usually means "debug" in WWW::Yahoo::Groups::Mechanize.


If given a parameter, it sets the numbers of seconds to sleep. Otherwise, it returns the number. Defaults to 1 second.

    $y->autosleep( 5 ); # Set it to 5.
    sleep ( $y->autosleep() );

May throw X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::BadParam if given invalid parameters.

This is used by get. If autosleep is set, then get will sleep() for the specified period after every fetch.

Implemented by the object returned by agent. By default this means "autosleep" in WWW::Yahoo::Groups::Mechanize.

Logging in and out


Logs the robot into the Yahoo! Groups system.

    $y->login( $user => $passwd );

May throw:


Logs the robot out of the Yahoo! Groups system.


May throw:


Returns 1 if you are logged in, else 0. Note that this merely tests if you've used the login method successfully, not whether the Yahoo! site has expired your session.

   print "Logged in!\n" if $w->loggedin();

Setting target list and finding possible lists


If given a parameter, it sets the list to use. Otherwise, it returns the current list, or undef if no list is set.

IMPORTANT: list name must be correctly cased as per how Yahoo! Groups cases it. If not, you may experience odd behaviour.

    $y->list( 'Jade_Pagoda' );
    my $list = $y->list();

May throw X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::BadParam if given invalid parameters.

See also lists for how to get a list of possible lists.


If you'd like a list of the groups to which you are subscribed, then use this method.

    my @groups = $w->lists();

May throw X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::BadParam if given invalid parameters, or X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::BadFetch if it cannot fetch any of the appropriate pages from which it extracts the information.

Note that it does handle people with more than one page of groups.

List information


Returns the lowest message number with the archive.

    my $first = $w->first_msg_id();

It will throw X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::NoListSet if no list has been specified with lists, X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::UnexpectedPage if the page fetched does not contain anything we thought it would, and X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::BadFetch if it is unable to fetch the page it needs.


Returns the highest message number with the archive.

    my $last = $w->last_msg_id();
    # Fetch last 10 messages:
    for my $number ( ($last-10) .. $last )
        push @messages, $w->fetch_message( $number );

It will throw X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::NoListSet if no list has been specified with lists, X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::UnexpectedPage if the page fetched does not contain anything we thought it would, and X::WWW::Yahoo::Groups::BadFetch if it is unable to fetch the page it needs.

Fetching an actual message


Fetches a specified message from the list's archives. Returns it as a mail message (with headers) suitable for saving into a Maildir.

    my $message = $y->fetch_message( 435 );

May throw any of:


This does some simple reformatting of headers. Yahoo!Groups seems to manage to mangle multiline headers. This is particularly noticable with the Received header.

The rule is that any line that starts with a series of lowercase letters or hyphens that is NOT immediately followed by a colon is regarded as being part of the previous line and is indented with a space character (as per RFC2822).

Input to this method should be a whole message. Output is that same message, with the headers repaired.

This method is called by fetch_message but this was not always the case. If you have archives that predate this implicit call, you may want to run messages through this routine.

Other methods


Returns the RSS for the group's most recent messages. See XML::Filter::YahooGroups for ways to process this RSS into containing the message bodies.

    my $rss = $w->fetch_rss();

If a parameter is given, it will return that many items in the RSS file. The number must be between 1 and 100 inclusive.

    my $rss = $w->fetch_rss( 10 );



Returns or sets the WWW::Mechanize based agent. Not for general use. If you must fiddle with it, your object's API must match that of WWW::Yahoo::Groups::Mechanize and WWW::Mechanize.


Fetch a given URL. Delegated to "get" in WWW::Yahoo::Groups::Mechanize (well, the get method of the object returned by agent).


This method does nothing as Yahoo changed their algorithm.


This checks whether a given URL is to a protected email or not. It returns $text regardless as I do not have a decoding algorithm for Yahoo's updated encoding scheme.

    my $text = $self->_check_protected( $url, $text );


Simon Hanmer for having problems with the module, thus resulting in improved error reporting, param validation and corrected prerequisites. Since then, Simon also provided a basis for the lists and last_msg_id methods and is causing me to think harder about my exceptions.

Aaron Straup Cope (ASCOPE) for writing XML::Filter::YahooGroups which uses this module for retrieving message bodies to put into RSS.

Randal Schwartz (MERLYN) for pointing out some problems back in 1.4 and noting problems caused by the hash randomisation.

Ray Cielencki (SLINKY) for first_msg_id and "Age Restricted" notice bypassing.

Vadim Zeitlin for yahoo2mbox from which I blatantly stole some features. (Well, I say stole but yahoo2mbox is public domain).

Andy Lester (PETDANCE) for writing about this module in Spidering Hacks.

iTerrence Brannon (TBONE) for reporting the example program and empty body bugs.


Support for this module is provided courtesy the CPAN RT system via the web or email:


This makes it much easier for me to track things and thus means your problem is less likely to be neglected.

Please include the versions of WWW::Yahoo::Groups and Perl that you are using and, if possible, the name of the group and the number of any messages you are having trouble with.


Copyright © Iain Truskett, 2002-2003. All rights reserved.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself, either Perl version 5.000 or, at your option, any later version of Perl 5 you may have available.

The full text of the licenses can be found in the Artistic and COPYING files included with this module, or in perlartistic and perlgpl as supplied with Perl 5.8.1 and later.


Iain Truskett <spoon@cpan.org>


perl, XML::Filter::YahooGroups, http://groups.yahoo.com/.

WWW::Mechanize, Exception::Class.


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