Look Ma, No Hands! : Automate your browsing

Mozilla Festival − October 24 – 26, 2014 − London, UK | Ravensbourne

This is the notes for the submission of http://2014.mozillafestival.org/propose/

Propose a Session form

Title of session *

Look Ma, No Hands! : Automate your browsing

First Name *

Julien

Surname *

Deswaef

Your email address *
Your affiliation or organizational name (if applicable)
Your Twitter handle (if applicable)

@xuv

Additional Facilitators

One per line, (e.g. John Doe @j.doe j.doe@example.com)

What will your session or activity allow people to make, learn or do? *

(Describe your session's goals in 150 words or less) Sometimes, we find ourselves doing repetitive tasks on the web. Be it clicking like buttons, copying and pasting names and phone numbers, right-clicking to download images, etc. This session will help you write simple scripts that can make the computer do this tasks in the browser for you. With a bit of Javascript and some functions provided by Casperjs, we will be able to simulate clicks, copy text and save images from any website of our choice.

How do you see that working? *

We will first have to install Casperjs onthe participants machines and then explain a bit the syntax of it. Then gradually, we will explore cases, like navigating a website, clicking buttons, copying text from a webpage to a file, saving an image to the hard drive, taking automatic screenshots,… so that half way through the workshop people will have enough understanding of the possibilities and to start imagining their own scenarios. They will then be working in small groups to achieve the realization of one of these ideas.

How will you deal with varying numbers of participants in your session? *

(Tell us what you'll do with 5 participants? 15? 50?) If the group gets big, participants will be encouraged to form small teams of max 3 people using the same kind of operating system, but with different knowledge level so they can help each other during the installation process and when learning the basic functions. After that, loose groups can be formed to do more complex projects. The workshop will encourage knowledge sharing among the participants.

What do you see as outcomes after the festival? How will you and your participants take the learning and activities forward? *

People will be more playful with the web interfaces they encounter. When they will see repetitive tasks, they might be encouraged to create scripts to fill them. We will see more social media bots on the web.

Theme *

Select the theme your session best fits under. We also welcome sessions that don't fit into these themes and take the spirit of the festival into new directions.

  • Art and Culture of the Web