This looks like a job for Perl, or possibly PHP?

Steve smorrey at
Sat Apr 14 15:37:27 MDT 2007

Howdy everyone,
I have a task I'm trying to accomplish which is extremely redundant
and boring, so I figured I'ld whip up a little program to do it.

Problem is I'm not sure which language fits the problem domain best,
so here's the task and I'm hoping someone who's had to do something
similar could tell me whether Perl or PHP would be my best bet for it.

Please note, this could run as a cron job or with manual user intervention.

First off the script has to figure out is what year it currently is,
and what week of the year, for instance if it were January 1st, 2007,
it would need to know that is the 01 week of the year 2007 (It would
be very helpful if parameters could be passed so it figures out any
date such as 01/30/1996 for instance)

Next the script goes to the USPTO and pulls down the latest issue of
the gazette, using a properly constructed URL that looks like[yearnumber]week[weeknumber]/patexpi.htm

Next the script should locate only the relevant data (expired patent
numbers, their relevant application number, and date of issue).

This data is contained as a clean TAB seperated series of rows, but
unfortunately has a lot of misc text interspersed between certain
series of rows.

After it isolates the 3 relevant fields of data in each row, it should
then insert the data into a database and exit.

Now I'm not asking for any help writing this, but I am honestly
curious as to which language would fit the problem domain best, and
make my life easier by providing me with the most library support for
what I'm going to need to do here.

By the way I'm not stuck with either PHP or Perl on this on, if you
can recommend an even more appropriate language I'll be glad to have a
gander at it.

Anyways thanks in advance as always!


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