Works, barely, and not as expected Noté 1 sur 5 étoiles

I had this problem: I needed to check hundreds of entries on a government private secure system for specific information, which might or might not be available, and data-mine it, that is, copy specific records and nothing more, as it would be hellish to filter out the unnecessary data if I had to copy all the displayed information. The system itself stinks, it does not have a fixed Page layout, so a global macro would never work (it's impossible to tell where on the screen a specific button, link or 'clickable' icon will be displayed, so it's necessary to parse each page, looking for that specific element). To make things worse, the data are "random", in the sense that one entry may return different types and amounts of records, so it's impossible to jump to specific tables, rows, lines, pages or whatever, as they may be displayed on different positions along the Page or may not even exist for some entries, being the text above the tables the only clues as to what are inside them (each table is preceded by a title as text inside a "decorated box" or something).

That said, I decided to give iMacros a try, as its maker bragged a lot about its data-mining capabilities... The task was somewhat simple, despite the complications afore mentioned. I had to repeat this task, in this order: (1) click on a pop-up menu option (which opens only when I hover the mouse over the menu), (2) fill a field with the entry code (which was on the clipboard, copied from a text list file), (3) click on a submit button, which could be placed anywhere on the screen, (4) wait for the results to appear (which might take just a few seconds or many minutes or even stall and require retrying), (5) check if there was any result or a "not found" message (which also had to be captured, to acknowledge that the entry was not registered on the system), (6) seek for the datum of interest and (7) copy it to clipboard (so it could be saved on a text file).

Well, it was almost a complete failure, to say the least. I removed one automated step at a time to check if the next ones, at least, would work. It was disappointing and frustrating. It failed on (1) clicking on the pop-up menu option, as iMacros was unable to open the pop-up, to begin with, and even with the pop-up opened (keeping the mouse over the menu), it wouldn't do the job, as there was no way (that I could find out) to assign a hotkey to the macro, so I couldn't play it without moving the mouse and, therefore, closing the pop-up menu... Continuing, (2) iMacro didn't fill the form field with the datum on the clipboard, instead, it filled with value entered at the time of the macro recording... Now, that was just stupid! When recording, I didn't type the datum, I pressed (Control)+(V) and so it should have recorded, my key typing, not what was filled in the field! Next, (3) clicking on the submit button was the only successful action, as iMacros records commands based on the elements' id., what is a good thing, as that does not require a knowledge of the elements' positions on the screen for it to work. The (4) waiting for the result didn't work, as the Page does update promptly after clicking on the submit button, to a "Please, wait, submitting your query" screen, although I really didn't expect that to work (I would try to find a way to put a delay on the macro, or assign another hotkey to this step that I could control with some external program). (5) Checking if the entry had any record didn't work, as I couldn't find a flux control structure on its help pages and wikis, like IF-THEN-ELSE or something, the closer that I could find was EVAL, which could evaluate JavaScript lines, but I couldn't find a way to transfer the data to-and-fro the macro and a script and how to change macro flux based on returned result (yes, I could have 'Googled' for it, but at this point, I wasn't caring anymore, as it was not "simple" any longer, as claimed by the maker). (6) Seeking for the datum of interest didn't work as expected, as I could find the correct table using the SEARCH command (yes, again, not trivial as advertised), but I couldn't find a way to select one specific row of the table that followed it, i.e., I couldn't pick the datum and just the datum that I needed (actually, I couldn't pick any datum at all, as I couldn't find a way to select anything on that table). (7) Copying the selected datum to the clipboard... What, are you kidding?! At the very end, with everything possible (but one, item 3) failing, I couldn't copy the damned datum to the clipboard, i.e., I couldn't export the datum mined so painfully!

So, yes, iMacro works, but only for some very specific dumbly repetitive tasks (maybe), not for slightly more complex tasks that require data checking and that have variable input and return data. If it works for you, good for you, otherwise, don't even waste your time reading the upvotes ("great add-on", "saved my life", "rocks!") that show no hints of what the problems were and how they solved them. By the way, the closest approach I could get to solving my problem was using an external scripting language (AutoHotkey). I still had to do some steps manually, but could automate most of the work (I could have automate more, even completely, but that would be too much work, as I would have to parse the whole Pages and I was not in the mood for that...)

Cette critique est pour une version précédente du module (