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3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2004 3:02 PM by 807582 RSS

Monitoring a URL!

807582 Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
Hey Guys

How would you go about constantly and effeciently monitoring a url?

Currently, I am doing it in the most logical and simple way that came to me.

I have a timer that wakes up every second, makes a connection to a url using the URL and URLConnection class, checks the lastModified time for the file (index.html) in my case. If the
current timestamp is different than the previous one, I know the file has been altered.

I am curious to find out if there exists a better (in terms of efficiency) way to monitor a url.

Any thoughts?


private class PageLoader extends TimerTask {

BufferedReader data;
String url = "23.87.345.234/index.html";

public PageLoader(){}

public void run() {
try {
String line;
url = new URL(string);
uconn = url.openConnection();
long newtimestamp = uconn.getLastModified();

if(newtimestamp > oldtimestamp){
oldtimestamp = newtimestamp;
BufferedReader data = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(url.openStream()) );
StringBuffer buf = new StringBuffer();

     while ( ( line = data.readLine() ) != null ) {
     buf.append( line + "\n" );

     System.err.println("Nothing has changed.");

}catch( Exception ioe ){
  • 1. Re: Monitoring a URL!
    807582 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    You've two choices when checking something... polling or catching events.
    Since the webserver isn't going to send you an event to say it's changed, you've gone the only route possible. Check it yourself at periodic intervals.

    Checking the timestamp is the quickest, which means you do not have to parse the URL.
    If you want accuracy, to ensure the file has changed, even if the timestamp has not, you'd need to generate
    a checksum on the URL stream contents.

    But, I can't see any significant improvement on what you done...
    Are you just fishing for complements !

  • 2. Re: Monitoring a URL!
    807582 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    Cheers for the reply Mate.

    :) I am certainly not looking for compliments; I would rather have someone improve my code after
    dissecting it.

    I do appreciate your time.

  • 3. Re: Monitoring a URL!
    807582 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    The HTTP protocol allows for a conditional GET, which will retrieve the file only if it's newer than a certain timestamp. Using that, you won't have to download the entire page each time you poll the server.