Website Watch 1.0 Help File


1. Introduction

Website Watch is a tool that will inform you as soon as a website has an update. The options are very flexible so the way the application works can be customized to fit everyone's needs. This is a great utility for anyone that has a list of favorite websites they like to visit.

2. Overview

Website Watch works by taking a list of websites you enter and periodically checking them for any updates or changes. It does this itself just like you would with a web browser. How often it checks the websites is defined in the setup of the application.

There are two methods that can be used to see if the content of a website has changed. First, the application can save a copy of the webpage contents to the hard drive and compare it to future copies. The only drawback is that hard drive space is consumed. The other method is to check the web server's HTTP response to see when the last time was that the content was updated. The drawback with this method is that some web servers don't send this information in their HTTP response.

When an update does take place, you will be informed immediately about it. You can decide how to be informed in the setup of the application.

3. Quick Start

You can get started using Website Watch right away; all that is required is at least one website to watch for updates. After running the application, you will see the main window with the button "Website List". Clicking this button will bring up the website list window where websites can be entered. Then, back on the main form, the button "Start" will activate website checking until the button "Stop" is clicked.

4. Options and Setup

By clicking the button "Setup" on the main window, you can set the options that control how Website Watch works.

-4a. Update Options

You can decide how to alert yourself when a website has an update, by methods such as: flashing the system tray icon, showing a popup window, and playing a sound.

When the popup window option is selected, you can click the text "popup window" to choose where to show the popup window. You can also click the text "Appearance" to open a new window to customize the look of the popup window, including selecting an icon (size 125x125) and entering a custom update message. The update message can include key words that will be replaced with the corresponding information when a website updates. The key words that can be used are: <website> = the website name, <time> = the current time, <date> = the current date, <difference> = the size difference compared to the last version of the webpage, <last time> = the last time the website was updated, <last date> = the last date the website was updated. For example, the popup message "The webpage at <website> has been updated at <time>. The last update was on <last date>." would show "The webpage at www.ativax.com has been updated at 1:01:08 PM. The last update was on 6/5/2009."

When the sound option is selected, you can click the text "sound" to select a sound file from your hard drive. The type of sound file can be: .wav, .mp3, .mid, .rmi, .midi, .wmv.

All of these options can be selected at once, but at least one must always be selected to use the application.

-4b. Interval to Check

The interval is set in minutes, and can be set as low as one minute. All of the websites in the website list are checked simultaneously at the set interval. While the websites are being checked the status will read "Checking websites for any updates..." until it is finished with every one.

-4c. Connection Options

The connection options window is shown by clicking on the text "options". Here, you can enter a proxy or socks server to use when connecting to websites. In some cases this can improve speed and increase anonymity.

-4d. Website Checking Method

Websites can be checked using two methods: hard drive cache, and HTTP header. If the hard drive cache is used, a copy of each webpage is stored on the hard drive so that it can be compared to webpage copies that are saved in the future. If the HTTP header is checked, the HTTP header response from each website is checked for the time and date of the last modification. Note: Not all webservers include this information in the HTTP header response.

-4e. Ignore Webpage Content

You can click the text "certain content" to open the ignore content window. In this window, you can set Website Watch to not register a webpage update if certain content is changed. This is good to ignore ad banners. For example, if you enter "http://ad.", any update including this text in a HTML bracket will be ignored.

-4f. Save Webpage Copy

When "Use cache" is selected as the website checking method, you can save a copy of the webpage at a defined location on the hard drive. There is the option to either save the entire webpage and it's content (including images), or only the HTML document. Both options include the ability to overwrite previous non-updated webpage copies.

-4g. Application Settings

Website Watch has some options for convenience and ease of use, including: using the system tray, saving settings and window positions between runs, and automatically starting with Windows. If you click on the text "system tray", you can set the option of minimizing to the task bar, the system tray, or both.

Copyright 2010 Ativax Inc.