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For example, if I wanted to make a post on 'forum y' at 11pm tonight, is there any webapp or service that would allow me to prewrite the post and tell them the submit link, the post contents and title, and authenticate them, and then they could auto-submit the post for me at the set time?

It would be awesome if this would work without my computer even being online!

I know Twitter clients can do this for twitter, and eBay snipers can do this for eBay, but what about the rest of the web?

So, does an app for automating and scheduling webapp tasks exist? And what other uses can you see for such an app?

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closed as off-topic by Eight Days of Malaise, Jacob Jan Tuinstra, jonsca Jul 7 '14 at 18:51

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I'm pretty sure spammers would abuse the service since it doesn't require a captcha. –  Senseful Jul 20 '10 at 23:56
As a general solution, you could maybe have a system on your machine that could be queued to manually do those tasks for you, say with queued keyboard/mouse movements, given authentication on the forum of choice, but as for a general solution.. what Senseful said. –  glasnt Jul 21 '10 at 0:33
@Senseful, but it would require user authentication and therefore those users would have already completed a captcha. –  tobeannounced Jul 21 '10 at 7:34
... or login to webapps.stackexchange.com automatically to get that Enthusiast or Fanatic Badge? ;-) –  mike the mike Jul 21 '10 at 7:34

2 Answers 2

Looks like I am going to have to go back to AutoHotKey, after looking further it still doesn't seem as if this exists.

Using AutoHotKey and AutoScriptWriter (recorder) I should be able to record the actions and then play them back at a later time.

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Even though all Auto hotkey does is write macros for the whole system, I still think its a good idea. –  thunderror Jul 21 '10 at 8:33
Just need to remember to keep those window sizes and placements exactly the same! –  tobeannounced Jul 21 '10 at 9:48

AFAIK there is no webapp that can accomplish such a thing...

The closest thing you'll be able to find is a webapp unit testing suite like Selenium. Basically, it's an IDE add-on for Firefox that allows you to record actions and save them as a script so they can be executed later. You can also write/modify scripts to do more complex tasks like your describing.

To post a specific message you'd have to write up some code that taps into the Selenium API to make it more intelligent. Information on how is probably more appropriate for Stack Overflow.

To do it remotely, you'd have to have a selenium server setup. Meaning that, if you want to do it 24/7 you'll need to have a dedicated server running a selenium daemon to handle the selenium tasks around the clock.

The reason you probably don't see any webapps online that can do this is the abuse factor. What your question describes is the essence of a spambot. A site that would provide it's users with the ability to auto-spam the net would receive a lot of heat for it. People hate spambots, many that are located are blocked, attacked, or even shut down by governmental agencies.

Sites like eBay, and Twitter are an exception to this because they encourage outside access to their site by using an external API. Sites like eBay Sniper (eBay), and Cliqset (Twitter) just use the tools provided with the API's to provide a richer user experience.

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That is pretty interesting, shame I moved from Firefox to Chrome though - and it seems like a lot of work unless you wanted to do a lot of automation, so I think I will just be using AutoHotKey if I need to do this. –  tobeannounced Jul 21 '10 at 7:42
@tobeannounced you can execute selenium scripts in Chrome, you just won't be able to use the IDE to create them. It's probably a good thing that web automation is hard. If it were made any easier there would just be more people using it to spam. –  Evan Plaice Jul 23 '10 at 6:38

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