I currently have a script that grabs a remotely hosted webpage (using @file()) and checks for the occurence of a certain item on that page. This works fine, except that the script also needs to check that the item is "visible" to the user. I'm guessing, short of writing the most complex CSS and JS validator ever written, that this is not possible. Am i right in this assumption?
You could check the markup for the element style="display: none;" or something, but you're right: What if they have the visibility set to none with CSS or JS? I'm not sure what you would do then, or even if there is anything you could do without writing something to check CSS files, or even more unrealistically, the JS files.
Yes it's tricky eh. There are so many ways one could hide something.
What makes me wonder though, is that you see sites that can "grab" thumbnail gifs of remote sites. Now i believe this can be done automatically, but whether its achievable only through PC software or not i don't know.
But assuming it can be done online, by say Perl, Python or PHP, then it raised my curiosity n so much as maybe it knows what the page comprises of in order to do the thumbnail.