Hi Andy

On 17 Feb 2009, at 21:27, Andy wrote:

What I'm looking for is a way of sending a query such as "Top Gear"
and getting back "b006mj59" and preferably the name of the programme
incase of partial matches.

Of course it's possible to spider data from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/a-z/by/[LETTER]/all but that would
require Screen Scrapping and 27 queries (to check for matches that
aren't at the begining of the title). But something more efficent
would be good.

I wouldn't write off the A-Z so quickly, it's actually pretty clever and does find partial matches, e.g.:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/a-z/by/top%20gear/all

returns Best of Top Gear, Top Gear and Top Gear Take Two.

The last time I needed to do something like this I tried Search first, but ended up using the A-Z on /programmes as the results were much more what I was after. The HTML on /programmes is also easy to parse. I don't call using an XML parser and XPath screen scraping :)

Cheers
Jonathan
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