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Section 11.8 Fetching Something From The Web

The Python libraries are pretty messy in places. But here is a very simple example that copies the contents at some web URL to a local file. We will need to get a few things right before this works:

  • The resource we're trying to fetch must exist! Check this using a browser.

  • We'll need permission to write to the destination filename, and the file will be created in the “current directory” - i.e. the same folder that the Python program is saved in.

  • If we are behind a proxy server that requires authentication, (as some students are), this may require some more special handling to work around our proxy. Use a local resource for the purpose of this demonstration!

We will try to retrieve the content of the HTML of this page as in the following code.

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