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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    November 1st, 2005
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    Angry Linkshare Merchant Link CSV Files Useless
    I was happy to see I could download Linkshare merchants links in a CSV file but then realized the data is pretty much useless unless I want to spend time trying to work out how to edit out all the crap in the URL field. Instead of them included just a simple link like this fake example

    Code:
    http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=zzzzzzzz&offerid=000000&type=3&subid=0
    they include the full source like below plus to make it worse they even include the tracking image, the promotion text with the link and not in a separate field like this example (yes they do have other fields like the name, dates etc):
    Code:
    <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=zzzzzzzz&offerid=000000&type=3&subid=0" >Save up to 60% at (merchant). From top brands to bestsellers, shop great styles for the whole family.</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1 src="http://ad.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/show?id=zzzzzzzz&bids=00000000&type=3&subid=0" >
    I need to strip out all the crap, in the CSV file first or in Access to be later sent to MySQL database but this is not easy.

    My request to the Linkshare moderator is to fix this issue please and provide a CLEAN link field as this is just really unusable.
    Last edited by glittered; June 3rd, 2013 at 06:23 AM.
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinkShare Moderator View Post
    Hi Glittered,

    Thank you for your feedback. I've send this information to our product team.

    --Ranae
    OK thanks a lot, sounds good! please update or let me know if they improve it.
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    Actually these CSV files are really bad and buggy.

    I actually started working out some ways to clean up the HTML so I can extract the actual url and the description out of all the junk . Then I found that part of the last part where the IMG tag is was missing on some of them so that really put a spanner in the works. here is an example:

    Code:
    <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=zzzzzzzzzzofferid=111111.1111111&type=3&subid=0" >Bla Bla bla text text.</a><IMG border=0 width=1 height=1
    As you can see the last part is missing on some so running my SQL queries to clean it up is difficult when it's unpredictable like that and broken... Please get the developers to clean up this as how can we work with it in this state!
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  4. #4
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    1,466
    Glittered maybe because I am a coder I know its pretty easy, its all patterns
    You want the url, look for http and " > to end and grab that. Easiest in php but in a spreadsheet its easy too.

    You want the text everything from one character pasted > to the </

    You want the image, see if it has a .jpg in the file, if it does, everything from 5 characters after src= to 3 characters after the start of jpg.

    You don't 'strip out the crap' you take what you want. If you are putting something into mysql, then you must be using some sort of language to do it and that language can get what you want.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


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  6. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    yeah I know what you are saying and that would be the logical way to do it but I usually do things differently to most people and no I'm not a coder, I'm a forced coder so I just code what I have to as I work and have done it that way since 1996, I guess it's more like a hack hehe...

    Actually I'm an artist and one day when I make enough money from hacking away with code and website designs and affiliate marketing I can just do what I love and do creative things. But until then I must press on and keep going.

    So what I do is I like to manually check and edit things before they go to my MySQL website databases. I will actually import the csv files into Access 2003, don't ask me why I use the older version but it works for me and that is all I need although I do have MS Office 2010 Starter versions of Excel & Word if I need to do some basic things with those files.

    So in Access I can import them into a nice table I can see easily and manipulate easily with my mouse. I can edit, change add things to the data, test and check etc. Of course it is nice to automate everything to go in MySQL and I do a lot of stuff after it goes live but at least I can make things a bit more original too and I enjoy it sometimes... so I did manage to clean out all the "crap" so to speak with a couple of Queries and put into a macro along with more queries to do some nice things to the data with a click of the mouse... something like these queries

    UPDATE LS_Merc_Links SET promo_description = mid([promo_description],InStr([promo_description]," >")+2);

    and then another for this and before that I also cleaned out the url in another field, oh and I then ran a query to copy the urll field and paste it into the desc field before I did any of this so I could get the text.... so I ended up getting it all working great but then when the image code is missing it threw a spanner in the works so I just ended up manually fixing a couple of entries and all was OK. Besides, I think I have to manually edit and manipulate a lot of these links anyway (not to mention delete a lot of them) so it's not too bad but I think it would not be too hard for the developers to just get the code right from the start and they probably want to be made aware of this anyway if they are serious about their job... and also to the mod... now I don't care if they make a separate url field as I have all that worked out anyway unless someone else want it....
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