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Leveraging Autopilot in Deno A Step-by-Step Guide

By David Li on 2023-05-03T14:16:45.005Z

Leveraging Autopilot in Deno: A Step-by-Step Guide

In recent years, Deno has emerged as a popular runtime for executing JavaScript and TypeScript outside of the web browser. Its secure-by-default, modular design, and built-in features make it an attractive choice for developers. One of the lesser-known capabilities of Deno is its support for autopilot, a feature that enables developers to automate browser tasks.

In this article, we will explore how to use autopilot in Deno, focusing on setting up the environment, writing a basic script, and executing browser automation tasks.

Prerequisites

Before diving into autopilot, make sure you have the following tools installed on your system:

  1. Deno: Install Deno by following the instructions for your operating system.

  2. A modern web browser: Autopilot works with popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Setting Up the Environment

To use autopilot in Deno, you will first need to install the autopilot module. Create a deps.ts file and import the module as follows:

// deps.ts
export { autopilot } from "https://deno.land/x/autopilot/mod.ts";

This will allow you to use autopilot in your Deno scripts by simply importing it from deps.ts.

Writing a Basic Autopilot Script

Now that you have the environment set up, let’s write a basic autopilot script. Create a new file called autopilot_example.ts and import the autopilot module:

// autopilot_example.ts
import { autopilot } from "./deps.ts";

Next, create a new instance of the Autopilot class:

const pilot = new autopilot.Autopilot();

Now, you can use the methods available in the Autopilot class to interact with the browser. Let’s write a script that navigates to a URL, takes a screenshot, and saves it to a local file:

async function runAutopilot() {
  // Navigate to the desired URL
  await pilot.goto("https://deno.land");

  // Take a screenshot
  const screenshot = await pilot.screenshot();

  // Save the screenshot to a local file
  await Deno.writeFile("deno_land_screenshot.png", screenshot);
}

runAutopilot();

This script will open the default web browser, navigate to the Deno website, take a screenshot, and save it as deno_land_screenshot.png in the current working directory.

Running the Autopilot Script

To run the autopilot script, execute the following command in your terminal:

deno run --allow-net --allow-write autopilot_example.ts

The --allow-net flag is needed to grant network access, while the --allow-write flag allows the script to write the screenshot to the local file system.

After running the script, you should see a new file named deno_land_screenshot.png containing a screenshot of the Deno website.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve shown how to set up and use autopilot with Deno for browser automation tasks. The autopilot module provides a simple and powerful way to interact with web browsers, making it an excellent tool for web scraping, testing, and automating repetitive tasks.

With a comprehensive API and a growing ecosystem of Deno modules, the possibilities for leveraging autopilot are endless. To learn more about autopilot and its capabilities, refer to the official documentation.

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