Ignore or look for specific content
For each site you can specify content that you either want or do not want to get alerts for when it changes. If you for example are monitoring pages with page counters, then UpdatePatrol will detect the page as having changed even though only the page counter has changed.
Complex matching is needed since the content you do or do not want to match will change, e.g. page counters, timestamps or dates. In order to do this, UpdatePatrol matches the content using Regular Expressions. In short, a Regular expression is a string that can describe several sequences of characters. It has a special syntax which allows you to form a "template" which the content is matched against.
Regular Expressions are for advanced users. They may not be easy to understand at first, but once you familiarize yourself with them you will discover that this is a very powerful feature.
When you understand the concept of Regular Expressions, you can add any number of them to each site to either check for specific content or to exclude alerts for specific content.
To specify a Regular Expression for a site, edit the site and select the Matching tab:
Click one of the Add buttons to add a new Regular Expression, or double-click on any existing Regular Expression to edit it.
You can also enter a minimum number of words an individual change must contain to make UpdatePatrol highlight it, and a minimum number of changed words the entire page must contain before you are alerted of the changes.
If you are looking for specific changes, click the 'Match strings' tab and add any number of match strings that contains the content you are looking for. All other changes will be ignored.
Clicking one of the Add buttons or double-clicking an existing Regular Expression brings up this window where you can edit and test your Regular Expression match string:
Enter your Regular Expression under the Match string caption and enter a description. After entering your expression you can enter some text below the Test text caption and click the Test button to test if your expression works as intended on the content entered.
The Regular Expressions engine used in UpdatePatrol supports a subset of the Perl regexp rules.