= S =
screen scraping n.
The act of capturing data from a
system or program by snooping the contents of some display that is
not actually intended for data transport or inspection by programs.
Around 1980 this term referred to tricks like reading the display
memory of a smart terminal through its auxillary port. Nowadays it
often refers to parsing the HTML in generated web pages with
programs designed to mine out particular patterns of content. In
either guise screen-scraping is an ugly, ad-hoc, last-resort
technique that is very likely to break on even minor changes to
the format of the data being snooped.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.