The tools described on this page build on each other. The Rousillon browser extension uses Ringer to record user interactions. Ringer's output is a straight-line replay script in a low-level language, which we feed as input to a generalizer. The generalizer produces a loopy Helena program. Finally, Rousillon runs the Helena program to execute the web task or collect the target web data. The diagram below illustrates how the components interact.
Helena is a high-level programming language for web automation. It comes with Rousillon, a programming-by-demonstration (PBD) tool for writing Helena programs. Just open the Rousillon browser extension, demonstrate how to collect the first row of a dataset, then let Rousillon write a program for collecting the remaining rows.
Helena is a high-level programming language for automating web tasks -- clicks, form interactions, data collection. Draft a Helena program by recording a browser interaction, then use the Helena editor to adapt, extend, and understand it.
Rousillon is a Chrome extension for writing programs in the Helena language using PBD techniques. Using the extension, users can demonstrate how to collect the first row of a multi-relational dataset and receive a generalized Helena program for collecting remaining data.
Ringer is a browser record and replay tool. Ringer records a user demonstration of a web interaction and writes a straight-line replay script in a low-level language. The replay script is designed to repeat the same interaction on the same webpages, even as the pages' structures and contents change. Rousillon uses Ringer as a building block to record user interactions, then generalizes the straight-line Ringer interactions into loopy, high-level Helena programs.
Housing Markets We are partnering with a team of sociologists to study the practices and attitudes of rental Property Owners/Managers (POMs) in a tight housing market, scraping rental listings to learn how POM practices vary across neighborhoods.
Hurricane Harvey We are collaborating with a small team of civil and environmental engineers to study the effects of Hurricane Harvey by collecting a wide variety of datasets, from rescue request listings to power outage details.
Charitable Foundation Communications We are providing data to a group of public policy researchers studying how charitable foundations communicate with their supporters, collecting data from a variety of social media and and community foundation sites.
The Helena Ecosystem