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Parcel tracking library for Ruby
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README.md

PacTrac - International package tracking for Ruby

PacTrac is a library which can be used via API and CLI to fetch raw tracking data. In the initial alpha, only DHL is supported, but a number of other methods are in the process of being added.

Installation

gem install pactrac

CLI

The binary pactrac is included with the gem, usable from the command line.

Basic usage

If not specified, the carrier company is guessed.

$ pactrac track 1234567890

Specifying carrier

$ pactrac track 1234567890 --carrier Dhl

Verifying the request

Some shipping carriers, such as EMS, require CAPTCHA style verifications. The CLI allows for this by downloading the CAPTCHA image to a temporary directory, and allowing you to run the command again adding your verification input.

$ be pactrac track EE123456789CN
EMS requires verification, please view the image at
file:///tmp/pactrac_1345961387_ems.jpg and run pactrac again using the following
command:

pactrac track EE123456789CN --carrier Ems --cookie JSESSIONID\=WrTlQ59KBnfpq1pWp
hgySgYPTSln1p6rrhDd2pSvFyJt2LJGQ9dr\!-1493181672\;\ TS79e94e\=4f22237fc7dc1c7bf7
176dda6b8992a70d84d223c37efee05039bc0060ac0ec5c32dd2e9
--verify YOUR_VERIFICATION_HERE

API

To include PacTrac, add require 'pactrac' to your script.

Returning error status as part of a pair

A number of functions which expect failure return a pair of values instead of just one, to avoid returning different types and to avoid exceptions as control flow. The first value is an error struct, with offsets valid and msg. If valid is true then the function call was successful, if it is false then msg will be populated with an error message.

Discover a carrier based on a tracking number

PacTrac::Carrier.for_tracking_number('EE123456789')

Returns a pair of values, the first an Err struct, the second is the corresponding carrier module.

Request tracking information

require 'pactrac'

carrier = PacTrac::Carrier.for_tracking_number('1234567890')
session = carrier.start_session   # Start an HTTP session, used in requests
err, response = carrier.tracking_request('1234567890', session)
raise 'Error getting tracking information' unless err.valid
raise 'Verification needed' if response.requires_verification
err, tracking_data = carrier.parse_tracking_data(response)
raise 'Error getting response' unless err.valid
puts "Delivery via #{carrier.title} from #{tracking_data[:origin]} to
  #{tracking_data[:destination]}"
# Output updates ordered by latest
tracking_data[:updates].sort_by { |u| u[:at] }.reverse.each do |u|
  puts "Update time #{u[:at]}: package at #{u[:location]} with message
    #{u[:message]}"
end

Sending verification data

If you have made a tracking request and it requires verification, the requires_verification value in the tracking data struct will be true, and the verification_image will be set as a URI for the location of the image. Usually the image is downloaded to the local filesystem (file://) for checking.

After manually checking the verification image, a second request is made to the server. The cookies from the previous request need to be sent to the new request.

require 'pactrac'
require 'pactrac/http/cookie'

carrier = PacTrac::Carrier.for_tracking_number('EE123456789CN')
session = carrier.start_session   # Start an HTTP session, used in requests
err, response = carrier.tracking_request('EE123456789CN', session)
raise "Error getting tracking information, #{err.msg}" unless err.valid
if response.requires_verification
  session.cookies = PacTrac::Http::Cookie.from_response(response)
  err, response = carrier.verify('EE123456789CN', 'JHRPDS', session)
  raise "Error verifying, #{err.msg}" unless err.valid
end
err, tracking_data = carrier.parse_tracking_data(response)
raise "Error getting response, #{err.msg}" unless err.valid
puts "Delivery via #{carrier.title} from #{tracking_data[:origin]} to
  #{tracking_data[:destination]}"
# Output updates ordered by latest
tracking_data[:updates].sort_by { |u| u[:at] }.reverse.each do |u|
  puts "Update time #{u[:at]}: package at #{u[:location]} with message
    #{u[:message]}"
end

Supported carriers

  • EMS - PacTrac::Carrier::Ems
  • DHL - PacTrac::Carrier::Dhl

Testing

Automated testing is done through rspec, and can be run from rake using rake spec.

Style

The gem is written in a functional style, avoiding side effects of functions and aiming to keep them pure. The gem is also written to avoid returning different types, so many functions return a pair of values, one for exit status / message, and the other for the actual return value.

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