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The XRay HTTP Monitoring and Content
XRay has been made available under the terms of the
GNU Public License (GPL)
- Obtain either the binary or source release of XRay 1.0 from the download
- Configure your web browser to use XRay as a web proxy as explained below. The default port is 3002.
- Run the jar file (tested under java 1.4):
- java -jar <jar-file-name>
The first time you run XRay 1.0, an empty xray.properties file will be written to your user
directory and a small set of default application-wide properties will be loaded
internally. These default settings will not be written to xray.properties. You
should add an entry to xray.properties if and only if you wish to
override a default setting corresponding to that entry. For example, if you
would like to have XRay output linearized html rather than standard html, you
would add the line:
The complete set of properties together with their associated default values
is documented here. Alternate values are obvious where
XRay 1.0 is a 100% pure Java, GUI
enhanced, tool for monitoring and logging of all HTTP messages that transpire
between any number of arbitrary web clients and any number of arbitrary web
servers. XRay 1.0 runs much faster than XRay 0.5 and uses Log4J's LogFactor5
as a front end in place of the custom GUI included with XRay 0.5. Unlike
the earlier release, XRay 1.0 does not perceptibly slow down your web browser. A
future version of XRay will reinstitute the custom GUI, which contains some
additional conveniences. Nevertheless, XRay 1.0 implements a number of
features not supported by XRay 0.5: namely, the ability to decode chunked and/or
gzipped content, and the option to transform an html or xml document containing
nested elements into a plain-text, linear format that
does not contain nested elements, while preserving the structure of the orginal
How to use XRAY
- Configure any
number of web browsers to use XRay as a proxy through some port on the machine
on which XRay will run, say 3002. This is typically done via the main menu of
your web browser. For example, if you are using Mozilla the sequence of mouse
clicks is: Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Proxies. Then enable the "Manual
Configuration" radio button and type "3002" (or whatever port you
desire) into the appropriate text boxes. The process is essentially the same for
all major web browsers.
- Start XRay by running the jar file as shown
above. If you have installed the latest version of Log4j, the GUI will appear
(see the screenshot above), otherwise XRay will complain that it cannot find
Log4J but will continue to run in text mode. You may capture all output to a
text file by redirecting stdout to a file when starting XRay. Generate some data
by using the attached client(s) to browse the web.
- You may stop XRay
at any time by pressing CTRL-C. Connected clients will no longer have access to
Currently Implemented Features
capture of all human-readable HTTP message content, including the headers and
- Proper decoding and translation of gzipped and/or chunked
- Suppression of non-human-readable binary content.
Log records will not contain "garbage" characters.
- The option
to transform the content of an html or xml document into a linear format
suitable for content filtering applications.
- Because XRay is 100%
java, it is platform independent.
- XRay need not run on the
same machine as the web client(s) it
Sourceforge Project Summary
- The GUI has been
appropriated from Log4J's LogFactor5
- The threading model was stolen from ProProxy.
gzipped/chunked decoders include code ripped from SimpleWeb.
- The content linearization code is from the book "Web Content
Mining with Java" by Tony Loton.
Author: Ben Tompkins