Questions about libwww

Can libwww deal with Basic Authentication challenges.  To be more specific, will it ask the user for ID and Password and then encode this data base64 and resubmit the original request?

What about secure web pages.  Does libwww have mechanisms to encrypt and decrypt the data to and from secure web pages?

I write my code in C rather than C++.  I haven't made the jump to OOP yet.   Can I use the libwww library from Win32 programs I write in C using VC++ 4.x?

If I want to understand how HTTP interactions with secure web sites work, what RFC's should I study?

What are the advantages of using libww over some of the new Microsoft ActiveX Internet controls?

Microsoft is releasing new APIs for Internet programmers which simplify and reduce the need to understand HTTP 1.0 and TCP/IP issues.   In spite of this, are there still convincing reasons to use and stay with the libwww?

I'm currently writing a Win32 C based program using VC++ 4.x.  This program's purpose is to allow me to download HTML pages over the Internet and then parse data out of them on my end.   I've run into problems trying to do this (which I discussed and described in another message) and thus I'm taking a good look around to see if there's not a better way.

Thus far, I've seen these pathways to do what I want:

1.  As I'm doing it now in Win32 C where I handle everything and basically reinvent a lot of wheels.
2.  Use libwww to handle the low level details and just write the outer code to request HTML pages and process them after arrival.
3.  Use Microsoft's Internet Programmer APIs to lessen the low level details I must confront (similar, I think, to using libwww).
4.  Use Microsoft's ActiveX controls to really lessen the details (disadvantage is I'm OOP ignorant so there's a learning curve).
5.  Control either Netscape's Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer through their external API interfaces and let them do the work of getting the HTML pages.   After lurking in the Netscape Newsgroup where people doing this one hang out, it sounds like a pretty unrewarding thing to attempt.

There may be more possibilities I'm missing.  Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated.


Dennis Gallagher