Wednesday, September 5, 2007

List of Country Names

Today I had to build yet-another-list of country names for a web site drop down form. I did some Google searching for about 10 minutes and didn't find anything that was free. I dunno, maybe I'm just blind... I did, however, find a list on Wikipedia. So, I decided I'd pull it down and parse it up. Here's the code:

static void Main(string[] args)
string fullpage;
using (WebClient wc = new WebClient())
byte[] pageBytes = wc.DownloadData(
string encoding = wc.ResponseHeaders["Content-Encoding"];
fullpage = wc.Encoding.GetString(pageBytes);

MatchCollection countryMatches = Regex.Matches(fullpage,
@"<p><b><a href="". ""\s*title="". "">(?<country>. )</a></b>:</p>",

foreach (Match m in countryMatches)
Group g = m.Groups["country"];


As you can see it's dirt simple. Just a WebClient to download the page (holy crap it's big) and a simple Regex call. Presto! A list of countries I'll be dropping into a database so we can edit it later.

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