Excellent, thanks Charles.

I can tell you that my technique seems to be working fine, if you want 
to try it too.

Construct a URL:

Requset the URL.  Grep the response for "book is temporarily 
unavailable"--if you get it, there's no search inside the book. If you 
don't get it, there is search inside the book. (Sadly, it's still a 200 
HTTP status in response, either way).

I want to look at if I can just do a HEAD request and tell the 
difference between presence and absence of search inside by the 
advertised length of the response. That's Terry Reese's preferred way of 
doing a check for legitimate content at the end of a URL, trying to 
guess from content length with just a HEAD request. Not sure if that 
will work here or not. Would potentially be somewhat more efficient if 
it would.


Charles Ledvina wrote:
> I've been trying to do this same thing for quite some time.  I can 
> tell with some certainty that there is NO search-inside-the-book info 
> within the API response.
> --Charles Ledvina
> Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
>> Anyoen more familiar with Amazon Web Services than me (AWS) and know 
>> the answer to this?
>> Can I tell from my AWS API response if search inside the book is 
>> available? Is that information anywhere?
>> Right now, I'm calculating what the search inside the book URL 
>> _would_ be from the ASIN (which I get from the AWS), and then making 
>> a request to that url---and then screen-scraping for the phrase 
>> "temporarily unavailable" which is what they say if search inside the 
>> book doesn't exist. Sadly, they don't return 404 status in this case, 
>> they return 200 status with that message.
>> But this is messy. And slows down my app, since I need to make a 
>> second http request to amazon.
>> Anyone know if there's any way to predict it from the AWS response?
>> The AWS documentation and my actual in practice AWS response examples 
>> are both overwhelming and confusing me. :)
>> Jonathan

Jonathan Rochkind
Digital Services Software Engineer
The Sheridan Libraries
Johns Hopkins University
rochkind (at)