Scraping websites


#1

Hi

I’m considering a side-project where I’d have to scrape a couple of
websites and aggregate the results. So far I’ve done a couple of
experiments with html-parser, but I’m not really happy with it. I’d
hate to just throw regexps at the html, so I’m really looking for an
elegant way to select the correct data from the page.

Any ideas on what gems to use?

Thanks
Kev


#2

Hey Kev

Take a look at Rubyful Soup:

http://www.crummy.com/software/RubyfulSoup/

Very easy to parse X/HTML source, including the prevalent
not-strictly-correct-and-even-somewhat-corrupt sort.

Regards,
Alder


#3

Alder G. wrote:

Hey Kev

Take a look at Rubyful Soup:

http://www.crummy.com/software/RubyfulSoup/

Very easy to parse X/HTML source, including the prevalent
not-strictly-correct-and-even-somewhat-corrupt sort.

I’ve installed as a gem and now I’m getting unitialized constant
BeautifulSoup errors

require ‘net/http’
require ‘rubygems’
require_gem ‘rubyful_soup’

class BBCScrape

def read
Net::HTTP.start(“news.bbc.co.uk”, 80) do |h|
response =
h.get("/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/fixtures/default.stm")
#p response
s = BeautifulSoup.new response.body <- fails
p s.find_all(‘div’, :attrs => { ‘class’ => ‘mvb’ })
end
end
end

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong and all the documentation doesn’t
refer to gem usage

Sorry if this is me being thick at the end of a Friday…

Thanks
Kev


#4

i have made good experience using watir (http://wtr.rubyforge.org/ and
http://www.mjtnet.com/watir_webrecorder.htm) - buts its an windows only
thing.

also very usable (and cross plattform) is www:mechanize
(http://www.ntecs.de/blog/Blog/WWW-Mechanize.rdoc).

hope this helps,

lars

Kev J. schrieb:


#5

lg wrote:

i have made good experience using watir (http://wtr.rubyforge.org/ and
http://www.mjtnet.com/watir_webrecorder.htm) - buts its an windows only
thing.

I know how to use watir - it’s great, but it’s not the correct approach
for this application - I want to request a page from a remote source and
extract data from it - rubyful soup seems like the way to go, but for
some reason I’m having difficulty with the code. Watir is good for
driving a browser - I’m not interested in that for this application

Thanks
Kev


#6

On Fri, 2006-03-24 at 19:42 +0900, Kev J. wrote:

I’ve installed as a gem and now I’m getting unitialized constant
BeautifulSoup errors

See this post from yesterday:

http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/185578

but watch out for the typo (I meant “doesn’t (by default) actually
require anything”)


#7

On Mar 24, 2006, at 1:12 PM, Ross B. wrote:

See this post from yesterday:

http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/185578

but watch out for the typo (I meant “doesn’t (by default) actually
require anything”)

Also, check out this recent thread:

http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/185581

– Daniel


#8

lg wrote:

i have made good experience using watir (http://wtr.rubyforge.org/ and
http://www.mjtnet.com/watir_webrecorder.htm) - buts its an windows only
thing.

also very usable (and cross plattform) is www:mechanize
(http://www.ntecs.de/blog/Blog/WWW-Mechanize.rdoc).

This may help you with Mechanize:

http://neurogami.com/cafe-fetcher/


James B.

http://web2.0validator.com - We’re the Dot in Web 2.0
http://refreshingcities.org - Design, technology, usability
http://yourelevatorpitch.com - Finding Business Focus
http://www.jamesbritt.com - Playing with Better Toys


#9

See this post from yesterday:

http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/185578

but watch out for the typo (I meant “doesn’t (by default) actually
require anything”)

Thanks! Just tried and worked perfectly. I’ve always used

require ‘rubygems’
require_gem ‘x’

before, so now I know if that fails to try:

require ‘rubygems’
require ‘x’

Again thanks for the help in resolving this. Learnt something today, so
it’s not a wasted day :slight_smile:

Kev


#10

Kev J. wrote:

Thanks
Kev

Look at SWExplorerAutomation (www.webunittesting.com)
The program creates an automation API for any Web application which
uses HTML and DHTML and works with Microsoft Internet Explorer. The Web
application becomes programmatically accessible from any .NET language.

SWEA API provides access to Web application controls and content. The
API is generated using SWEA Visual Designer. SWEA Visual Designer helps
create programmable objects from Web page content.


#11

Perhaps you’ve misunderstood my intentions. I want to scrape a website
(BBC News for example) and extract some data from the HTML returned. I
want to use Ruby to do this and I also want to avoid using regular
expressions to manually parse the HTML myself.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but your response seems to be an advert for an
automation product for .Net.

Someone else has already suggested RubyfulSoup which I’ve had some
success with and I’m moving ahead with this for now.

Kev


#12
  1. You don’t have to use regular expressions to extract data. SWEA
    works with XML and have XpathDataExtractor and TableDataExtractor to
    simplify the data extraction.
    You can visually define the the extraction rules using them.

  2. You can use Ruby.Net for automation scripts and I like .Net.

  3. SWEA supports frames, javascript, popup windows, windows and html
    dialog boxes, file and image downloads with cookies and etc.Also SWEA
    can work from windows service account.

SWEA have been used in many data scraping solutions with a great
success. Look at SWJobSearch. I have wrote it in a few days. Try to
write it using RubyfulSoup.

Good luck with RubyfulSoup!