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pyqueryvsparsel

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PyQuery is a Python library for working with XML and HTML documents. It is similar to BeautifulSoup and is often used as a drop-in replacement for it.

PyQuery is inspired by javascript's jQuery and uses similar API allowing selecting of HTML nodes through CSS selectors. This makes it easy for developers who are already familiar with jQuery to use PyQuery in Python.

Unlike jQuery, PyQuery doesn't support XPath selectors and relies entirely on CSS selectors though offers similar HTML parsing features like selection of HTML elements, their attributes and text as well as html tree modification.

PyQuery also comes with a http client (through requests) so it can load and parse web URLs by itself.

parsel is a library for parsing HTML and XML using selectors, similar to beautifulsoup. It is built on top of the lxml library and allows for easy extraction of data from HTML and XML files using selectors, similar to how you would use CSS selectors in web development. It is a light-weight library which is specifically designed for web scraping and parsing, so it is more efficient and faster than beautifulsoup in some use cases.

Some of the key features of parsel include:

  • CSS selector & XPath selector support:
    Two most common html parsing path languages are both supported in parsel. This allows selecting attributes, tags, text and complex matching rules that use regular expressions or XPath functions.
  • Modifying data:
    parsel allows you to modify the contents of an element, remove elements or add new elements to a document.
  • Support for both HTML and XML:
    parsel supports both HTML and XML documents and you can use the same selectors for both formats.

It is easy to use and less verbose than beautifulsoup, so it's quite popular among the developers who are working with Web scraping projects and parse data from large volume of web pages.

Highlights


css-selectors
css-selectorsxpath-selectors

Example Use


from pyquery import PyQuery as pq

# this is our HTML page:
html = """
<head>
  <title>Hello World!</title>
</head>
<body>
  <div id="product">
    <h1>Product Title</h1>
    <p>paragraph 1</p>
    <p>paragraph2</p>
    <span class="price">$10</span>
  </div>
</body>
"""

doc = pq(html)

# we can use CSS selectors:
print(doc('#product .price').text())
"$10"


# it's also possible to modify HTML tree in various ways:
# insert text into selected element:
print(doc('h1').append('<span>discounted</span>'))
"<h1>Product Title<span>discounted</span></h1>"

# or remove elements
doc('p').remove()
print(doc('#product').html())
"""
<h1>Product Title<span>discounted</span></h1>
<span class="price">$10</span>
"""


# pyquery can also retrieve web documents using requests:
doc = pq(url='http://httpbin.org/html', headers={"User-Agent": "webscraping.fyi"})
print(doc('h1').html())
from parsel import Selector

# this is our HTML page:
html = """
<head>
  <title>Hello World!</title>
</head>
<body>
  <div id="product">
    <h1>Product Title</h1>
    <p>paragraph 1</p>
    <p>paragraph2</p>
    <span class="price">$10</span>
  </div>
</body>
"""

selector = Selector(html)

# we can use CSS selectors:
selector.css("#product .price::text").get()
"$10"

# or XPath:
selector.xpath('//span[@class="price"]').get()
"$10"

# or get all matching elements:
print(selector.css("#product p::text").getall())
["paragraph 1", "paragraph2"]

# parsel also comes with utility methods like regular expression parsing:
selector.xpath('//span[@class="price"]').re("\d+")
["10"]

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