Skip to content

xml2vsparsel

MIT 63 3 216
624.5 thousand (month) Apr 20 2015 1.3.6(9 months ago)
1,067 8 36 BSD
1.9.0(22 days ago) Jul 26 2019 1.5 million (month)

The xml2 package is a binding to libxml2, making it easy to work with HTML and XML from R. The API is somewhat inspired by jQuery.

xml2 can be used to parse HTML documents using XPath selectors and is a successor to R's XML package with a few improvements:

  • xml2 takes care of memory management for you. It will automatically free the memory used by an XML document as soon as the last reference to it goes away.
  • xml2 has a very simple class hierarchy so don't need to think about exactly what type of object you have, xml2 will just do the right thing.
  • More convenient handling of namespaces in Xpath expressions - see xml_ns() and xml_ns_strip() to get started.

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-selectorsxpath-selectors

Example Use


library("xml2")
x <- read_xml("<foo> <bar> text <baz/> </bar> </foo>")
x

xml_name(x)
xml_children(x)
xml_text(x)
xml_find_all(x, ".//baz")

h <- read_html("<html><p>Hi <b>!")
h
xml_name(h)
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"]

Alternatives / Similar