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scrapyvssplash

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Scrapy is an open-source Python library for web scraping. It allows developers to extract structured data from websites using a simple and consistent interface.

Scrapy provides:

  • A built-in way to follow links and extract data from multiple pages (crawling)
  • Handling common web scraping tasks such as logging in, handling cookies, and handling redirects.

Scrapy is built on top of the Twisted networking engine, which provides a non-blocking way to handle multiple requests at the same time, allowing Scrapy to efficiently scrape large websites.

It also comes with a built-in mechanism for handling common web scraping problems, such as:

  • handling HTTP errors
  • handling broken links

Scrapy also provide these features:

  • Support for storing scraped data in various formats, such as CSV, JSON, and XML.
  • Built-in support for selecting and extracting data using XPath or CSS selectors (through parsel).
  • Built-in support for handling common web scraping problems (like deduplication and url filtering).
  • Ability to easily extend its functionality using middlewares.
  • Ability to easily extend output processing using pipelines.

Splash is a javascript rendering service with an HTTP API. It's a lightweight browser with an HTTP API, implemented in Python 3 using Twisted and QT5.

It is built on top of the QtWebkit library and allows developers to interact with web pages in a headless mode, which means that the web pages are rendered in the background, without displaying them on the screen.

splash is particularly useful for web scraping and web testing tasks, as it allows developers to interact with web pages in a way that is very similar to how a human user would interact with the browser.

It also allows you to execute javascript and interact with web pages even if they use heavy javascript.

Unlike Selenium or Playwright, splash is powered by webkit embedded browser instead of a real browser like Chrome or Firefox. As a down-side splash requests are easy to detect and block when scraping websites with anti-scraping features.

One benefit of splash is that it seemlesly integrates with Scrapy.

Highlights


popularcss-selectorsxpath-selectorscommunity-toolsoutput-pipelinesmiddlewaresasyncproductionlarge-scale

Example Use


# once splash server is started it can be requested to render pages through 
# HTTP requests:
import requests

url = "http://localhost:8050/render.html"
payload = {
    'url': 'https://www.example.com',
    'timeout': 30,
    'wait': 2
}

response = requests.get(url, params=payload)

# Get the page HTML
print(response.text)

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