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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.

Nokogiri is a Ruby gem that provides a simple and powerful way to parse and search XML and HTML documents. It is built on top of the underlying C library libxml2, which is known for its speed and reliability.

Nokogiri provides a simple and intuitive API for parsing and searching XML and HTML documents, and it is widely used in the Ruby ecosystem for web scraping and data extraction.

One of the main features of Nokogiri is its ability to search and navigate through XML and HTML documents using a CSS or XPath selectors.

Nokogiri also provides a variety of other features that can simplify the process of working with XML and HTML documents. It can automatically handle character encodings and normalize documents, it can parse and search large documents with low memory usage, and it can validate documents against a DTD or schema.



Example Use

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

xml_find_all(x, ".//baz")

h <- read_html("<html><p>Hi <b>!")
require 'nokogiri'

html_string = '<html><head><title>Page Title</title></head><body><h1 class="header-class">Hello World!</h1><p>This is a sample webpage.</p></body></html>'

# Parse the HTML string
doc = Nokogiri::HTML(html_string)

# Extract the class attribute of h1 tag using CSS selector
h1_class = doc.css("h1")[0]['class']
# or XPath
h1_class = doc.xpath("//h1")[0]['class']
puts "H1 class: #{h1_class}"

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