This is free to download, install, and use. Instant PHP Web Scraping Getting ready Before we can get to work developing our scraping tools, we first need to prepare our development environment. The essentials we will require are as follows: ff An Integrated development environment IDE for writing our code and managing projects. PHP is the programming language we will be using, for executing our code. However, we will be installing the XAMPP package, which includes all of these, along with an additional software, for example Apache server, which will come handy in the future if you develop your scraper further.
After installing these tools, we will adjust the necessary system settings and test that everything is working correctly. How to do it Now, let's take a look at how to prepare our development environment, by performing the following steps: 1. Once the file has been downloaded, unzip the contents.
The resulting directory, eclipse-php, is the eclipse program folder. Save in the default destination. Click on Install and the chosen programs will install. Click on the Start button for Apache. With the necessary software and tools installed, we need to set our PHP path variable. In the left menu bar click on Advanced system settings.
In the System Properties window select the Advanced tab, and click on the Environment variables In the Environment Variables window there are two lists, User variables and System variables. In the System variables list, scroll down to the row for the Path variable. Select the row and click on the Edit button. The PHP directory will now be in our path variables.
Save the file and close the text editor. The final step is to create a new project in Eclipse and execute our program.
Instant PHP Web Scraping
We start Eclipse by navigating to the folder in which we saved it earlier and double- clicking on the eclipse-php icon. We are asked to select our Workspace. Leave all of the settings as they are and name our project as Web Scraping. Click on Next, and then click on Finish. Now we are ready to write our first script and execute it.
We will see the text Hello world! Let's look at how we performed the previously defined steps in detail: 1.
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After installing our required software, we set our PHP path variable. This ensures that we can execute PHP directly from the command line by typing php rather than having to type the full location of our PHP executable file, every time we wish to execute it. Using the final set of steps, we set up Eclipse, and then create a small PHP program which echoes the text Hello world!
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When we visit a web page in a client, such as a web browser, an HTTP request is sent. The server then responds by delivering the requested resource, for example an HTML file, to the browser, which then interprets the HTML and renders it on screen, according to any associated styling specification. When we make a cURL request, the server responds in the same way, and we receive the source code of the Web page which we are then free to do with as we will in this case perform by scraping the data we require from the page.
Getting ready In this recipe we will use cURL to request and download a web page from a server. Refer to the Preparing your development environment recipe. Save the project as 2-curl-request. Execute the script. How it works Let's look at how we performed the previously defined steps: 1. All the PHP code should appear between these two tags. After the function is closed we are able to use it throughout the rest of our script.
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There are a number of different HTTP request methods which indicate the server the desired response, or the action to be performed. This tells the server that we would like to retrieve a resource. Depending on the resource we are requesting, a number of parameters may be passed in the URL. This is requesting the resource books the page that displays search results and passing a value of php to the keys parameter, indicating that the dynamically generated page should show results for the search query php.
Since rv Some common response code values are as follows: ff OK ff Moved Permanently ff Bad Request ff Unauthorized ff Forbidden ff Not Found ff Internal Server Error It is often useful to have our scrapers responding to different response code values in a different manner, for example, letting us know if a web page has moved, or is no longer accessible, or we are unauthorized to access a particular page.
XPath can be used to navigate through elements in an XML document. Save the project as 3-xpath-scraping. Integrate your existing data and web services with Ext JS data support.
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Extend Ext JS through custom components. Let's look at how these steps were performed: 1. Firstly, we have included the curlGet function that we created in the Making a simple cURL request recipe , which enables us to reuse this functionality to request the URL we are going to scrape. This instructs the procedure to execute without throwing errors. This is necessary, because in almost every case, an HTML file on the Web will contain an invalid markup. This is an unavoidable reality, so we wish to ignore any errors found that would otherwise cause our script to fail. With our resource downloaded, we can now convert it to an XPath DOM object in order to scrape our required data from it.
Firstly, we'll scrape the title of the book. The author details are scraped similarly to the previous data, though, because there are multiple items, both the XPath expression and the code required to add them to our array are slightly different. Gives the current node.. In these cases custom functions are useful for scraping our required data from the page. The custom function, which we will create in this recipe, scrapeBetween , will enable us to scrape the content from between any two known strings in a document. Save the project as 5-custom-scraping-functions.
The results of the scrape will be displayed on screen as follows: UA How it works With our necessary functions defined, we can now do some scraping. In these cases we need to request the file, download it, and verify that it is an image and save it to a local directory for future use. Using the cURL library and file functions in PHP, in this recipe we will create a function that will be used to download and save images from a target site. Save the project as 7-scraping-images. The downloaded image will now be stored in the same directory as the script. Firstly, we have included the curlGet function that we created in the Making a simple cURL request recipe, giving us the functionality to request a target page.
With our required functions now in place, we can go ahead and scrape an image from our target page, in this case the cover of a book. While the scraper we have created in this recipe has to download an image by changing the validation, this can even be used to download files of any type from a target website. Submitting a form using cURL Intermediate Many times while web scraping, the data which we require is located behind a form. Whether that be a login form to a members area, a search form, a file upload, or any other form submission, it is frequently implemented using a POST request.
There are a number of steps required to successfully submit a POST form, such as capturing and analyzing HTTP headers, submitting the form, and in case of a login form, using cookies to store session data. Save the project as 8-submitting-form. We are now logged in to the website.
If you have followed the recipes in this book, specifically the Making a simple cURL request recipe, then the first part of this script should look familiar. The parameters passed to the function is the URL to the form fields to POST, and a success string which will be used to check whether the form is submitted correctly by following the given steps: 1. Inside the curlPost function, we first set a user agent string. How can we help you? No result found for "OK". Please press enter for search. Visit Help Center.
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