The DOMXPath class is a convenient and popular means to parse HTML content with XPath.
After I’ve done a simple PHP/cURL scraper using Regex some have reasonably mentioned a request for a more efficient scrape with XPath. So, instead of parsing the content with Regex, I used DOMXPath class methods.
Often, we need to extract some HTML elements ordered sequentially rather than in hierarhical order.
XPath is a formal language that is used to navigate through and query elements and attributes in XML documents. While this notation is being used in XSL and XQuery, it is very useful for DOM data access and extraction. XML documents and also HTML/XHTML documents are objects of DOM parsing while using XPath.
Here we’ll show how XPath works. Let’s take the following XML as a lab rat.
When I needed to extract dictionary words’ definitions I chose Python and lxml library. In this tutorial, I’ll review the steps of scraping Webster online dictionary using lxml in Python.