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in Java by (3.5k points)

I code a lot of parsers. Up until now, I was using HtmlUnit headless browser for parsing and browser automation.

Now, I want to separate both the tasks.

As 80% of my work involves just parsing, I want to use a light HTML parser because it takes much time in HtmlUnit to first load a page, then get the source and then parse it.

I want to know which HTML parser is the best. The parser would be better if it is close to HtmlUnit parser.

By best, I want at least the following features:

  1. Speed
  2. Ease to locate any HtmlElement by its "id" or "name" or "tag type".

It would be ok for me if it doesn't clean the dirty HTML code. I don't need to clean any HTML source. I just need an easiest way to move across HtmlElements and harvest data from them.

1 Answer

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by (46k points)

Self plug: I have just released a new Java HTML parser: jsoup. I mention it here because I think it will do what you are after.

Its party trick is a CSS selector syntax to find elements, e.g.:

String html = "<html><head><title>First parse</title></head>"

  + "<body><p>Parsed HTML into a doc.</p></body></html>";

Document doc = Jsoup.parse(html);

Elements links ="a");

Element head ="head").first();

See the Selector javadoc for more info.

This is a new project, so any ideas for improvement are very welcom

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