James James - 6 months ago 14
HTML Question

How to "scan" a website (or page) for info, and bring it into my program?

Well, I'm pretty much trying to figure out how to pull information from a webpage, and bring it into my program (in Java).

For example, if I know the exact page I want info from, for the sake of simplicity a Best Buy item page, how would I get the appropriate info I need off of that page? Like the title, price, description?

What would this process even be called? I have no idea were to even begin researching this.

Edit:
Okay, I'm running a test for the JSoup(the one posted by BalusC), but I keep getting this error:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: java.util.LinkedList.peekFirst()Ljava/lang/Object;
at org.jsoup.parser.TokenQueue.consumeWord(TokenQueue.java:209)
at org.jsoup.parser.Parser.parseStartTag(Parser.java:117)
at org.jsoup.parser.Parser.parse(Parser.java:76)
at org.jsoup.parser.Parser.parse(Parser.java:51)
at org.jsoup.Jsoup.parse(Jsoup.java:28)
at org.jsoup.Jsoup.parse(Jsoup.java:56)
at test.main(test.java:12)


I do have Apache Commons

Answer

Use a HTML parser like Jsoup or framework like jARVEST. This has my preference above the other HTML parsers available in Java since it supports jQuery like CSS selectors. Also, its class representing a list of nodes, Elements, implements Iterable so that you can iterate over it in an enhanced for loop (so there's no need to hassle with verbose Node and NodeList like classes in the average Java DOM parser).

Here's a basic kickoff example (just put the latest Jsoup JAR file in classpath):

package com.stackoverflow.q2835505;

import org.jsoup.Jsoup;
import org.jsoup.nodes.Document;
import org.jsoup.nodes.Element;
import org.jsoup.select.Elements;

public class Test {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        String url = "http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2835505";
        Document document = Jsoup.connect(url).get();

        String question = document.select("#question .post-text").text();
        System.out.println("Question: " + question);

        Elements answerers = document.select("#answers .user-details a");
        for (Element answerer : answerers) {
            System.out.println("Answerer: " + answerer.text());
        }
    }

}

As you might have guessed, this prints your own question and the names of all answerers.

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