Forwarding Forwarding - 2 months ago 17x
Ruby Question

How to traverse DOM (children/siblings) using watir-webdriver?

I'm used to using PHP's Simple HTML DOM Parser(SHDP) to access elements, but I'm using ruby now with watir-webdriver, and I'm wondering if this can replace the functionality of SHDP as far as accessing elements on pages goes.

So in SHDP I'd do this:

$ret = $html->find('div[id=foo]');

Which is an array of all instances of
s with
. Oh, and
is the HTML source of a specified URL. Anyway, so then I'd put it in a loop:

foreach($ret as $element)
echo $element->first_child ()->first_child ()->first_child ()->first_child ()->first_child ()->first_child ()->first_child ()->plaintext . '<br>';

Now, here, each
is a child of the parent
(notice I have seven) and then I print the plaintext of the 7th child. Something like this

<div id="foo">
<div ...>
<div ...>
<div ...>
<div ...>
<div ...>
<div ...>
<div ...>HAPPINESS</div>

would get "HAPPINESS" printed. So, my question is, how can this be done using watir-webdriver (if it all possible)?

Also, and more generally, how can I get SHDP's DOM-traversing abilities in watir-webdriver:

enter image description here

I ask because if watir-webdriver can't do this, I'm going to have to figure out a way to pipe source of a browser instance in watir-webdriver to a PHP script that uses SHDP and get it that way, and somehow get it back to ruby with the relevant information...


Watir implements an :index feature (zero-based):

browser.div(id: 'foo').divs           # children
browser.div(id: 'foo').div(index: 6)  # nth-child
browser.div(id: 'foo').parent         # parent
browser.div(id: 'foo').div            # first-child
browser.div(id: 'foo').div(index: -1) # last-child

next_sibling and previous_sibling are not currently implemented, please make a comment here if you think it is necessary for your code:

Note that in general you should prefer using indexes to using collections, but these also work:

browser.div(id: 'foo').divs.first
browser.div(id: 'foo').divs.last

Paperback code example (are you looking to select by text or obtain the text?): /Paperback/) "bucket").li
browser.table(id: 'productDetailsTable').li

We've also had requests in the past to support things like direct children instead of parsing all of the descendants:

We're actively working on how we want to improve things in the upcoming versions of Watir, so if this solution does not work for you, please post a suggestion with your ideal syntax for accomplishing what you want here: and we'll see how we can support it.