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Despite all the advancements in web APIs and interoperability, it’s inevitable that, at some point in your career, you will have to “scrape” content from a website that was not built with web services in mind. And, despite its sometimes less-than-stellar reputation, web scraping is usually an entire legitimate activity—for example, to capture data from an old version of a website for insertion into a modern CMS.

This book, written by scraping expert Matthew Turland, covers web scraping techniques and topics that range from the simple to exotic using a variety of technologies and frameworks:

  • Understanding HTTP requests
  • The PHP HTTP streams wrapper
  • cURL
  • pecl_http
  • Zend_Http_Client
  • Building your own scraping library
  • Using Tidy
  • Analyzing code with the DOM, SimpleXML and XMLReader extensions
  • CSS selector libraries
  • PCRE pattern matching
  • Tips and Tricks
  • Multiprocessing / parallel processing