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Foundations of Python Network Programming: The comprehensive guide to building network applications with Python, Second Edition by John Goerzen, Brandon Rhodes

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Chapter 10. Screen Scraping

Most web sites are designed first and foremost for human eyes. While well-designed sites offer formal APIs by which you can construct Google maps, upload Flickr photos, or browse YouTube videos, many sites offer nothing but HTML pages formatted for humans. If you need a program to be able to fetch its data, then you will need the ability to dive into densely formatted markup and retrieve the information you need—a process known affectionately as screen scraping.

In one's haste to grab information from a web page sitting open in your browser in front of you, it can be easy for even experienced programmers to forget to check whether an API is provided for data that they need. So try to take a few minutes investigating ...

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