Web scraping using Mechanize in Ruby on Rails
This blog will guide you to the basic overview of Mechanize using Ruby.
What is Mechanize?
- Mechanize is a ruby gem(library) that is used to make automated web interactions easy.
- Mechanize is generally used for web scraping.
- It automatically sends and stores cookies, follow redirections and submit forms by populating form fields.
- It also keeps track of visited sites as history.
Advanced Web Scraping in Ruby with Mechanize
- Web scraping enables extracting data from the web which cannot be downloaded. The scraped data is utilized to make informed decisions and can be used for making reports.
- Mechanize is a popular library available with Ruby on Rails to simplify web scraping. It helps to fetch the pages and data that needs to be scrapped.
- The library automates the interaction with websites by storing cookies, following links, and submitting forms.
Here I’m giving an example by making a simple HTML page which has links and a form
- First, install the gem mechanize with the below command.
gem install mechanize
- Make an HTML page with some links and form by submitting that form you’ll redirect to google home page.
- Here there are two links where the home will redirect you to the current page, and the contact link will redirect you to the contact page.
- While you submit the given form by giving the username, then it’ll go to google home page.
- Now you have to make a ruby file and write below code in it.
- This will give you the reference to basic operations like finding all links from a web page, how to redirect to links, how to get the form to submit forms and how to get data of any web page.
Mechanize can help in extracting a long list of data to even short paragraphs from a web page if they are not downloadable. However, one should always keep in mind that the data does not have copyright issues. The websites that allow web scraping can enable smoother extraction of data than websites that have strict data protection policies.
You can find more information about mechanize from below blogs.
Complete Code On Github
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