Ssscrape 1.0 Collects Dynamic Web Data

Feb 18, 2010

The Ssscrape tool screen-scrapes data from RSS and Atom feeds, blogs and podcasts. The open source software is now available in version 1.0.

Ssscrape tracks feeds and other collections for similar elements on updates, and downloads and cleans content by converting HTML to plain text. The database used is MySQL. The tool can also gather statistics about feed activities and report errors. A scheduler takes care of the periodic checks and a monitor displays the running activities.

Known as a Web crawler, a program that scrapes together information off the Web, Ssscrape is short for Syndicated and Semi-Structured Content Retrieval and Processing Environment. The Web scraper is written in Python with Twisted used for network programming and the not always standards-based Beautiful Soup used for parsing HTML/XML content.

Ssscrape was developed in the Information and Language Processing Systems (ILPS) department of the University of Amsterdam and is under LGPLv3 licensing. Ssscrape 1.0 requires Python 2.4 and is available for download as a tarball from the project page.

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