Parsing

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Parse | Definition of Parse by Merriam-Webster

\ ˈpärs, chiefly British ˈpärz \
transitive verb
1a: to divide (a sentence) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other
b: to describe (a word) grammatically by stating the part of speech and explaining the inflection (see inflection sense 2a) and syntactical relationships
2: to examine in a minute way: analyze critically
having trouble parsing … explanations for dwindling market shares— R. S. Anson
intransitive verb
1: to give a grammatical description of a word or a group of words
2: to admit of being parsed: a product or an instance of parsing
What is data parsing? - ScrapingBee

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What is data parsing? – ScrapingBee


07 June, 2021
10 min read
Kevin worked in the web scraping industry for 10 years before co-founding ScrapingBee. He is also the author of the Java Web Scraping Handbook.
Data parsing is the process of taking data in one format and transforming it to another format. You’ll find parsers used everywhere. They are commonly used in compilers when we need to parse computer code and generate machine code.
This happens all the time when developers write code that gets run on hardware. Parsers are also present in SQL engines. SQL engines parse a SQL query, execute it, and return the results.
In the case of web scraping, this usually happens after data has been extracted from a web page via web scraping. Once you’ve scraped data from the web, the next step is making it more readable and better for analysis so that your team can use the results effectively.
A good data parser isn’t constrained to particular formats. You should be able to input any data type and output a different data type. This could mean transforming raw HTML into a JSON object or they might take data scraped from JavaScript rendered pages and change that into a comprehensive CSV file.
Parsers are heavily used in web scraping because the raw HTML we receive isn’t easy to make sense of. We need the data changed into a format that’s interpretable by a person. That might mean generating reports from HTML strings or creating tables to show the most relevant information.
Even though there are multiple uses for parsers, the focus of this blog post will be about data parsing for web scraping because it’s an online activity that thousands of people handle every day.
How to build a data parser
Regardless of what type of data parser you choose, a good parser will figure out what information from an HTML string is useful and based on pre-defined rules. There are usually two steps to the parsing process, lexical analysis and syntactic analysis.
Lexical analysis is the first step in data parsing. It basically creates tokens from a sequence of characters that come into the parser as a string of unstructured data, like HTML. The parser makes the tokens by using lexical units like keywords and delimiters. It also ignores irrelevant information like whitespaces and comments.
After the parser has separated the data between lexical units and the irrelevant information, it discards all of the irrelevant information and passes the relevant information to the next step.
The next part of the data parsing process is syntactic analysis. This is where parse tree building happens. The parser takes the relevant tokens from the lexical analysis step and arranges them into a tree. Any further irrelevant tokens, like semicolons and curly braces, are added to the nesting structure of the tree.
Once the parse tree is finished, then you’re left with relevant information in a structured format that can be saved in any file type. There are several different ways to build a data parser, from creating one programmatically to using existing tools. It depends on your business needs, how much time you have, what your budget is, and a few other factors.
To get started, let’s take a look at HTML parsing libraries.
HTML parsing libraries
HTML parsing libraries are great for adding automation to your web scraping flow. You can connect many of these libraries to your web scraper via API calls and parse data as you receive it.
Here are a few popular HTML parsing libraries:
Scrapy or BeautifulSoup
These are libraries written in Python. BeautifulSoup is a Python library for pulling data out of HTML and XML files. Scrapy is a data parser that can also be used for web scraping. When it comes to web scraping with Python, there are a lot of options available and it depends on how hands-on you want to be.
Cheerio
If you’re used to working with Javascript, Cheerio is a good option. It parses markup and provides an API for manipulating the resulting data structure. You could also use Puppeteer. This can be used to generate screenshots and PDFs of specific pages that can be saved and further parsed with other tools. There are many other JavaScript-based web scrapers and web parsers.
JSoup
For those that work primarily with Java, there are options for you as well. JSoup is one option. It allows you to work with real-world HTML through its API for fetching URLs and extracting and manipulating data. It acts as both a web scraper and a web parser. It can be challenging to find other Java options that are open-source, but it’s definitely worth a look.
Nokogiri
There’s an option for Ruby as well. Take a look at Nokogiri. It allows you to work with HTML and HTML with Ruby. It has an API similar to the other packages in other languages that lets you query the data you’ve retrieved from web scraping. It adds an extra layer of security because it treats all documents as untrusted by default. Data parsing in Ruby can be tricky as it can be harder to find gems you can work with.
Regular expression
Now that you have an idea of what libraries are available for your web scraping and data parsing needs, let’s address a common issue with HTML parsing, regular expressions. Sometimes data isn’t well-formatted inside of an HTML tag and we need to use regular expressions to extract the data we need.
You can build regular expressions to get exactly what you need from difficult data. Tools like regex101 can be an easy way to test out whether you’re targeting the correct data or not. For example, you might want to get your data specifically from all of the paragraph tags on a web page. That regular expression might look something like this:
/

(. *)<\/p>/
The syntax for regular expressions changes slightly depending on which programming language you’re working with. Most of the time, if you’re working with one of the libraries we listed above or something similar, you won’t have to worry about generating regular expressions.
If you aren’t interested in using one of those libraries, you might consider building your own parser. This can be challenging, but potentially worth the effort if you’re working with extremely complex data structures.
Building your own parser
When you need full control over how your data is parsed, building your own tool can be a powerful option. Here are a few things to consider before building your own parser.
A custom parser can be written in any programming language you like. You can make it compatible with other tools you’re using, like a web crawler or web scraper, without worrying about integration issues.
In some cases, it might be cost-effective to build your own tool. If you already have a team of developers in-house, it might not too big of a task for them to accomplish.
You have granular control over everything. If you want to target specific tags or keywords, you can do that. Any time you have an update to your strategy, you won’t have many problems with updating your data parser.
Although on the other hand, there are a few challenges that come with building your own parser.
The HTML of pages is constantly changing. This could become a maintenance issue for your developers. Unless you foresee your parsing tool becoming of huge importance to your business, taking that time from product development might not be effective.
It can be costly to build and maintain your own data parser. If you don’t have a developer team, contracting the work is an option but that could lead to step bills based on developers’ hourly rates. There’s also the cost of ramping up developers that are new to the project as they figure out how things work.
You will also need to buy, build, and maintain a server to host your custom parser on. It has to be fast enough to handle all of the data that you send through it or else you might run into issues with parsing data consistently. You’ll also have to make sure that server stays secure since you might be parsing sensitive data.
Having this level of control can be nice if data parsing is a big part of your business, otherwise, it could add more complexity than is necessary. There are plenty of reasons for wanting a custom parser, just make sure that it’s worth the investment over using an existing tool.
Parsing meta data
There’s also another way to parse web data through a website’s schema. Web schema standards are managed by, a community that promotes schema for structured data on the web. Web schema is used to help search engines understand information on web pages and provide better results.
There are many practical reasons people want to parse schema metadata. For example, companies might want to parse schema for an e-commerce product to find updated prices or descriptions. Journalists could parse certain web pages to get information for their news articles. There are also website that might aggregate data like recipes, how-to guides, and technical articles.
Schema comes in different formats. You’ll hear about JSON-LD, RDFa, and Microdata schema. These are the formats you’ll likely be parsing.
JSON-LD is JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data. This is made of multi-dimensional arrays. It’s implemented using the standards in terms of SEO. JSON-LD is generally more simple to implement because you can paste the markup directly in an HTML document.
RDFa (Resource Description Framework in Attributes) is recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It’s used to embed RDF statements in XML and HTML. One big difference between this and the other schema types is that RDFa only defines the metasyntax for semantic tagging.
Microdata is a WHATWG HTML specification that’s used to nest metadata inside existing content on web pages. Microdata standards allow developers to design a custom vocabulary or use others like
All of these schema types are easily parsable with a number of tools across different languages. There’s a library from ScrapingHub, another from RDFLib.
We’ve covered a number of existing tools, but there are other great services available. For example, the ScrapingBee Google Search API. This tool allows you to scrape search results in real-time without worrying about server uptime or code maintainance. You only need an API key and a search query to start scraping and parsing web data.
There are many other web scraping tools, like JSoup, Puppeteer, Cheerio, or BeautifulSoup.
A few benefits of purchasing a web parser include:
Using an existing tool is low maintenance.
You don’t have to invest a lot of time with development and configurations.
You’ll have access to support that’s trained specifically to use and troubleshoot that particular tool.
Some of the downsides of purchasing a web parser include:
You won’t have granular control over everything the way your parser handles data. Although you will have some options to choose from.
It could be an expensive upfront cost.
Handling server issues will not be something you need to worry about.
Final thoughts
Parsing data is a common task handling everything from market research to gathering data for machine learning processes. Once you’ve collected your data using a mixture of web crawling and web scraping, it will likely be in an unstructured format. This makes it hard to get insightful meaning from it.
Using a parser will help you transform this data into any format you want whether it’s JSON or CSV or any data store. You could build your own parser to morph the data into a highly specified format or you could use an existing tool to get your data quickly. Choose the option that will benefit your business the most.
What is another word for parse? - Synonyms - WordHippo

What is another word for parse? – Synonyms – WordHippo

Contexts
To examine closely or to scrutinize
To place something or someone in a particular context
To inspect carefully or in detail
To break down into basic elements (for analysis)
Verb

analyseUK
analyzeUS
construe
deconstruct
describe
explain
break down
interpret
read
understand
see
take
deduce
decipher
infer
take to mean
figure it to be
work out
gather
figure out
conclude
make out
surmise
reason
suppose
conjecture
reckon
judge
comprehend
intuit
assume
presume
figure
derive
glean
imagine
regard
decode
solve
make sense of
translate
believe
grasp
apprehend
discern
suss out
assimilate
consider
divine
make
come to the conclusion
extrapolate
conceive
guess
decide
determine
unfold
fancy
deem
think
draw
crack
unravel
fathom
perceive
get
appreciate
cognize
suspect
register
speculate
compass
estimate
presuppose
hypothesizeUS
suss
draw the inference
ascertain
hypothesiseUK
define
expect
untangle
dare say
collect
twig
theorizeUS
ratiocinate
conceive of
postulate
dope out
have a hunch
be of the opinion
theoriseUK
make head or tail of
cotton on to
catch on to
decrypt
view
follow
recognizeUS
break
resolve
unriddle
elucidate
know
establish
discover
expound
sense
trust
cogitate
recogniseUK
deduct
educe
extract
savvy
throw light on
adjudge
esteem
dig
puzzle out
posit
identify
take for granted
count on
anticipate
piece together
sum up
get to the bottom of
hazard a guess
forecast
take it
compute
foretell
be afraid
add up
come to understand
tumble to
read into
boil down
read between the lines
cotton to
take in
get the picture
get the message
get it
put two and two together
unscramble
do
riddle
disentangle
picture
demystify
uncipher
evolve
evoke
develop
make intelligible
calculate
characterizeUS
characteriseUK
draw inference
induce
arrive at
read between lines
reach conclusion
see it
predicate
grant
dare-say
look upon
make of
catch
syllogize
take as read
seize
opine
grok
absorb
draw conclusions
appraise
gageUS
gaugeUK
evaluate
think likely
be of the view
assess
bank on
latch on to
get a fix on
get the hang of
get one’s head around
become cognizant of
fathom out
get the point of
get the drift of
get the idea of
behold
suspicion
feel
daresay
pretend
venture a guess
risk assuming
take a stab
take a shot
guesstimate
have a sneaking suspicion
clarify
get the point
get the idea
enlighten
illuminate
reconcile
clear up
reveal
encipher
cipherUS
spell
cypherUK
render
accept
find the key to
find the answer to
make clear
bring out
find the key
nut out
concede
learn
hear
project
detect
philosophiseUK
rationalizeUS
notice
valuate
rationaliseUK
contextualiseUK
contextualizeUS
take something on board
see the light
differentiate
count
be informed
be given to understand
see through
be led to believe
contemplate
philosophizeUS
tell
foresee
feel for
hear tell
predict
stumble on
explicate
perceive the meaning of
sort out
realizeUS
realiseUK
draw a conclusion
more ❯
“The classicists must have been boring their mates with this fact every four years for as long as they could parse a sentence. ”
inspect
investigate
ponder
review
scrutiniseUK
scrutinizeUS
audit
delve
examine
explore
enquireUK
inquireUS
research
winnow
study
survey
check
scan
vet
case
prospect
observe
assay
recce
peruse
reconnoitreUK
reconnoiterUS
canvass
scrutinate
overlook
con
scope
screen
oversee
eye
sweep
undersee
check out
look over
look at
check over
pore over
weigh up
take stock of
search into
look at carefully
subject to an examination
look see
sift through
test
monitor
probe
certify
note
confirm
verify
dissect
correct
ensure
eyeball
compare
prove
quiz
frisk
candle
enquire about
find out
enquire into
go into
look into
go through
inquire into
scout out
test out
take stock
try out
work over
make sure of
keep account
give something a once-over
give something a going-over
give something a look-see
give the once-over
go over with a fine-tooth comb
take a dekko at
search
go over
question
look through
size up
sift
delve into
dig into
query
catechize
try
check up on
run over
ask
interrogate
look
skim
weigh
cast an eye over
shake down
double-check
experiment with
put to the test
browse
watch
try on for size
run through
anatomize
trial
diagnose
grill
flick through
reexamine
pump
sample
interview
substantiate
peg
experimentalize
cross-examine
examine closely
sweat
try on
cross-question
glance over
sound out
put under a microscope
carry out trials on
hunt
put something through its paces
give a tryout
make a trial run
put through the wringer
give the third degree
run your eye over
reconsider
leaf through
flip through
scour
clock
comb
grade
debug
measure
supervise
validate
demonstrate
palpate
superintend
look something over
surf
give the once over
read over
size
pilot
prove out
stack up
take a look at
debrief
match up
get a load of
scope out
stare at
gaze at
look up and down
inquire of
seek an answer
experiment
skim through
dip into
put the screws on
put through the mangle
put questions to
hunt through
pick one’s brains
check up
put the screws to
put through the third degree
put to the proof
read through
follow up
ask about
redact
censor
pursue
balance
find out about
ask questions about
make enquiries about
cut
check into
traverse
report
taste
adjudicate
make inquiry
discuss
tackle
pass under review
spot-check
make enquiries as to
pass through
sit in
worm something out of someone
range over
run hands over
rake
set an examination for
make enquiries into
conduct investigations into
apprise
rate
value
bone up
make enquiries
snoop
make inquiries into
glass
have a taste of
give something a whirl
give it a go
seek
pry
conduct an enquiry
flash
riffle
riff
rumble
penetrate
pierce
perlustrate
run something up the flagpole
see how it flies
see how wind blows
send up a balloon
run idea by someone
run it up a flagpole
put someone through their paces
body-search
leave no stone unturned in
go through with a fine-tooth comb
delve in
stare
smoke
prod
skirr
poke
triangulate
glance at
summariseUK
chart
graph
plot
summarizeUS
put to trial
field-test
fool with
play around with
road-test
carry out tests
mess around
conduct experiments
do tests on
conduct research
test drive
futz around
turn over
practice with
carry out trials
see to it
take care
make sure
make certain
have a look-see
take a gander
rummage around
reassess
scout
have a tour of
look round
tour
have a look round
look around
have a look around
go on a tour of
get a bird’s-eye view of
map out
stake out
eye up
control for
be in no doubt
examine carefully
burn up
take the measure of
fan
drill down
go
troubleshoot
feel around
press
reevaluate
wade
inquisition
pat down
body search
put a question to
request information
request information of
seek information of
make inquiries
feel out
hit up
enquire of
roast
seek information
hit
want to know
needle
regulate
trawl
put out feelers
pop the question
buzz
test the waters
pry into
subject to an inspection
reappraise
kick the tires
overhaul
glance through
wade through
browse through
thumb through
re-examine
third-degree
bombard
ferret around in
rummage in
root around in
fossick through
rifle through
ferret in
rummage through
ferret about in
turn inside out
root about in
give something a check-up
strip down
ask questions of
give the third degree to
ask pointed questions
put on the hotseat
separate
decompound
divide
dismantle
electrolyze
hydrolyze
part
disintegrate
decompose
dissolve
take apart
X-ray
break up
cut up
lay bare
split
think through
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Nearby Words
parsec
parsecs
parsimonies
parsimonious
pars
parry questions
parryings
parrying questions
parrying
parry
5-letter Words Starting With
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Frequently Asked Questions about parsing

What does parsing words mean?

(Entry 1 of 2) transitive verb. 1a : to divide (a sentence) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other. b : to describe (a word) grammatically by stating the part of speech and explaining the inflection (see inflection sense 2a) and syntactical relationships.

What is parsing of data?

Data parsing is the process of taking data in one format and transforming it to another format. … You’ll find parsers used everywhere. They are commonly used in compilers when we need to parse computer code and generate machine code.Jun 7, 2021

What is another word for parsing?

What is another word for parse?analyseUKanalyzeUSconstruedeconstructdescribeexplainbreak downinterpretreadunderstand126 more rows

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