Nokogiri: World's Finest (XML/HTML) Saw Friday, October 31, 2008

Yesterday was a big day, and I nearly missed it, since I spent nearly all of the sunlight hours at the wheel of a car. Nine hours sitting on your butt is no way to ... oh wait, that's actually how I spend every day. Just usually not in a rental Hyundai. Never mind, I digress.

It was a big day because Nokogiri was released. I've spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of months working with Aaron Patterson (of Mechanize fame) on this excellent library, and so I'm walking around, feeling satisfied.

"What's Nokogiri?" Good question, I'm glad I asked it.

Nokogiri is the best damn XML/HTML parsing library out there in Rubyland. What makes it so good? You can search by XPath. You can search by CSS. You can search by both XPath and CSS. Plus, it uses libxml2 as the parsing engine, so it's fast. But the best part is, it's got a dead-simple interface that we shamelessly lifted from Hpricot, everyone's favorite delightful parser.

I had big plans to do a series of posts with examples and benchmarks, but right now I'm in DST Hell and don't have the quality time to invest.

So, as I am wont to do, I'm punting. Thankfully, Aaron was his usual prolific self, and has kindly provided lots of documentation and examples:

Use it in good health! Carry on.

P.S. Please start following Aaron on Twitter. :)