A high performance web crawler in Elixir.
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README.md

Crawler

Travis Code Climate CodeBeat Coverage Hex.pm

A high performance web crawler in Elixir, with worker pooling and rate limiting via OPQ.

Features

  • Crawl assets (javascript, css and images).
  • Save to disk.
  • Hook for scraping content.
  • Restrict crawlable domains, paths or content types.
  • Limit concurrent crawlers.
  • Limit rate of crawling.
  • Set the maximum crawl depth.
  • Set timeouts.
  • Set retries strategy.
  • Set crawler's user agent.
  • Manually pause/resume/stop the crawler.

Architecture

Below is a very high level architecture diagram demonstrating how Crawler works.

Usage

Crawler.crawl("http://elixir-lang.org", max_depths: 2)

There are several ways to access the crawled page data:

  1. Use Crawler.Store
  2. Tap into the registry(?) Crawler.Store.DB
  3. Use your own scraper
  4. If the :save_to option is set, pages will be saved to disk in addition to the above mentioned places
  5. Provide your own custom parser and manage how data is stored and accessed yourself

Configurations

Option Type Default Value Description
:assets list [] Whether to fetch any asset files, available options: "css", "js", "images".
:save_to string nil When provided, the path for saving crawled pages.
:workers integer 10 Maximum number of concurrent workers for crawling.
:interval integer 0 Rate limit control - number of milliseconds before crawling more pages, defaults to 0 which is effectively no rate limit.
:max_depths integer 3 Maximum nested depth of pages to crawl.
:timeout integer 5000 Timeout value for fetching a page, in ms. Can also be set to :infinity, useful when combined with Crawler.pause/1.
:user_agent string Crawler/x.x.x (...) User-Agent value sent by the fetch requests.
:url_filter module Crawler.Fetcher.UrlFilter Custom URL filter, useful for restricting crawlable domains, paths or content types.
:retrier module Crawler.Fetcher.Retrier Custom fetch retrier, useful for retrying failed crawls.
:scraper module Crawler.Scraper Custom scraper, useful for scraping content as soon as the parser parses it.
:parser module Crawler.Parser Custom parser, useful for handling parsing differently or to add extra functionalities.

Custom Modules

It is possible to swap in your custom logic as shown in the configurations section. Your custom modules need to conform to their respective behaviours:

Retrier

See Crawler.Fetcher.Retrier.

Crawler uses ElixirRetry's exponential backoff strategy by default.

defmodule CustomRetrier do
  @behaviour Crawler.Fetcher.Retrier.Spec
end

URL Filter

See Crawler.Fetcher.UrlFilter.

defmodule CustomUrlFilter do
  @behaviour Crawler.Fetcher.UrlFilter.Spec
end

Scraper

See Crawler.Scraper.

defmodule CustomScraper do
  @behaviour Crawler.Scraper.Spec
end

Parser

See Crawler.Parser.

defmodule CustomParser do
  @behaviour Crawler.Parser.Spec
end

Pause / Resume / Stop Crawler

Crawler provides pause/1, resume/1 and stop/1, see below.

{:ok, opts} = Crawler.crawl("http://elixir-lang.org")

Crawler.pause(opts)

Crawler.resume(opts)

Crawler.stop(opts)

Please note that when pausing Crawler, you would need to set a large enough :timeout (or even set it to :infinity) otherwise parser would timeout due to unprocessed links.

API Reference

Please see https://hexdocs.pm/crawler.

Changelog

Please see CHANGELOG.md.

License

Licensed under MIT.