A Chrome extension for writing custom web scraping programs and web automation programs. Just demonstrate how to collect the first row of data, then let the extension write the program for collecting all rows.
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survey We now handle answers to the programmer or non-programmer quesiton. Mar 29, 2017
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README.md Update README.md Feb 18, 2018
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README.md

Helena Web Automation and Web Scraping

What is Helena?

Helena is a Chrome extension that can help automate repetitive interactions with well-structured webpages. A user can demonstrate how to scrape the first row of a dataset, and Helena will write a program for scraping the next hundreds or thousands of rows. Helena is also the name of the web automation language that the Helena extension uses. See http://helena-lang.org/ for an overview of the Helena project.

Can I see Helena in action?

Sure! Here's a very quick video demo:

Link to a video demo of Helena in action.

Can I use Helena if I don't know how to code?

Yes! In fact Helena is designed especially for non-programmers. The idea is that you provide a demonstration of the actions you want Helena to do, and Helena figures out the rest.

How do I install Helena?

Find the directions here: http://helena-lang.org/download

Can I get Helena from the Chrome Web Store?

We have not yet placed Helena on the Chrome Web Store, since it's still in the early stages and still undergoing many substantial changes. We do expect to release a version in the Chrome Web Store eventually.

Will Helena work on my computer?

Helena has been tested with recent versions of Chrome on recent Mac and Linux operating systems.

How should I learn to use Helena?

We recommend learning from video tutorials! Our current playlist of tutorials is available here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYeneIW6KQxIDUEp2QaNNKrgXg9hVvxZo

We recommend starting with something simple like our favorite Google Scholar example!

If you want the quick intro: Helena: Write a Scraping Script in Under a Minute

If you want a slower walkthrough: A Brief Introduction to the Helena Web Automation Language and Tool

Once you've watched a few video tutorials and you're almost ready to start writing your own scripts, we highly recommend checking out our tips and tricks page: https://github.com/schasins/helena/wiki/Helena-Tips-and-Tricks.

Is Helena reliable?

Helena is just a research prototype. It's being developed by only one person, and it's still quite new. So definitely don't expect it to be a reliable, professional-quality, production-ready tool. But if you run into problems, please get in touch - we want to keep making it better!

May I use Helena for my project?

We designed Helena to help researchers, especially social scientists and data scientists. If you're looking to use Helena for those purposes, please go ahead!

Are you looking for collaborators?

Yes! If you're interested in either using Helena for your research or in helping to improve Helena, please get in touch!