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Extracts the relevant text from a html page
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Picksy is a scraper that will extract the relevant text from an HTML page like a blog post, a news article or anything that has a considerable chunk of text.

I developed it to help me scrape articles from the web that will be further used for data mining where absolutely precise extraction is not essential.

I wouldn't suggest using it for projects like Readability since it will often show an extra link or gobble up an occasional table of contents.

You should expect nothing useful from homepages, navigation/category pages, forums, discussion threads and web applications.

Picksy depends on node-htmlparser to provide its input and works directly on the DOM tree constructed by htmlparser.


var picksy = require('picksy');

// Acquired by parsing a HTML page with node-htmlparser
var dom = [{ 
 type: 'tag',
 name: 'html',
 attribs: {},
 children: [{
    type: 'tag',
    name: 'head',
    attribs: {},
    children: [...]
    type: 'tag',
    name: 'head',
    attribs: {},
    children: [...]

// Anayze the dom and add various metrics to the nodes
// Print a formatted and colored tree of the DOM
// Get the text node that contains the meat of the text
var textNode = picksy.extract(dom);
// Get the actual text from the text node. "Formatted" means that block tags are surrounded by newlines.
var text = picksy.getFormattedText()

How it works

Picksy employs several heuristics for guessing where the text is. Read the comments in extract.js for more info. Here's some of them:

  • A strong emplasis on the location of the title in the DOM.
  • A "repetitiveness" score is calculated for nodes. Nodes that have repeating patterns are unlikely to contain the main text.
  • Word count is taken into account rather than character count.
  • Link density.
  • Longest word sequence (uninterrupted by tags).
  • Height of a node subtree.



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