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Parsing JavaScript objects into Python dictionaries

Project description

Usage

chompjs can be used in web scrapping for turning JavaScript objects embedded in pages into valid Python dictionaries.

>>> import chompjs
>>> chompjs.parse_js_object('{"my_data": "test"}')
{u'my_data': u'test'}

Think of it as a more powerful json.loads. For example, it can handle JSON objects containing embedded methods by storing their code in a string:

>>> import chompjs
>>> js = """
... var myObj = {
...     myMethod: function(params) {
...         // ...
...     },
...     myValue: 100
... }
... """
>>> chompjs.parse_js_object(js, json_params={'strict': False})
{'myMethod': 'function(params) {\n        // ...\n    }', 'myValue': 100}

An example usage with scrapy:

import chompjs
import scrapy


class MySpider(scrapy.Spider):
    # ...

    def parse(self, response):
        script_css = 'script:contains("__NEXT_DATA__")::text'
        script_pattern = r'__NEXT_DATA__ = (.*);'
        # warning: for some pages you need to pass replace_entities=True
        # into re_first to have JSON escaped properly
        script_text = response.css(script_css).re_first(script_pattern)
        try:
            json_data = chompjs.parse_js_object(script_text)
        except ValueError:
            self.log('Failed to extract data from {}'.format(response.url))
            return

        # work on json_data

If the input string is not yet escaped and contains a lot of \\ characters, then unicode_escape=True argument might help to sanitize it:

>>> chompjs.parse_js_object('{\\\"a\\\": 12}', unicode_escape=True)
{u'a': 12}

jsonlines=True can be used to parse JSON Lines:

>>> chompjs.parse_js_object('[1,2]\n[2,3]\n[3,4]', jsonlines=True)
[[1, 2], [2, 3], [3, 4]]

By default chompjs tries to start with first { or [ character it founds, omitting the rest:

>>> chompjs.parse_js_object('<div>...</div><script>foo = [1, 2, 3];</script><div>...</div>')
[1, 2, 3]

json_params argument can be used to pass options to underlying json_loads, such as strict or object_hook:

>>> import decimal
>>> import chompjs
>>> chompjs.parse_js_object('[23.2]', json_params={'parse_float': decimal.Decimal})
[Decimal('23.2')]

Rationale

In web scraping data often is not present directly inside HTML, but instead provided as an embedded JavaScript object that is later used to initialize the page, for example:

<html>
<head>...</head>
<body>
...
<script type="text/javascript">window.__PRELOADED_STATE__={"foo": "bar"}</script>
...
</body>
</html>

Standard library function json.loads is usually sufficient to extract this data:

>>> # scrapy shell file:///tmp/test.html
>>> import json
>>> script_text = response.css('script:contains(__PRELOADED_STATE__)::text').re_first('__PRELOADED_STATE__=(.*)')
>>> json.loads(script_text)
{u'foo': u'bar'}

The problem is that not all valid JavaScript objects are also valid JSONs. For example all those strings are valid JavaScript objects but not valid JSONs:

  • "{'a': 'b'}" is not a valid JSON because it use ' character to quote
  • '{a: "b"}'is not a valid JSON because property name is not quoted at all
  • '{"a": [1, 2, 3,]}' is not a valid JSON because there is an extra , character at the end of the array
  • '{"a": .99}' is not a valid JSON because float value lacks a leading 0

As a result, json.loads fail to extract any of those:

>>> json.loads("{'a': 'b'}")
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<console>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/__init__.py", line 339, in loads
    return _default_decoder.decode(s)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/decoder.py", line 364, in decode
    obj, end = self.raw_decode(s, idx=_w(s, 0).end())
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/decoder.py", line 380, in raw_decode
    obj, end = self.scan_once(s, idx)
ValueError: Expecting property name: line 1 column 2 (char 1)
>>> json.loads('{a: "b"}')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<console>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/__init__.py", line 339, in loads
    return _default_decoder.decode(s)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/decoder.py", line 364, in decode
    obj, end = self.raw_decode(s, idx=_w(s, 0).end())
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/decoder.py", line 380, in raw_decode
    obj, end = self.scan_once(s, idx)
ValueError: Expecting property name: line 1 column 2 (char 1)
>>> json.loads('{"a": [1, 2, 3,]}')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<console>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/__init__.py", line 339, in loads
    return _default_decoder.decode(s)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/decoder.py", line 364, in decode
    obj, end = self.raw_decode(s, idx=_w(s, 0).end())
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/json/decoder.py", line 382, in raw_decode
    raise ValueError("No JSON object could be decoded")
ValueError: No JSON object could be decoded
>>> json.loads('{"a": .99}')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python3.7/json/__init__.py", line 348, in loads
    return _default_decoder.decode(s)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.7/json/decoder.py", line 337, in decode
    obj, end = self.raw_decode(s, idx=_w(s, 0).end())
  File "/usr/lib/python3.7/json/decoder.py", line 355, in raw_decode
    raise JSONDecodeError("Expecting value", s, err.value) from None
json.decoder.JSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 1 column 7 (char 6)

chompjs library was designed to bypass this limitation and it allows to scrape such JavaScript objects into proper Python dictionaries:

>>> import chompjs
>>> 
>>> chompjs.parse_js_object("{'a': 'b'}")
{u'a': u'b'}
>>> chompjs.parse_js_object('{a: "b"}')
{u'a': u'b'}
>>> chompjs.parse_js_object('{"a": [1, 2, 3,]}')
{u'a': [1, 2, 3]}

Internally chompjs use a parser written in C to iterate over raw string, fixing its issues along the way. The final result is then passed down to standard library's json.loads, ensuring a high speed as compared to full blown JavaScript parsers such as demjson.

>>> import json
>>> import _chompjs
>>> 
>>> _chompjs.parse('{a: 1}')
'{"a":1}'
>>> json.loads(_)
{u'a': 1}
>>> chompjs.parse_js_object('{"a": .99}')
{'a': 0.99}

Installation

$ python3 -m venv venv
$ . venv/bin/activate
# pip install chompjs

To run unittests

$ python -m unittest

Project details


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