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A library to create a bot / spider / crawler.

Project description


Build System Test Supported Python Versions Last commit pypi version

For my dissertation I downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents and feed them into a machine learning pipeline. Using a high-speed-connection is helpful but carries the risk to run an involuntary denial-of-service attack on the servers that provide those documents. This creates a need for a crawler / scraper that avoids too high loads on the connection and instead runs permanently and fault tolerant to ultimately download all files.

Exoskeleton is a python framework that aims to help you build a similar bot. Main functionalities are:

  • Managing a download queue within a MariaDB database.
  • Avoid processing the same URL more than once.
  • Working through that queue by either
    • downloading files to disk,
    • storing the page source code into a database table,
    • storing the page text,
    • or making PDF-copies of webpages.
  • Managing already downloaded files:
    • Storing multiple versions of a specific file.
    • Assigning labels to downloads, so they can be found and grouped easily.
  • Sending progress reports to the admin.

Exoskeleton has an extensive documentation.

Two other python libraries were created as part of this project:

  • userprovided : check user input for validity and plausibility / covert input into better formats
  • bote : send messages (currently via a local or remote SMTP server)


#!/usr/bin/env python3
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
import logging

import exoskeleton


# Create a bot
# exoskeleton makes reasonable assumptions about
# parameters left out, like:
# - host = localhost
# - port = 3306 (MariaDB standard)
# - ...
exo = exoskeleton.Exoskeleton(
    database_settings={'database': 'exoskeleton',
                       'username': 'exoskeleton',
                       'passphrase': ''},
    # True, to stop after the queue is empty, Otherwise it will
    # look consistently for new tasks in the queue:
    bot_behavior={'stop_if_queue_empty': True},

# => Will be saved in the target directory. The filename will be the
#    chosen prefix followed by the database id and .txt.

    {'example-label', 'foo'})
# => Duplicate will be recognized and not added to the queue,
#    but the labels will be associated with the file in the
#    database.

# => Nonexistent file: will be marked, but will not stop the bot.

# Save a page's code into the database:

# Use chromium or Google chrome to generate a PDF of the website:

# work through the queue:

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