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Schwarzenegger quotes with BeautifulSoup

topjer profile image topjer ・2 min read

This post will be a very brief introduction into html parsing with BeautifulSoup.

I am currently in the process of implementing a chat bot for Twitch in Python that listens to various commands. After some thinking I decided to make him respond with Schwarzenegger quotes because ... why not?

The implementation itself would be no problem as I have done similar things before with the bot. The big question was where to get the quotes from.
Previously, I was lucky to get all my quotes from APIs which make it laughably easy to use them with the bot.

A search for Schwarzenegger quote specific APIs bore no fruit. Well, to be precise, I found a repository on github were someone was implementing an API with Schwarzenegger quotes but it seemed not to be online.

Lucky for me, it contained a list of quotes and the movies they were from. It just had one little flaw ... it looked like this:

"<div class=\"quote\">\"It's showtime!\"</div><div class=\"movie-title\">-- The Running Man (1987)</div>",
"<div class=\"quote\">\"Alright everyone, chill.\"</div><div class=\"movie-title\">-- Batman & Robin (1997)</div>",
"<div class=\"quote\">\"Allow me to break the ice.\"</div><div class=\"movie-title\">-- Batman & Robin (1997)</div>",
"<div class=\"quote\">\"I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle.\"</div><div class=\"movie-title\">-- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)</div>"
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Being as unfamiliar with HTML as I was (and still am), I was a little overwhelmed. Maybe this problem could been solved with some search and replace, but I decided for a different, more informative approach.

Because in my desperation I remembered a similar problem at work which a colleague of mine solved in Python using the package BeautifulSoup.

Installation was as easy as you are used of Python packages.

pip install BeautifulSoup4
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The next steps were just as easy

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

example = "<div class=\"quote\">\"It's showtime!\"</div><div class=\"movie-title\">-- The Running Man (1987)</div>"
soup = BeautifulSoup(example, "html.parser")
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You might not notice it, but we are almost done, because the following command produces an output that is very close to what we are looking for:

>>>soup.get_text()
'"It\'s showtime!"-- The Running Man (1987)'
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To find the individual tags one can simply use:

>>>soup.find("div", class_="quote").text
'"It\'s showtime!"'
>>>soup.find("div", class_="movie-title").text
'-- The Running Man (1987)'
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If we wanted a list of all tags, then the following would be a fitting solution:

>>>soup.currentTag()
[<div class="quote">"It's showtime!"</div>, <div class="movie-title">-- The Running Man (1987)</div>]
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My final solution - including some clean up - looked like this:

quotes = []
for entry in unparsed_quotes:
    soup = BeautifulSoup(entry.replace("<br />", "\n"), "html.parser")
    quotes.append(soup.find("div", class_="quote").text + "\nfrom: " + soup.find("div", class_="movie-title").text.replace("-- ", ""))
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Even after this, I realized what a powerful tool BeautifulSoup is and I have not even scratched the surface.
It wasn't for long until I needed these next level features. But that is for another article.

For now the only thing that remains to say is this:

>>>soup = BeautifulSoup(example, "html.parser")
>>>soup.text
'"I\'ll be back."-- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)'
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