Can I use urllib3 to scrape AJAX pages?

urllib3 is a powerful, user-friendly HTTP client for Python. However, it doesn't support JavaScript execution, which is often necessary for scraping AJAX pages. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) pages are web pages that can request and load new data from the server without a full page refresh. The new data can then be displayed on the page through JavaScript. Because urllib3 can only handle HTTP requests and responses, it won't be able to directly handle pages that require JavaScript execution to load their content.

To scrape AJAX pages, you typically need to use a tool that can execute JavaScript and wait for AJAX calls to complete before scraping the page content. Some popular choices for this task include:

  1. Selenium: This is a tool that automates web browsers. Selenium can control a browser and execute JavaScript, just like a real user would. It can wait for AJAX calls to complete before scraping the content.

Here's a simple example in Python using Selenium to scrape an AJAX page:

from selenium import webdriver
from import By
from import WebDriverWait
from import expected_conditions as EC
from time import sleep

# Set up the Selenium WebDriver (make sure to have the appropriate driver for your browser)
driver = webdriver.Chrome()

# Open the web page

# Wait for the AJAX call to complete (you need to know the element to wait for)
    element = WebDriverWait(driver, 10).until(
        EC.presence_of_element_located((By.ID, 'ajax-content'))
    # Now you can scrape the AJAX-loaded content
    content = element.text
  1. Pyppeteer (Python) or Puppeteer (JavaScript): These are headless Chrome/Chromium browser automation libraries. They allow you to control a browser programmatically and are well-suited for scraping AJAX-loaded content.

Example in Python using Pyppeteer:

import asyncio
from pyppeteer import launch

async def scrape_ajax_page(url):
    browser = await launch()
    page = await browser.newPage()
    await page.goto(url)
    # Wait for the selector that indicates that the AJAX content has loaded
    await page.waitForSelector('#ajax-content')
    content = await page.content()
    await browser.close()
    return content

url = ''

If you still want to use urllib3 and your AJAX pages load data from specific endpoints, you can try to directly call those endpoints with urllib3 and parse the returned JSON or XML. Here's a basic example of how you might do this:

import urllib3
import json

http = urllib3.PoolManager()

# You need to know the URL of the AJAX endpoint
response = http.request('GET', '')

# Assuming the response is JSON, you can parse it
data = json.loads('utf-8'))

In this example, instead of scraping the AJAX page directly, you're making a request to the API endpoint that the AJAX function would call. This will only work if you can identify the URL of the endpoint and it does not require session information or cookies that would normally be set by JavaScript on the page.

For complex AJAX pages or when you need to mimic a real user's interaction more closely, using a browser automation tool like Selenium or Puppeteer is typically a more robust solution.

Related Questions

Get Started Now

WebScraping.AI provides rotating proxies, Chromium rendering and built-in HTML parser for web scraping