HTMLParser : Record title tags. More info?

Oleg Broytmann phd at
Fri Oct 19 18:18:47 CEST 2001

On Sat, Oct 20, 2001 at 01:47:48AM +0800, Paul Lim wrote:
> I am a newbie in Python. I hope the guru can advise me.


> I am trying to record the title of links in a html document. If the
> opening tag has a title value, I need to record this value. If the title
> does not exist, I need to record the text between the opening <A> and
> closing </A>. Does anyone have any idea how should we do it?

   Attached is the example program.

     Oleg Broytmann              phd at
           Programmers don't die, they just GOSUB without RETURN.
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#! /usr/local/bin/python -O

   Exerpt from Parser for Netscape Navigator's bookmarks.html

   Written by BroytMann, Jun 1997 - Jun 2001. Copyright (C) 1997-2001 PhiloSoft Design

import sys, string
from sgmllib import SGMLParser

class ATagParser(SGMLParser):

   from htmlentitydefs import entitydefs # replace entitydefs from sgmllib

   def __init__(self):
      self.accumulator = ""
      self.title = None

   def handle_data(self, data):
      if data:
         self.accumulator = "%s%s" % (self.accumulator, data)

   def handle_charref(self, name):
      self.accumulator = "%s&%s" % (self.accumulator, name)

   def handle_entityref(self, name):
      if self.entitydefs.has_key(name): # If it is one of the standard SGML entities - close it with semicolon
         x = ';'
         x = ''
      self.accumulator = "%s&%s%s" % (self.accumulator, name, x)

   # Start bookmark
   def start_a(self, attrs):
      self.accumulator = ''
      for attrname, value in attrs:
         value = string.strip(value)
         if attrname == 'title':
            self.title = value

   def end_a(self):
      accumulator = self.accumulator
      self.accumulator = ''

      if self.title is None:
         self.title = accumulator

      print "TITLE: ", self.title
      self.title = None # reset for next <A> tag

if __name__ == '__main__':
   infile = open(sys.argv[1], 'r')
   parser = ATagParser()

   while 1:
      line = infile.readline()
      if not line:



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