Python regular expression

Posted on 2014-10-06
Last Modified: 2014-10-06
I need to convert the following regex in Perl to Python

my $string = "      <span class="name"><i class="genus">Corysanthes</i> <i class="species">grumula</i> <span class="authorship">D.L.Jones</span></span>"

I want to extract the value of genus (in this case, "Corysanthes") into a variable.
In Perl, I would write something like:

           $string =~ /class=\"genus\">([^<]+)<\/i>/;  
            my $genus = $1;

How do you write this in Python?

Question by:cpeters5
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LVL 75

Accepted Solution

käµfm³d   👽 earned 500 total points
ID: 40364537
One approach:

import re

regex = re.compile('class=\"genus\">([^<]+)</i>')
string = '      <span class="name"><i class="genus">Corysanthes</i> <i class="species">grumula</i> <span class="authorship">D.L.Jones</span></span>'
match =
genus =

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LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 40364734
It may be better to use a XML parser that a part of Python distribution.

Author Comment

ID: 40364813
Thanks pepr.  I will take a look.  (Still very green, havn't gotten to the XML section yet.)    The files I am parsing are just HTML, they are not well formed.  Would this be a problem?
LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 40365080
Take a look at BeautifulSoup. It deals with sloppy HTML well.
LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 40365316
+1 for BeautifulSoup. Anyway, if you separate good HTML fragment, you can use the standard xml.etree.ElementTree:

import xml.etree.ElementTree as ET

s = '      <span class="name"><i class="genus">Corysanthes</i> <i class="species">grumula</i> <span class="authorship">D.L.Jones</span></span>'

element = ET.fromstring(s)


# To find the specific <i > element wherever it is.
genus = element.find('.//i[@class="genus"]')

# Similarly for the species.
species = element.find('./i[@class="species"]')


# Looping through the structure. The `.attrib` is a dictionary
# of the element attributes; the `element` behaves as the list 
# of children
print(element.tag, element.attrib)
for e in element:
    print(e.tag, e.attrib['class'], e.text)

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It prints on console:
<span class="name"><i class="genus">Corysanthes</i> <i class="species">grumula</
i> <span class="authorship">D.L.Jones</span></span>
span {'class': 'name'}
i genus Corysanthes
i species grumula
span authorship D.L.Jones

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