Zend_Dom gives you a DOMElement… how do I use it?

I'm trying to use Zend_Dom for some very light screen scraping (I want to grab a headline, some body text and a link from a small block of news items on my website) and I'm not sure how to handle the DOMElement that it gives me.

In the manual for Zend_Dom the code says:

foreach ($results as $result) {
    // $result is a DOMElement

How do I make use of this DOMElement?

A detailed example (looking for the anchor elements on Google):

$client = new Zend_Http_Client($url);
$response = $client->request();
$html = $response->getBody();
$dom = new Zend_Dom_Query($html);
$results = $dom->query('a');
foreach($results as $r){

This gives me:

object(DOMElement)#81 (0) {
object(DOMElement)#82 (0) {
object(DOMElement)#83 (0) {
... etc, etc...

What I find confusing is that this looks like each element contains nothing (0)! This isn't the case but that is my first impression. So I poke around online and find I can add nodeValue to get something out of this:


which gives me:

string(6) "Images"
string(6) "Videos"
string(4) "Maps"
...etc, etc...

But where I run into trouble is getting specific elements and their contents.

For instance given this html:

  <div class="newsBlurb">
   <span class="newsDate">Mon, 11 October 2010</span>
   <h3 class="newsHeadline"><a href="http://foo.com/1/2/">Some text</a></h3>
   <a class="newsMore" href="http://foo.com/1/2/">More</a>
  <div class="hr"></div>
  <div class="newsBlurb">
   <span class="newsDate">Mon, 16 August 2010</span>
   <h3 class="newsHeadline"><a href="http://bar.com/pants.html">Stuff is here</a></h3>
   <a class="newsMore" href="http://bar.com/pants.html">More</a>

I can grab the text from each newsBlurb, using the technique I use in the Google example, but cannot get each element by itself. I want to get the date and stick it somewhere, get the headline text and stick it somewhere and get the link to use. But all I get is the actual text in the div.

How do I get what I want from this?

EDIT Here is another example that does not work as I expect. Any ideas why?

$url = 'http://php.net/manual/en/class.domelement.php';
$client = new Zend_Http_Client($url);
$response = $client->request();
$html = $response->getBody();
$dom = new Zend_Dom_Query($html);
$newsBlurbNode = $dom->query('div.note');

this gives me:

object(Zend_Dom_Query_Result)#867 (7) {
  ["_count":protected] => NULL
  ["_cssQuery":protected] => string(8) "div.note"
  ["_document":protected] => object(DOMDocument)#79 (0) {
  ["_nodeList":protected] => object(DOMNodeList)#864 (0) {
  ["_position":protected] => int(0)
  ["_xpath":protected] => NULL
  ["_xpathQuery":protected] => string(33) "//div[contains(@class, ' note ')]"

Trying to get anything out of this I used:

$children = $newsBlurbNode->childNodes;
     foreach ($children as $child) {

Which results in an error because the foreach loop has nothing in it. Ack! What am I not getting?


You can use something like this to get access to the individual nodes:

$children = $newsBlurbNode->childNodes;
foreach ($children as $child) {   
    //do something with individual nodes

Otherwise I would go through: http://php.net/manual/en/class.domelement.php

Hey I have been messing around with something similar - let me know if this is sufficient to help you out - if not I can explain it some more.

$data = "<p id='p_1'><a href='testing1.html'><span>testing in a span 1</span></a></p>
         <p id='p_2'><a href='testing2.html'></a></p>
         <p id='p_3'><a href='testing3.html'><span>testing in a span 3</span></a></p>
         <p id='p_4'><a href='testing4.html'><span>testing in a span 4</span></a></p>
         <p id='p_5'><a href='testing5.html'><span>testing in a span 5</span></a></p>";

$dom = new Zend_Dom_Query();

//Look for any links inside of paragraph tags
$results = $dom->query('p a');

foreach($results as $r){

   echo "Parent Tag: ".$r->nodeName."<br />";
   echo $r->nodeValue."<br />";
   $children = $r->childNodes;

   if($children->length > 0){

       $children = $r->childNodes;

       foreach($children as $c){
           echo "Child Tag: <br />";
           echo $c->nodeName."<br />";
           echo $c->nodeValue."<br />";


   echo $r->getAttribute('href')."<br /><br />";


echo $data;

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