Convert a (nested)HTML unordered list of links to PHP array of links

I have a regular, nested HTML unordered list of links, and I'd like to scrape it with PHP and convert it to an array.

The original list looks something like this:

<ul>
<li><a href="http://someurl.com">First item</a>
    <ul>
    <li><a href="http://someotherurl.com/">Child of First Item</a></li>
    <li><a href="http://someotherurl.com/">Second Child of First Item</a></li>
    </ul>
</li>
<li><a href="http://bogusurl.com">Second item</a></li>
<li><a href="http://bogusurl.com">Third item</a></li>
<li><a href="http://bogusurl.com">Fourth item</a></li>
</ul>

Any of the items can have children.

(The actual screen scraping is not a problem, I can do that.)

I'd like to turn this into a PHP array, of just the links, while keeping the hierarchical nature of the list. Any ideas?

I've looked at using htmlsimpledom and phpQuery, which both use jQuery like syntax. But, I can't seem to get the syntax right. I can get all the links, but I end up losing the hierarchical nature and order.

Thanks.

Answers


Use DOMDocument and SimpleXMLElement along the lines of:

$doc = new DOMDocument();
$doc->loadHTML($html);
$xmlStr = $doc->saveXml($doc->documentElement);

$xml = new SimpleXmlElement($xmlStr);

$links = array();

foreach ($xml->xpath('//a') as $li) {
    $links[] = $li->attributes()->href;
}

If href is being added to $links as a SimpleXMLElement, use ob_start and ob_clean to capture the string.

Cheat sheet for xpath queries (pdf)


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