What is it all about?
Beautiful Soup is a Python library designed for quick turnaround projects like screen-scraping
Beautiful Soup parses anything you give it, and does the tree traversal stuff for you. You can tell it "Find all the links", or "Find all the links of class externalLink", or "Find all the links whose urls match "foo.com", or "Find the table heading that's got bold text, then give me that text."
Three features make it powerful: 1. Beautiful Soup provides a few simple methods and Pythonic idioms for navigating, searching, and modifying a parse tree: a toolkit for dissecting a document and extracting what you need. It doesn't take much code to write an application 2. Beautiful Soup automatically converts incoming documents to Unicode and outgoing documents to UTF-8. You don't have to think about encodings, unless the document doesn't specify an encoding and Beautiful Soup can't detect one. Then you just have to specify the original encoding. 3. Beautiful Soup sits on top of popular Python parsers like lxml and html5lib, allowing you to try out different parsing strategies or trade speed for flexibility.