Beautiful Soup is a great little Python module that will read just about any HTML page and give you back a structured parsed tree. It’s awesome because you can pass it just about any mangled markup – I’ve never known it to choke on anything. For some web service consumers I’ve had to write over the years Beautiful Soup has saved me many, many hours of slogging through crappy HTML parsing. Great software deserves appreciation.
Whilst browsing my good friend Rachel’s website I happened to notice that her brother Leonard wrote Beautiful Soup. He also wrote RESTful Web Services, which is part of my (recently pruned) dead tree collection, and which I’d heartily recommend to anyone who has to work with REST web services. The Django examples were especially useful!