How to drive a Web browser with R (and RSelenium)

Most of the people are aware of the utilities and benefits provided by the language R. There are many different ways in which this language can be used to satisfy the different uses. However, not many are aware of the utilities of the RSelenium language. However, this is one of the most helpful packages that R has to offer. This particular utility reduces the task as well as the effort of the user. It eliminates all tedious manual ways of pointing and clicking. It is extremely useful for testing the different web applications as well as for collecting the data from different pages on the web.How to drive a Web browser with R

What is RSelenium

RSelenium is also an interface of the R language. It is to the Selenium 2.0 web driver project that is designed for the automated testing of different web applications. For those users who prefer platforms other than R such as Python or Java there are other options for binding available to them. For using this particular tool the user will require the R language in their systems. The RStudio IDE is also a good way to start for beginners. Also the RSelenium package needs to be downloaded if it is not already placed in the system.

The next couple of steps

The user next needs to start a selenium server. For those people who are using the tool for the first time after installation, there may be a chance of getting an error. However, here they must simply follow the instructions and run and download the server software. After this, one may try running the software again. The user will have to choose the browser to be controlled with the R code. For a default browser, Firefox is a good choice. The user can also test browsers one by one to find the one that is most suitable to him or her. Once this is done, it is time to use the browser.

Using the browser properly

The user needs to launch the browser on the system now. One may get error messages while doing this. These may be caused by many things including security issues. However, there are a couple of methods by which this type of a problem may be fixed. The text can also be entered in an HTML format easily. The user needs to create a variable that will be able to identify a text input box easily and then send a text to the variable. The next step is to enter a ZIP code in to the box. For this one also has to identify the box properly. The next step is to use the send keys to element. This can be used to enter the ZIP code in to the box. There are many more methods by which this can be achieved. There are a couple of other things that may be achieved with the RSelenium. These include highlighting individual elements, viewing and deleting certain cookies and so on. There are many common tasks and codes.

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