Access Remote URLs in Python With urllib2
Python urllib2 library contains functions with enables programmers to access remote URLs by helping out in the operations like HTTP Basic Authentication, cookies, redirects etc. It's Python's equivalent to Perl's LWP or ASP's XMLHttpRequest etc.
The library allows you to add HTTP headers to requests, read response data & headers, error handling etc. Although urllib2 is not limited to HTTP we'll only be covering HTTP in this article. I'll try to explain and demonstrate the usage of urllib2 with a few examples so I am assuming that the reader has basic understanding of URLs or simply put how the web works.
The code snippet below straightaway fetches an URL and prints out the received data nothing fancy about it, the simplest example:
As you might be aware that most of the HTTP requests types running over the internet can be distnguised as GET method or the POST method, in next code snippet we'll see how to make GET & POST requests.
Now, you might need to access URLs which are protected using username/password i.e. HTTP Basic Authentication, in the next code snippet we'll look at how to add username password to it.
The code snippet below will show how to handle exception when using urllib2.
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