Arpith Siromoney 💬

Parsing HTML in Rust

I’m building a browser at the Recurse Center, and as a first step, I need to parse HTML! Here’s how you do it in Rust:

Get the Hostname

We’re going to read the hostname (for example, as a command line argument.

fn main() {
    if let Some(arg1) = env::args().nth(1) {
        let hostname = arg1;

Get the HTML

Hyper is a great HTTP library — here’s how you use it to make a GET request.

let client = hyper::Client::new();
let mut res = client.get(&hostname).send().unwrap();

Parse the HTML

Use html5ever! It’s great!

let dom = parse_document(RcDom::default(),
    Default::default()).from_utf8().read_from(&mut res).unwrap();

To do this, we need to traverse the dom tree and looking for nodes that look like <link type=”text/css” href=”cssLink”>. When we find a css link, we push them into a vector of strings.

fn get_css_links(handle: Handle) -> Vec<String> {
    let mut csslinks: Vec<String> = Vec::new();
    let mut queue: Vec<Handle> = Vec::new();
    while queue.len() != 0 {
        let handle = queue.remove(0);
        let node = handle.borrow();
        match node.node {
            Element(ref name, _, ref attrs) => {
                assert!(name.ns == ns!(html));
                let mut is_css = false;
                for attr in attrs.iter() {
                    assert!( == ns!());
                    let link = string_cache::Atom::from("link");
                    let type = string_cache::Atom::from("type");
                    let css = Tendril::from("text/css");
                    if name.local == link && 
               == type && 
                        attr.value == css {
                            is_css = true;
                    let href = string_cache::Atom::from("href");
                    if is_css && == href {
                        let link = String::from(attr.value.clone());
            _ => {
                //don't do anything
        for child in node.children.iter() {
    return csslinks;

That’s it! Rust is fun! Special thanks to Kamal Marhubi!

Get in touch if you use Rust or if building a browser sounds interesting!