Library for parsing Mangadex.org data. Written on Crystal.


Library for parsing MangaDex data. Written on Crystal.

Why write it in Crystal?

  • Efficient memory usage (1mb when idle, 7mb when active)
  • Fast processing of data even when only operating in single-core mode
  • Compiled language yet with the ease of Ruby
  • I haven't made a proper project written in Crystal so why not xD

There is an existing API already, why create one?

Pardon with my shallow reasons but here's what I think why I created one.

  • Some fields needs additional request for retrieving the full information.
  • Some parts are are not 1:1 the same as the page
  • Undocumented.

Web API Demo

You can try the REST API via https://mangadex-api.nedpals.xyz that uses this library for getting the data. This is an alternative to the official API Mangadex is offering and is much more cleaner and readable compared to the former. As of now, expect to have some pages displaying error 500 for fetching reasons.

This REST API is running on a Heroku Hobby dyno with Redis for caching data. The dyno that costs $7/per month was made free for one year as part of Github Student perks. If you wish to sponsor a server, contact me through my e-mail which can be found at my Github profile. Not accepting donations for now.


  1. Add the dependency to your shard.yml:

        github: nedpals/m-dex
  2. Run shards install


require "m-dex"

mangadex = Mdex::Client.new

# Get genre

# Get manga info

# Get groups

# Get user profile

See the endpoint methods found at the src/api.cr file for complete details.


An API specification has been created to test the library correctly and meet the goals of this project. For contributors, this is a very important guide if you are going to work with creating new endpoints that involvese extracting and displaying the data. Revisions and idea proposals are being discussed and clarified before getting approved so please file an issue first before changing the specification.


Adding a new Endpoint

Endpoints is where the source data is fetched, scraped, and returns a new data very easily. It consists of methods that simplifies the work without repeating blocks of code for fetching and scraping. Right now it only supports the GET method and eventually will have support for POST method endpoints.

To create a new endpoint, just create a new class and point it to the Mdex::Endpoint superclass to inherit the methods.

require "m-dex/endpoint"

class Dummy < Mdex::Endpoint
  # Initialize first the class variables (The compiler won't allow instance variables.)
  @@id = 0
  @@username = ""

  # Invoke the superclass method inside the 'self.get' method through 
  # the `super` method to fetch the data.
  def self.get(@id : Int32, @username : String)
    # You must pass a path as to what part of the site you want to fetch.

  # From there, you can now access the raw data and parser.
  # You need to specify when the data will return an error with the 'self.error_criteria' method

  def self.error_criteria
    # An error result will appear if the id is less than or equal to 0 
    # or if the username is empty.
    @@id <= 0 || @@username = ""

  # Next is to insert the variables that we initialized especially the @@id variable
  # into the data through the 'self.insert_ids(data)' function.
  def self.insert_ids(data)
    data["id"] = @@id
    data["username"] = @@username

  # Now, this is where we start scrape and insert the data we have parsed.
  # The 'self.parse_and_insert_data' method has access to the data object
  # and the HTML parser.
  def self.parse_and_insert_data(data, html)
    # Scrape the raw data here.

    # For a list of methods on how to access the DOM's contents,
    # You may refer here: https://github.com/kostya/myhtml

From there, the data Hash object will be automatically transformed into a JSON string. To access the endpoint you have created, you can just call the get method of the Dummy endpoint in this example.

puts Dummy.get(id: 123, username: "jimmy")
# { "id": 123, "username": "jimmy", "groups": [....] }

Disabling the parser

Some instances such as the Chapter endpoint use the data from the Mangadex JSON API directly and doesn't use the HTML parser. To disable the parser, you can set the use_parser variable to false before you call the super method inside the self.get method.

class Dummy > Mdex::Endpoint
  # ...
  def self.get(...)
    use_parser = false

    # super(....)
  # ...

Error handling

The endpoint superclass has an error detection already set-up that looks like this:

def self.check_data
  html = @@html
  error_banner = html.css(".alert.alert-danger.text-center").to_a

  if (error_criteria || (error_banner.size == 1))
    display_error(404, error_banner.map(&.inner_text).to_a.join("").to_s)

You can change the error detection by overriding the self.check_data method. The superclass inherits the data and html variables so you can access them inside of it.

Adding the endpoint to the mdex instance

If you are a contributor who wants to add a new endpoint and want to appear in the list of endpoint methods of the instance, then you can add them to the src/api.cr file. This is the only way in the meantime but in the future it will be replaced with macro functions.

# src/api.cr
module Mdex
  module API
    def dummy(id : Int32, username: String) : String
      Mdex::Endpoints::Chapter.get(id, username)

# test.cr
require "mdex"

mdex = Mdex::Client.new

mdex.dummy(1234, "jimmy")
# { "id": 123, "username": "jimmy", "groups": [....] }


  • Manga Info page
  • Updates*1
  • Genre*1
  • Group Info*2
  • User Info*2
  • Search*3&4
  • Authentication
  • MDList
  • Forums
  • Tests
  • Spec implementation*6

(*) - See Issues section.


  1. Pagination is yet to be implemented.
  2. Loading of group and user-curated chapters is still in progress.
  3. Search won't work unless a user logs in. Authentication will be implemented as soon as possible.
  4. Search is limited right to displaying fields.
  5. Messy code. Lots of IndexError's need to be detected and catched.
  6. A new specification has been created. See SPEC.md for details.


  1. Fork it (https://github.com/nedpals/m-dex/fork)
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request


github statistic
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  • 11 months ago
  • May 23, 2019

MIT License

Synced at

Tue, 26 May 2020 16:08:30 GMT