My Selenium setup so far

Posted on Posted in Software Testing

I’m having a lot of fun with this Selenium gig (shh, don’t tell anyone). There have been a few yaks shaved and I’ve seen the inside of some rabbit holes, but there seems to be a lot of good material online to guide you.

At this point, I’m running my tests directly from eclipse, though we’ll be looking to kick them off with Ant in the near future. I’ll jump off that bridge when I get to it.

I’ve set up loggingSelenium to log test execution. I’m not sure what its current development / support status is over at SourceForge. The documentation it comes with is not real flash, but there’s a decent example here (via here). I have made a couple of custom modifications to the source of loggingSelenium as there are a few gripes that I have with it.
Some of the pluses are:

  • it will automatically grab screenshots for you when your scripts bork.
  • it color-codes your asserts and failures
  • it can wrap JUnit asserts and log them alongside your selenium commands.

Some of the not-so-good things are

  • it requires a hardcoded path for writing output
  • it looks like it’s geared to non-windows systems, given that out of the box, the screenshot links in html output don’t work.
  • the color of failed selenium asserts is different to JUnit asserts, the former being an easy-to-miss beige color.

The mods I made were quick and dirty hacks, one to fix the screenshot link and the other to make the beige color more noticeable. If I find myself with a spare second I want to get rid of the need to use a hardcoded path, or at least make it more nicely configurable. I also want to add a color selector so you can customise your output.

I’ve set up doxygen to generate documentation from code comments. I’ve not hooked it up to anything yet, but either an SVN pre-commit hook or getting ant to kick it off shouldn’t be a problem.

Test Structure
JUnit 4 does not require you to extend tests from a test class, which is quite nice, actually. Instead, I have written a parent class for my tests to extend from. The parent holds all of the setup and most of the methods that drive the tests themselves.

Currently I’m writing one test per class. The class contains a single method containing calls to methods in the parent and nothing else, so it ends up looking like a set of test case steps. The parent has the potential to get quite big, so as test case numbers grow, it’s likely that I’ll add further abstract classes between the current parent and the tests to group them more reasonably.

I’m importing data via Properties as a resource stream. I have data that is used to drive the tests and data that is variable, but predictably constrained. For instance, I use a vehicle class number as a driver. The class number refers to a class of vehicle whose data is stored against that number. Depending on the number selected, different vehicle data is populated during setup.

On the subject of Properties – If you’re developing in a language that uses double-byte characters (such as Japanese), if you are generating your Properties files as flat files, you’ll need to run native2ascii on them to convert your double-byte code to unicode. Otherwise, they will not be properly interpreted and things will fall over.

I have just started playing around with the @Parameterised tag and @RunWith(Parameterized.class) to get iteration working with data variation. I haven’t decided quite how I’ll run with that yet. I could do this at a suite level and control iterations of tests by feeding data to them, or I can have each test take care of its own iteration by setting up parameterisation within the tests’ parent class.

Browser setup
I’m doing mobile emulator testing at the moment, so I’ve set up a firefox profile specifically for it. I’m using the user.js file to alter the plugin config so that the browser starts up with the plugin activated and a particular device switched on.

When starting seleniumRC, I specify this browser profile specifically so it is automatically used when firing up the browser. I was hoping to be able to change device type on the fly by mucking around with chrome urls, but I’ve not found an elegant way to do this yet. Instead, I am swapping the user.js file out whenever I need to change. Essentially, you can load up the user.js file with calls to your plugins to switch them on/off and configure them based on what configuration the plugin makes available.

It’ll end up looking something like

user_pref(“<plugin.configItem1”, “value1”);
user_pref(“<plugin.configItem2”, “value2”);

You can hunt down config items by typing about:config into your browser. Any config item that is not set will be invisible however, so I ended up looking through the plugin’s jar file to see what else I could see.

So at this point, I have a loose collection of parts that are not quite all tied together but it’s getting there.
Other things I’m contemplating in the not too distant future is a web front-end so non-technical testers can select test suites and kick them off at will.

While I haven’t gone into code-level specifics, the links should provide a fair amount of detail. Let me know if there’s something I’ve not explained so well. If you have comments or questions re any of this, I’d love to hear it.

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