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Why should I move to Selenium 2

Thu 04 Feb 2010

As most of you know I am a really big fan of Selenium for testing of Web UI and as of Tuesday I joined the development team working on the next release of the Selenium. I am helping Jim Evans on the .NET bindings.

Selenium 2 is the merging of Selenium and WebDriver to make the whats going to be the best Web UI test framework out there.

Selenium 2 will help both WebDriver and Selenium get over their respective weaknesses. So, for those who have a decent coverage and your tests have been running for a while why should you think about moving your tests to Selenium 2?

Well I will explain why I have started moving my tests. Firstly, I love to dogfood my own code so writing my tests was a natural progression. Secondly, the ability to write really verbose tests without having to try really hard.

I have started moving my Internet Explorer Selenium Tests to use the WebDriver API to test the Editor component of our site. This is one of the hardest areas to automate with Selenium 1 because its using contentEditable on a div. I managed to test this using the components JavaScript API to inject HTML and then manipulate it and then use the API to get the HTML out again and check that it is correct. Running 1 test in Internet Explorer for this would take up to 90 seconds to complete. I would like to add a disclaimer that the test had been optimized as much as it could with no XPath, etc so it was running as fast as possible

Now to start porting the tests over to the new API. After working out the little issues in how to get to certain elements I was able to port over a number of tests. I was able to port over 4 tests in a little bit of work and then thought to run the tests. Any guesses to how long it took to run all 4 tests?

360 seconds?
270 seconds?
120 seconds?
60 seconds?
30 seconds?

The answer is 60 seconds. Well it was 57 seconds but I needed to pick from the list I gave. 4 tests in 2/3 of the time to run the original test to check for the exact same thing. The new test have very little JavaScript pokng in the test because I use the native keystrokes to type into the div where I could not with Selenium 1. This means that the tests do not have to handle the JavaScript scope chain to do basic things and makes the tests lightning fast.

The next test will be to port the WebDriverBackedSelenium code from Java to .NET and then run the first tests again to see how much faster those tests run. So if you want really fast tests then start thinking about moving to Selenium 2.

p.s. If you haven't filled in my questionaire on Selenium 2 presentations and demo's please do so here

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