(Fire|)Watir and Selenium - Google SoC

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Helder Ribeiro, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. Hi!

    I've got a project to come up with a way to record user action in Ruby
    code that can be executed by FireWatir. My idea is to parse the output
    from TestGen4Web or Selenium-IDE. This idea was proposed in the ruby-
    talk mailing list and in the Ruby Central SoC ideas page.

    There is one thing though: what makes that different from just using
    Selenium-IDE? Selenium can record, it can output Ruby code, and it can
    then play it back in the browser.

    I had read that Selenium had to be installed server-side, but then I
    read that with Selenium-IDE being a Firefox extension it becomes a
    trusted host and can run its own webserver and test any website it

    So would this idea be redundant? Is there any substantial difference
    between Selenium and (Fire|)Watir that would justify doing this?

    My application can be seen at http://www.students.ic.unicamp.br/~ra033245/soc_ruby.txt
    if anyone's interested.

    Thanks a lot!


    Helder Ribeiro, Mar 29, 2007
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  2. Why not just use WATIR Recorder?
    Richard Conroy, Mar 29, 2007
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  3. Let me make some alternate suggestions for how to you could help
    support web testing in Ruby.

    1. Help create a Watir-api to selenium. Many people like watir's API,
    but prefer Selenium's platform support. Here is a spike of the

    2. Help with the FireWatir port of Watir. We are running into some
    inconsistencies between FireWatir and Watir::IE (aka Watir). See the
    FireWatir mailing list for details. These are a problem for people who
    want to run tests using either browser.

    3. Help integrate FireWatir, Watir::IE and SafariWatir. Right now they
    are separate tools, but by rights they really should share common
    code. We've had some discussion of this, and have agreed on basic
    principles, but no one has really had the time to do it.

    4. I do think that Modifying Selenium IDE so that it could generate
    Watir code would also be a benefit.

    5. You should know that the Watir-recorder team recently released
    their Watin Recorder -- there may be things to learn there.

    All in all, what we really need is not yet another tool, but rather
    help in getting these different open-source tools to work together and

    It might also simply help to provide up-to-date comparison information
    on Watir vs. Selenium. Several have been done, but they are all over a
    year old (that i've seen) and all the tools have improved
    substantially in that time.

    Bret Pettichord, Mar 30, 2007
  4. I couldn't find much anything on Watir Recorder except for the svn and
    I thought it wasn't in active development. Still, I don't know how it
    works but it must be a tool for IE and the original Watir (that runs
    only on IE). It mustn't work on Firefox and FireWatir. I'll look into
    it though as there might be some interesting things to learn from
    there, as Bret said on his answer.
    Helder Ribeiro, Mar 30, 2007
  5. Hi Bret! Thanks for answering. My initial intention was to send this
    to you, then I decided to open it up here. Ended up getting both.
    Comments follow.

    This idea goes very well with number 4 (which is the SoC application
    itself). If Watir and Selenium end up having a common back-end with
    different APIs, it'd be good to have Selenium-IDE output Watir code
    that could then drive Selenium without breaking already-existing Watir

    And as Selenium-IDE already outputs Selenium code, the process of
    transforming its output into Watir code might shed a light on how to
    accomplish the idea of a Watir API to Selenium.
    Is this being discussed in the Watir-general list? That's the only one
    I found. If there's one specific for FireWatir please show me where.
    This seems indeed reasonable and desirable. But I feel like it would
    be too big of a bite for me to chew right now. If I get approved for
    this SoC project (<ahem>, <ahem>) I will be a lot more familiar with
    these tools and codebases and might have a better idea of how I can
    take this next step. Maybe a SoC for next year? :)
    See #1.
    Thanks for the heads up. All I could find was a short release note.
    There seems to be close to no documentation at all. Do you know if
    there is any outside the openqa website? Do you know what's the
    difference between Wati*R* Recorder and Wati*N* Recorder?
    This really seems like the way to go. As I'm new to everything
    concerning these tools, I really needed some light to see if I was
    getting it right. The project still seems relevant, but there's a lot
    more I hadn't thought of. Thanks for the broader view.

    Now, do you think any of the ideas you gave has greater priority and
    should be done before the Selenium-IDE-outputs-Watir-code idea? I
    don't know if I can change my application objectives in mid-flight,
    but if there's something that's more urgent for the community and that
    still can be done in 3 months, I'd love to make it work.
    Tell me about it. I've been rushing through old blog posts, old
    tutorials, old everything about them to get a grasp about what makes
    them different and when I think I've nailed it I find something a bit
    more recent (but still old) aying it's all changed. I'll start
    documenting my findings and then I'll try sum it up on a blog post or


    Helder Ribeiro, Mar 30, 2007
  6. A few notes in reply...

    Frankly, you are probably more likely to get a prompt response
    (relatively prompt, that is) posting here, rather than to me directly.
    The firewatir list is hosted on Google.
    The Watir recorder creates Watir scripts. The first version was in C#,
    but it was ported to ruby. The Watin recorder creates Watin Scripts.
    Watin is .Net. They same team created both of these. They seem to have
    used Watir for a while, but now seem to be focusing on Watin and the
    Watin recorder.
    I think you need to make up your own mind on this.
    Well, actually this is really the thing that you should put at the top
    of your list. Several years ago, I was researching open source testing
    tools and collected my findings in a set of lecture notes called
    Homebrew Test Automation (use google if you want to find it). In a
    way, they were the research I needed to do first before deciding to
    commit myself both to Watir as well as to support the release of
    Selenium (which I helped launch).

    Many people have some of the same questions as you, but communities
    have been diverging (Selenium, Watir, Watin...) and as each of the
    tools has become more featured and more complex and overcome earlier
    shortcomings, no one really knows where the different tools really
    stand right now. I have a rough idea, but am really just trying to
    keep the Watir community (Watir for IE, SafariWatir, FireWatir,
    MineralWatir) from diverging.

    Bret Pettichord, Apr 10, 2007
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