Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Write user-extensions.js working for both Selenium-IDE and Selenium-Core

Sometimes we found our user-extensions.js(like include cmd)work on Selenium-Core but error on Selenium-IDE, or vise versa.

The reason is IDE and Core used 30% different js objects.

We can write below style user-extension to support both IDE and Core.
   //IDE manner
   //Core manner
The key function here is how to determine current mode type by javascript?
Simple workaround code:
function isIDE(){
  var locstr = window.location.href;  
  if(locstr.indexOf("selenium-ide.xul") != -1){
      //IDE mode   
      return true;
      return false; //Core mode

Monday, November 17, 2008

Multiple Profiles running simultaneously synchronization in SeleniumJRunner

We must assign each SeleniumJRunner a unique profile name at one time.
Otherwise, if 2 instances use the same profile name at one time, Firefox will report "Firefox is already running..." error.

Assume we have pre-created Firefox profiles on one machine with name:

We can lock profile name when one SeleniumJRunner is using it and unlock it when SeleniumJRunner quit. If there is no free profile name, let new SeleniumJRunner wait.

Sample code:
public static String lockAndGetAvailableProfile(String[] allProfiles) { 
  FileLock lock = null; 
  for (int i = 0; i < allProfiles.length; i++) {
   try {
    RandomAccessFile raf = new RandomAccessFile(PROFILE_LOCK_FOLDER 
                        + "/" +i+".lck" , "rw");
    FileChannel fileChannel = raf.getChannel();
    lock = fileChannel.tryLock();
    if(lock != null && lock.isValid()
       && !lock.isShared()){ 
     return allProfiles[i];
     lock = null;
   } catch (IOException ioe) {
  return "No available profile";

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Daemon AutoIt3 process to click popup and alerts for Selenium

There are always all kinds of popup and alerts during selenium running. If they are not clicked out, Selenium may be blocked and timed out.

We recommend to use a free tool AutoIt3 to write daemon scripts to click out any popup. Make sure selenium run smoothly.

Sample Autoit3 scripts:
If WinExists("Alert") Then
    ControlSend ("Alert", "", "", "{SPACE}")

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Customize Selenium Chrome TestRunner profile in JRunner

There is a prefs.js configuration file for each Firefox profile.
Selenium Java Runner can do some necessary customization before launch Firefox TestRunner instance.
Read prefs.js docs: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Prefs.js_file

Sample prefs.js customize code:
PrintStream out = new PrintStream(new FileOutputStream(prefsJS, true));
// Don't ask if we want to switch default browsers
out.println("user_pref('browser.shell.checkDefaultBrowser', false);"); 
// suppress authentication confirmations
out.println("user_pref('network.http.phishy-userpass-length', 255);");
// Disable pop-up blocking
out.println("user_pref('browser.allowpopups', true);");
out.println("user_pref('dom.disable_open_during_load', false);");
out.println("user_pref('startup.homepage_welcome_url', '');");
// Disable Restore your session dialog. Always start a new session
out.println("user_pref('browser.sessionstore.enabled', false);");
// Disable security warnings
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_submit_insecure', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_submit_insecure.show_once', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_entering_secure', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_entering_secure.show_once', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_entering_weak', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_entering_weak.show_once', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_leaving_secure', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_leaving_secure.show_once', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_viewing_mixed', false);");
out.println("user_pref('security.warn_viewing_mixed.show_once', false);");
// Disable cache
out.println("user_pref('browser.cache.disk.enable', false);");
out.println("user_pref('browser.cache.memory.enable', true);");
// Disable "do you want to remember this password?"
out.println("user_pref('signon.rememberSignons', false);");
// Disable any of the random self-updating crap
out.println("user_pref('app.update.auto', false);");
out.println("user_pref('app.update.enabled', false);");
out.println("user_pref('extensions.update.enabled', false);");
out.println("user_pref('browser.search.update', false);");
out.println("user_pref('browser.safebrowsing.enabled', false);"); 
//enable javascript 
out.println("user_pref('javascript.enabled', true);"); 
//Optional Tips: User-Agent hijack for http traffic debug
//out.println("user_pref('general.useragent.override', 'Here crack user-agent');");  out.close();

Friday, November 14, 2008

Include JS src file in Firefox Chrome Javascript file

To include a Javascript src file in HTML, it's very simple:
<script src="scripts/b.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
However, how to implement above logic in a Chrome js file(XUL missed including b.js).
There is a XPCOM API @mozilla.org/moz/jssubscript-loader;1
const subScriptLoader = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/moz/jssubscript-loader;1"].getService(Components.interfaces.mozIJSSubScriptLoader);
 //file:/// path for XPCOM. http:// not support
subScriptLoader.loadSubScript('file:///c:/scripts/b.js', this);
In normal js file(non-chrome), it's also simple.
document.write('<script src="scripts/b.js" type="text/javascript"></script>');
This tip is useful for Selenium-IDE enhancement.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Security Alerts Interceptor for Selenium-IDE

There are 2 kinds of HTTPs Certification Security Alerts in Firefox.
1) Domain name mismatch
2) Certificate expired
Read http://kb.mozillazine.org/Security_Error:_Domain_Name_Mismatch_or_Server_Certificate_Expired
Unfortunately, Firefox 2 didn't provide a preferences entry to disable or hidden alerts.
These annoyed alerts slow down selenium speed and block selenium automation if we don't click out alerts.

There is a Firefox extension Remember Mismatch Domains(RMD.xpi) to add a "Don't warn me again about this certificate for this domain" checkbox to the Domain Mismatch and Expired Certificate warning windows. When selected the domain name and security certificate domain pair (or certificate and expiration date pair) is stored in a Firefox preference and the security error dialogue will be bypassed on subsequent visits.

The author provided a XPCOM to destroy Security Alerts Window before it displays in Firefox. We can integrate this XPCOM with Selenium-IDE and provide Security Alerts Interceptor feature.

Here are steps and code:
1) copy /platform folder from RMD.xpi to selenium-ide.xpi
2) copy rmdBadCertHandler.js and rmdIBadCertHandler.xpt to /components folder
3) edit rmdBadCertHandler.js
_isRemembered: function (handler_type, target_url, cert) {
   return true;
   //intercept and kill all security alerts
   //or add a preference entry here and return true or false
NOTE: it is used for Firefox 2 only. Firefox 3 has a new security exception handler.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Selenium close all Firefox windows in profile when finish run

There is a Chrome URL parameter &close=true in Selenium-IDE. When set to true, it will automatically close Selenium Firefox windows when finish run. However, if application window has popuped child windows like ads, selenium can't close these popup windows when quit.

This has risk to lock Firefox profile when multiple Firefox profiles running simuteniously. Please refer to "Firefox is aleady running issue"
Enhance Selenium-IDE by XPCOM API: close all Firefox windows under current profile. Add logic when Selenium quit(close=true).
Sample code:
var windowManager = Components
var windowManagerInterface = windowManager
  .QueryInterface( Components.interfaces.nsIWindowMediator);
var enumerator = windowManagerInterface.getEnumerator( null );
var appStartup = Components
while ( enumerator.hasMoreElements()  )
  var domWindow = enumerator.getNext();
  if (("tryToClose" in domWindow) 
       && !domWindow.tryToClose())
    return false;

Monday, November 10, 2008

Save to local files with XPCOM for Selenium Firefox Chrome

We save selenium run snapshot/result/log to local files instead of complex POST to server solution. We require APIs in browser(out of Security Sandbox) for local files accessing.

In IEHTA, there is ActiveX object FSO to access local files.
var objFSO = new ActiveXObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject");
Is there a similar object in Mozilla Firefox Chrome?
The answer is XPCOM object @mozilla.org/file/local;1

Save to file Sample:
function saveFile(fileName, val){
   try {
   } catch (e) {
      //alert("Permission to save file was denied.");
   var file = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/file/local;1"]
   if (file.exists() == false) {
     //alert("Creating file... " );
     file.create( Components.interfaces.nsIFile.NORMAL_FILE_TYPE, 420 );
   var outputStream = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/network/file-output-stream;1"]
   outputStream.init( file, 0x04 | 0x08 | 0x20, 420, 0 ); 
   //UTF-8 convert
   var uc = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/intl/scriptableunicodeconverter"]
   uc.charset = "UTF-8";
   var data_stream = uc.ConvertFromUnicode(val);
   var result = outputStream.write(data_stream, data_stream.length );
We use UTF-8 encode here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

PseudoTestRunner.html to run Selenium Chrome by cmdline

Launch Selenium Chrome TestRunner by cmdline: firefox.exe -chrome "chrome://selenium-ide-testrunner/content/selenium/TestRunner.html..." will cause many weird issues on Firefox.
I'm not sure the root cause which maybe related to Firefox Chrome Security Strategy for -chrome parameter.

Here is a workaround:
Hijack selenium-ide.xpi. Under selenium-ide\content\selenium\ add a file PseudoTestRunner.html
<head><title>Pseudo Test Runner - Used for launch Chrome by Cmdline</title></head>
  <script language="javascript"> 
  var strHref;
  var intParamsStartIndex;
  var strParams;
  strHref = window.location.href;
  intParamsStartIndex = strHref.indexOf("?");
  strParams = strHref.substring(intParamsStartIndex);
  window.open("chrome://selenium-ide-testrunner/content/selenium/TestRunner.html" + strParams);
Then please always use PseudoTestRunner.html instead of TestRunner.html in cmdline, keep the same parameter list in URL.

Refer to topic: http://clearspace.openqa.org/message/51801#51801

Saturday, November 8, 2008

How to let JAVA play with Selenium Firefox Chrome TestRunner

Selenium Firefox Chrome TestRunner is written by JS/DHTML. When we want to embed Firefox Chrome TestRunner engine into our testing framework. We are asking for a way to let JAVA play with Firefox Chrome TestRunner. You can also refer to Selenium-RC source code to launch a browser. Here is a workaround solution with pseudo code.

1. In & Output of 'Selenium Firefox Chrome TestRunner' component for JAVA IN: it is usually URL trigger for running. Chrome URL with parameters looks like:
chrome://selenium-ide-testrunner/content/selenium/TestRunner.html?test=file:///c:/testing/MyTestSuite.html&auto=true&multiWindow=true&userExtensionsURL=http://localhost/user-extensions.js,http://localhost/ui/my-ui-map.js&close=true&[other self defined parms]
We can see Selenium passed parameters by chrome URL for input. We can add more self defined params by modify Selenium-IDE code.
If we can convert all parameters in JAVA to chrome URL parameters, it's possible to let JAVA invoke Selenium-IDE.

OUTPUT: one output choice provided by S-CORE is using POST data when Selenium closed. It required you create a server side receiver.
One better solution is S-IDE save run snapshot/result/log runtimely to file system directly. We treat these important data as output.

For offical docs about IN&OUTPUT, refer to http://seleniumhq.org/projects/core/usage.html

2. 'IN' Wrapper in JAVA
We create a Java Object as a chrome URL paramters wrapper, simple like:
public class SeleniumRequest implements Serializable {
 private String test; 
 private String auto;
        private String multiWindow;
        public String getAuto() {
  return auto;
 public void setAuto(String auto) {
  this.auto = auto;
3. 'OUTPUT' Wrapper in JAVA
We also create a Java Object as atomic run result wrapper, simple like:
public class SeleniumResult implements Serializable {
 private int testRuns; 
 private int testFailures; 
        private String resultSummary;
 private String logFilePath;  
        public String getResultSummary() {
  return resultSummary;
 public void setResultSummary(String resultSummary) {
  this.resultSummary= resultSummary;
Detailed run results are saved on file system by S-IDE. logFilePath is the path for their index file.

4. SeleniumJRunner in Java
Now, we can define a very simple & generic interface for run S-IDE in Java.
public interface SeleniumJRunner {
      public SeleniumResult run(SeleniumRequest request); 
We assume this run API is sync mode, which means run() will be blocked in Java thread until S-IDE finished run and generate OUTPUT.

5. SeleniumResultParser.java
S-IDE saved all results in file system, we need a Java class to parse file content and set to SeleniumResult object. This is part of SeleniumJRunner implementation logic. To do html file parser in Java, there are many opensource lib. You can use Nekohtml.

6. SyncExecutor.java
Since S-IDE is an external process for Java. We need launch it with parameters from Java in sync mode. Usually, JAVA API Runtime.getRuntime().exec() meets basic requirement. However, we need a timedout mechanism and safely execution which Runtime.getRuntime() doesn't provide. We create a powerful but simple SyncExecutor util. For related topic, refer to how to safely execute process from java

7. Launch Selenium with profile isolation on the same machine
It is super Firefox can run multiple instances with session/cache isolation concurrently on the same machine by Firefox Profiles mechanism.
We need to add -p ProfileName -no-remote parameters to Firefox cmdline.
For multiple Firefox profiles run together, refer to http://clan.yo2.cn/run-multiple-firefox-profiles-simultaneously.html

8. There is critical issue for launch Chrome TestRunner in cmdline mode
User may encounter weird issue if launch Chrome TestRunner in cmdline like firefox.exe -chrome "chrome://selenium-ide-testrunner/content/selenium/TestRunner.html..." . It's hard to resolve. In JRunner, we must choose a workaround substitution.
For solution, read topic: http://clearspace.openqa.org/message/51801#51801

Friday, November 7, 2008

Build a regression automation testing framework based on Selenium FIT mode

When company only has 100 regression test cases written by Selenese, QA steps to do regression tasks by Selenium FIT mode:
1) Organize test cases files with suites files on local driver or shared driver
2) Open Chrome TestRunner in Firefox
3) Import test suites address in file sytem, click run
4) Monitor and wait for run finished, manually collect run result and write a run report with generic result info.

Assume your company business's growth and you have 1000+ regression test cases.
How to execute these cases in a short time and generate report with detailed enough info automatically?
0) All QA upload and maintain test cases on a central portal.
1) Choose test cases you want to kick off regression from case repository
2) Specify necessary parameter for regression and kick off
3) A scalable machine matrix in backend begin to do automation run parallelly. There are also multiple instances running simuteniously on same machine. Each instance used Selenium FIT engine. The run snapshot/result/log are stored into filesytem/DB runtimely by above instances called Agent.
4) When all run finished, a report can be generated from file sytem/DB.

It's feasible to implement such a system with Selenium FIT mode.

Comparing to similar system based on S-RC+S-GRID:
1) No need proxy server, more lightweight framework. No need precompile like .java test case source.
2) Firefox Chrome TestRunner is more stable and faster than RC Runner. It can bypass many issues which RC can't resolve. Chrome XPCOM APIs is very powerful for develop Selenium new features.
3) User only need to know how to create a Selenese test case, no other skill requirement.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

FIT mode best choice: running Selenium with Firefox Chrome TestRunner

I don't think Selenium-RC is the best choice for QA who does feature testing & regression testing with blackbox style, esp. those who doesn't have programming background.

S-RC(JAVA) disadvantages for blackbox QA/regression testing:
1) programming skills trainning cost for QA
2) test code complexity for maintenance
3) bad HTTPS/SSL page support
4) popup/alerts make automation stuck, require an autoclick alerts mechanism
5) not stable and with weird issues caused by Proxy Server
6) not lightweight tools, need setup environment
7) still need do 2nd around development to integrate with regression distributed system(even if S-GRID).

FIT mode is familiared by QA. There has 3 ways:
1) deploy Selenium CORE/TEST on testing server
2) MS IEHTA with test case repository anywhere
3) Firefox Chrome by Selenium-IDE with test case repository anywhere

For 1), some company has restriction to deny to do deployment
For 2), IEHTA is unstable and has critial issues such as multiwindow popup,xpath slowness etc. It's also hard to provide a session/cache isolation solution for multiple instances running simultaniously on one machine. It's also hard to create a recorder for IE.

I think running Selenium with Firefox Chrome TestRunner is the best choice for FIT mode.
1) Selenium-IDE is a good tool with recorder and still can do huge improvements.
2) Stable and well support HTTPS. Well support multiwindow.
3) multiple selenium running simultaniously on same machine with session/cache isolation by Firefox profiles mechanism
4) set FF preferences to let Selenium not stuck(click out popup/alerts)
5) save run snapshot/results/log to local file system other than postUrl solution
6) No need any proxy server. No need any additional installation and configuration.
7) Opensource Firefox platform is developer friendly. Firefox Chrome's XPCOM APIs can support us to implement all kinds of selenium features.

However, the bottleneck for openqa's FIT mode(Esp. Selenium-IDE) not become enterprise usage:
1) Selenium-IDE doesn't save down detailed enough snapshot/results/log to local file system which is the significant requirement for enterprise tools. Many other significant requirements also haven't been implemented.
2) FIT mode doesn't provide neccessary development SDK. We can build our enterprise test case maintenance system with GUI/webflow, parallel execution system with distributed infrastructure, result reporting system with DB/file system. However, we need SDK APIs to integrate Selenium FIT engine into these systems.

Most of developers are contributing for S-RC product on community. I hope openqa can also push Selenium-IDE FIT product line for enterprise usage.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Selenium FIT mode vs. Driven mode

Selenium has two usage modes:
1)FIT mode: table style simple script which usually run on Selenium CORE/IDE in standalone IE/FF. We also call it as 'Selenese'. It's simple and easy to install/use for QA with no programming skills.
This is more for "black box" testing and is "asynchronous" in design.
You send the whole test script over to the browser in a "REST" fashion, it generally only has the same access to click and type and change things as a regular user would.

2)Driven mode: a language specific driver for Selenium. It used a proxy server to bypass Same Origin Policy for Selenium. Selenium RC is the product for this mode.
This enables "white box" testing and also "synchronous" in design.
With white box testing, you can send one command to the browser in an "RPC" fashion, get a result, then check the back-end database to confirm like Unit Test. You can benifit from programming lauguage like Java for Selenium.

Read Jason Huggins' topic: Choosing between "Driven Mode" and "FIT or Table style"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Open Blogger space here for Selenium Test related topics

We have used Selenium as primary automation technology for our big website for years.
I open a Blogger space here to share my Selenium exploration and tips with my engineer friends.

I named here as 'Selenium Galaxy' and please bookmark its URL: http://sejq.blogspot.com/

I will move our tech docs here successionally.