My first test using webdriver (aka Selenium 2.0)!

As many say, a good solution to selenese flu is Webdriver (see more at

Webdriver has been accepted by the Selenium guys as the new approach to web application testing, opposed to the classical “selenium 1.0” approach, based on a javascript driver, which suffers from way too many issues.
Unfortunately, Selenium 2.0, which plan to fully support Webdriver, is still on an alpha release, and actually is very difficult to find ruby-based web testing tools supporting this alpha version of selenium 2.0.
One of those tools is actually Watir (though Webrat too is planning to support Selenium 2.0 sooner or later), and more precisely this project is quite stable to allow a first test drive.

So this is what I did:

First: installed required gems

  sudo gem install selenium-webdriver
  sudo gem install watir-webdriver --pre

Second: configure my Rails testing configuration to use watir

  config.gem "watir-webdriver"
  require 'test_help'
  require 'watir-webdriver'

Third: write a test

require 'test_helper'

class PaypalIntegrationTest < ActionController::IntegrationTest
  include LocaleHelper
  self.use_transactional_fixtures = false

  def setup
    ... some setup stuff here ...   
    @browser =

  def teardown

  test "something interesting" do
    @browser.goto ""
    @browser.text_field(:name, "login_email").set ""
    @browser.text_field(:name, "login_password").set "mysecret"
    @browser.button(:name, "submit").click

    @browser.goto "https://localhost", 'loginlink').click
    @browser.text_field(:name, "email").set
    @browser.text_field(:name, "password").set @user.password
    @browser.button(:text, "Login").click

    # add_a_product_to_cart
    product = Factory(:product, :code => "a code", :categories => [@juve_store])
    Factory(:product_variant, :code => "03", :availability => 99, :product => product)
    @browser.goto "https://localhost/frontend/products/show/#{}"
    @browser.button(:id, "add_to_cart").click, "Checkout").click, "gotobuy").click

    # choose "Paypal"
    @browser.radios.last.set, "gotobuy").click

    sleep 5
    assert @browser.text.include?("Payment for order #{last_order_number()}")

    @browser.text_field(:name, "login_email").set ""
    @browser.text_field(:name, "login_password").set "yetanothersecrethere"
    @browser.button(:text, "Accedi").click
    @browser.button(:text, "Paga ora").click

    sleep 5
    assert @browser.text.include?("Il pagamento รจ stato inviato")

    @browser.button(:id, "merchantReturn").click
    assert_contain_waiting("Your purchase")



  def last_order_number
    Order.last ? Order.last.number : ""


Some comments here:

  • This is a spike, so please don’t say this test is too long and not well refactored
  • I had to put two sleep calls in two places (I gotta say that this specific test, involving paypal sandbox, is really slow due to the slowness in the paypal response time).
  • Anyway, this alpha version of webdriver is still lacking: I cannot say wheather this is a problem I’ll have even with future (possibly more stable) version of Webdriver.

Some references:

A (still brief) experience on using Selenium to test a Rails + ajax app

This is a note to make a point on our (mine and my team’s) current use of Selenium to test the ajax behaviour in the Rails webapp we’re currently developing. Ajax replacing of part of the page is growing, and with it we have to face the classical question: “how do we test (I mean automatically :-) the ajax/javascript behaviours in our webapp?”.

This is how we are trying to manage this issue now, after some days of spiking on Selenium, Watir and BlueRidge (I hope to write more on Watir and BlueRidge in some future post, because these two tools are worth speaking).

Actually we are giving a try to the combination of Webrat + Selenium, since we already have a big test suite of integration test using Webrat, and have a good knowledge of the Webrat API.

We added the selenium-client gem to be able to drive Selenium through the Webrat API.
This is extracted from our test environment configuration file:

config.gem 'selenium-client', :lib => 'selenium/client'
config.gem "webrat", :version => '>= 0.6.0'

Then, we defined a class from which all the selenium test cases will inherit.
This class basically is used to

  • disable the transactional fixtures in Rails, to allow the browser process where Selenium runs to access the data prepared in the tests
  • configure Webrat with the “selenium” mode
  • be the place to collect helper methods as “login” or “logout”, used in many tests.
class SeleniumIntegrationTest < ActionController::IntegrationTest
  self.use_transactional_fixtures = false

  setup :switch_webrat_to_selenium
  def switch_webrat_to_selenium
    Webrat.configure do |config|
      config.mode = :selenium
      config.application_environment = :test

    selenium.set_speed(100)       # default is 0 ms
    selenium.set_timeout(10000)   # default is 30000 ms

  teardown :delete_cookies
  def delete_cookies

 [other helper methods here, like login, logout, and so on...]


We also added a rake task to be able to launch all the selenium tests

namespace :test do

  desc "Run Selenium Test" do |t|
    t.libs << "test"
    t.test_files = FileList['test/selenium/*test.rb']
    t.verbose = true

One thing we learned through several repeated mistakes is that the Webrat API is different when called in the “selenium” mode then the one we were used to when using Webrat in the classical “rails” mode.
For example, the “assert_have_selector” method for selenium only takes one argument, that is the CSS selector, while in the classical webrat mode, the same method takes another parameter to specify the expected content to match with (see this rdoc: So we had to define helper methods based on “assert_have_xpath” method using xpath to express the same intent of a method like assert_have_selector(css_selector, expected_content)

Here is our helper method

  def assert_has_id id, text_content
    assert_have_xpath "//*[@id='#{id}'][1][text()='#{text_content}']"

Fixing SeleniumRC to work with Firefox 3.6

The brand new release of Firefox 3.6 brings, together with some improvements in the browser, also some headaches for all selenium users: actually the latest selenium RC jar (selenium-server.jar) won’t work with Firefox 3.6.

The problem is related to the addons that Selenium will pretend to have in the Firefox instance fired up when Selenium RC server starts. As a matter of fact, those two addons are not declared to be compatible with 3.6.

The simple fix is then to edit the addons’ install.rdf files in the selenium-server.jar to manually set the compatibility to 3.6.

Alternatively, you can download this patched jar from this repository, rename it to selenium-server.jar and replace the previous jar with this.

The actual steps to fix my webrat gem (I use Selenium through Webrat) were

  1. download the above mentioned file (
  2. rename it to selenium-server.jar
  3. replace the previous file in the vendor folder of your webrat gem (mine was /usr/local/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/webrat-0.7.0/vendor/selenium-server.jar)