Category Archives: Selenium RC

Fitnesse – Another DSL

So, if you have followed this blog you will know that we we first started on our journey of discovery with FitNesse by trying anubhavas generic fixture but while this idea seems great it has its shortcomings. Now Anubhava did a pretty good job of telling people about his fixture (which is how i found it) he was also very approachable and gave help when i got stuck. So i was surprised to see that Keith Sterling has reinvented the wheel with FitNium.

Keith says he created FitNium as part of a learning exercise and also through the frustrations he is having with the Webtest Fixture.

While i can fully understand Keiths frustrations with the Webtest fixture (and this is not to say the webtest fixture isn’t useful, it truly is), this is the very reason we are making the leap to Twist.

Helpfully FitNium is released under Ver 2.0 of the Apache License.

Fitnesse – Another DSL

So, if you have followed this blog you will know that we we first started on our journey of discovery with FitNesse by trying anubhavas generic fixture but while this idea seems great it has its shortcomings. Now Anubhava did a pretty good job of telling people about his fixture (which is how i found it) he was also very approachable and gave help when i got stuck. So i was surprised to see that Keith Sterling has reinvented the wheel with FitNium.

Keith says he created FitNium as part of a learning exercise and also through the frustrations he is having with the Webtest Fixture.

While i can fully understand Keiths frustrations with the Webtest fixture (and this is not to say the webtest fixture isn’t useful, it truly is), this is the very reason we are making the leap to Twist.

Helpfully FitNium is released under Ver 2.0 of the Apache License.

Proxy chaining with selenium

Proxy chaining with selenium was the topic of a recent conversation with a colleague,he wanted to know more about proxy chaining and selenium, this has lead me to write this up. Again this was an issue we ran into early on with FitNesse and selenium , and its something we are currently tackling with Twist.

Selenium uses a proxy.pac files to configure the browser’s proxy configuration.

An example selenium proxy.pac:


function FindProxyForURL(url, host) {
if(shExpMatch(url, '/selenium-server/')) {
return 'PROXY localhost:4444; DIRECT'
}
}

In this example the browser will automatically forward any requests containing “/selenium-server/” to the selenium server however all other requests are un proxied and go DIRECT to the requested host.

We work behind a corporate proxy, so we need to be able to send request via the proxy, buy not for all the hosts.

We are using Selenium-RC and we specify some proxy settings on the command line at start-up:


java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy.ourdomain.dom -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -Dhttp.nonProxyHosts=*dev.ourdomain.dom*^|*qa.ourdomain.dom*^|*staging.ourdomain.dom

when you use start Selenium-RC in this way it generates a proxy.pac file like this:


function FindProxyForURL(url, host) {
return 'PROXY localhost:4444; PROXY proxy.ourdomain.dom:8080';
}

The problem my colleague faced was that no matter what he put on the command line, the browser wasn’t honouring his proxy configuration, or so he thought.

The selenium documentation suggest that the way we invoke selenium creates a proxy chain, but this isn’t the case, if you look at the proxy.pac file selenium generated it just creates a fail-over chain, where the browser will try and use Selenium RC as the proxy and if it fails it will try and use the proxy you specified on the command line. bugger.

But fear not, there is an additional command line parameter that can be invoked (like a magic incantation) when starting Selenium-RC, its -avoidProxy:


java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy.ourdomain.dom -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -Dhttp.nonProxyHosts=*dev.ourdomain.dom*^|*qa.ourdomain.dom*^|*staging.ourdomain.dom -jar selenium-server.jar -avoidProxy

Adding the -avoidProxy flag, causes Selenium-RC to generate a proxy.pac file like this:


function FindProxyForURL(url, host) {
if(shExpMatch(url, '*/selenium-server/*')) {
return 'PROXY localhost:4444; PROXY proxy.ourdomain.dom:8080';
} else if (shExpMatch(host, '*dev.ourdomain.dom*')) {
return 'DIRECT';
} else if (shExpMatch(host, '*qa.ourdomain.dom*')) {
return 'DIRECT';
} else if (shExpMatch(host, '*staging.ourdomain.dom*')) {
return 'DIRECT';
} else {
return 'PROXY proxy.ourdomain.dom:8080';
}
}

What this does is use selenium for anything that has /selenium-server/ in the url, else it uses the corporate proxy, unless the host is one of the ones specified in which case it goes direct to that host. Eureka!

Well almost. Enter the same origin policy.

Back to my colleague. He was using *chrome in his tests (note this has nothing to do with google chrome, its firefox but with more schwartz) and if you use one of these “experimental browsers” as Selenium calls them, (*chrome, *iehta) then you need to set your browser’s proxy settings manually and just specify the path to your browser as if it were an unsupported browser.

For example, you can launch Firefox with a custom configuration like this:


*custom c:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe

When the browser is started like this you have to manually configure the proxy settings to use Selenium Server as a proxy. This just means opening the browser preferences and specifying “localhost:4444” as the HTTP proxy.

I have also used the experimental browser *pifirefox thats proxy inject firefox with good results.

Proxy chaining with selenium

Proxy chaining with selenium was the topic of a recent conversation with a colleague,he wanted to know more about proxy chaining and selenium, this has lead me to write this up. Again this was an issue we ran into early on with FitNesse and selenium , and its something we are currently tackling with Twist.

Selenium uses a proxy.pac files to configure the browser’s proxy configuration.

An example selenium proxy.pac:


function FindProxyForURL(url, host) {
if(shExpMatch(url, '/selenium-server/')) {
return 'PROXY localhost:4444; DIRECT'
}
}

In this example the browser will automatically forward any requests containing “/selenium-server/” to the selenium server however all other requests are un proxied and go DIRECT to the requested host.

We work behind a corporate proxy, so we need to be able to send request via the proxy, buy not for all the hosts.

We are using Selenium-RC and we specify some proxy settings on the command line at start-up:


java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy.ourdomain.dom -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -Dhttp.nonProxyHosts=*dev.ourdomain.dom*^|*qa.ourdomain.dom*^|*staging.ourdomain.dom

when you use start Selenium-RC in this way it generates a proxy.pac file like this:


function FindProxyForURL(url, host) {
return 'PROXY localhost:4444; PROXY proxy.ourdomain.dom:8080';
}

The problem my colleague faced was that no matter what he put on the command line, the browser wasn’t honouring his proxy configuration, or so he thought.

The selenium documentation suggest that the way we invoke selenium creates a proxy chain, but this isn’t the case, if you look at the proxy.pac file selenium generated it just creates a fail-over chain, where the browser will try and use Selenium RC as the proxy and if it fails it will try and use the proxy you specified on the command line. bugger.

But fear not, there is an additional command line parameter that can be invoked (like a magic incantation) when starting Selenium-RC, its -avoidProxy:


java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy.ourdomain.dom -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -Dhttp.nonProxyHosts=*dev.ourdomain.dom*^|*qa.ourdomain.dom*^|*staging.ourdomain.dom -jar selenium-server.jar -avoidProxy

Adding the -avoidProxy flag, causes Selenium-RC to generate a proxy.pac file like this:


function FindProxyForURL(url, host) {
if(shExpMatch(url, '*/selenium-server/*')) {
return 'PROXY localhost:4444; PROXY proxy.ourdomain.dom:8080';
} else if (shExpMatch(host, '*dev.ourdomain.dom*')) {
return 'DIRECT';
} else if (shExpMatch(host, '*qa.ourdomain.dom*')) {
return 'DIRECT';
} else if (shExpMatch(host, '*staging.ourdomain.dom*')) {
return 'DIRECT';
} else {
return 'PROXY proxy.ourdomain.dom:8080';
}
}

What this does is use selenium for anything that has /selenium-server/ in the url, else it uses the corporate proxy, unless the host is one of the ones specified in which case it goes direct to that host. Eureka!

Well almost. Enter the same origin policy.

Back to my colleague. He was using *chrome in his tests (note this has nothing to do with google chrome, its firefox but with more schwartz) and if you use one of these “experimental browsers” as Selenium calls them, (*chrome, *iehta) then you need to set your browser’s proxy settings manually and just specify the path to your browser as if it were an unsupported browser.

For example, you can launch Firefox with a custom configuration like this:


*custom c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe

When the browser is started like this you have to manually configure the proxy settings to use Selenium Server as a proxy. This just means opening the browser preferences and specifying “localhost:4444” as the HTTP proxy.

I have also used the experimental browser *pifirefox thats proxy inject firefox with good results.

Fitnesse for dummies?


We pride ourselves on our technical prowess, by we i mean my team and I and by team i mean the greater QA team at work.

As testers we are often thought of as not being technical and in some institutions it is actively discouraged. However being a technical tester is dependent on the domain you work in.

In our domain we need to be holistic on our approach to testing, we need to be multidisciplinary with skills in Linux, Apache, Jboss, J2EE and Oracle. We work for a large website so we all need to understand headers, HTTP, cookies, dynamic HTML/Json.

So it was with some surprise (read, it caught us out) that we found ourselves staring at FitNesse (the Acceptance Testing Framework) like the apes staring at the monolith at the start of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). We understand its importance, and we can see the benefits, but how do we turn it on? what makes it go?

Well a few hours later and to our horror we have installed JDK and eclipse and we are coding in java. But this doesn’t really sit well at all, testers writing tests in java? who will test our tests?

Worse than this, we don’t have Java coding skills across the team (nor do we want them) so what can we do?

A few googles later and we can see that we are not the only people that think this sucks. For every test case we write in Fitnesse we ill have to write a corresponding fixture (read some java code). Until i run across Anubhava’s Tech Blog and his post Introducing Generic Fixture for FitNesse. Here he talks of the same problem of having write java code for every test. His solution is rather neat, the GenericFixture.

I followed his examples and hit a few dead ends, so i emailed Anubhava and after a few question from him discovered that what i believed to be the GenricFixture.jar was in fact a 700Kb web page (an error message from sourceforge). With the proper jar downloaded from sourceforge we are off and running, and can now write tests without cutting a single line of java, but wait that’s not all…

Something was still unsettling about the whole deal, and that was the fact that FitNesse allows users to create tests using natural language.

here is a simple example in fitness

users opens the URL http://www.google.co.uk
page has the title Google
page has an element named q true
page has an element named btnG true
user types chocolate into q field
user clicks on the button named btnG
page loads in less than 5 seconds
page has the title chocolate – Google Search
user clicks on the link named Chocolate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
page loads in less than 5 seconds
page has the title Chocolate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and here is the same example in selenease

open http://www.google.co.uk
assertTitle Google
type q chocolate
clickAtAndWait btnG
assertTitle chocolate – Google Search
clickAtAndWait link=Chocolate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
assertTitle Chocolate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As you can see the FitNesse example is easily read and understood whereas the selenim version requires the user to understand the selenium syntax (selenease).

Our friend Anubhava (above) had hit upon the same problem, and implemented a Domain Specific Language (DLS) adepter for the GenricFixture, so problem solved, for now…

Fitnesse for dummies?


We pride ourselves on our technical prowess, by we i mean my team and I and by team i mean the greater QA team at work.

As testers we are often thought of as not being technical and in some institutions it is actively discouraged. However being a technical tester is dependent on the domain you work in.

In our domain we need to be holistic on our approach to testing, we need to be multidisciplinary with skills in Linux, Apache, Jboss, J2EE and Oracle. We work for a large website so we all need to understand headers, HTTP, cookies, dynamic HTML/Json.

So it was with some surprise (read, it caught us out) that we found ourselves staring at FitNesse (the Acceptance Testing Framework) like the apes staring at the monolith at the start of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). We understand its importance, and we can see the benefits, but how do we turn it on? what makes it go?

Well a few hours later and to our horror we have installed JDK and eclipse and we are coding in java. But this doesn’t really sit well at all, testers writing tests in java? who will test our tests?

Worse than this, we don’t have Java coding skills across the team (nor do we want them) so what can we do?

A few googles later and we can see that we are not the only people that think this sucks. For every test case we write in Fitnesse we ill have to write a corresponding fixture (read some java code). Until i run across Anubhava’s Tech Blog and his post Introducing Generic Fixture for FitNesse. Here he talks of the same problem of having write java code for every test. His solution is rather neat, the GenericFixture.

I followed his examples and hit a few dead ends, so i emailed Anubhava and after a few question from him discovered that what i believed to be the GenricFixture.jar was in fact a 700Kb web page (an error message from sourceforge). With the proper jar downloaded from sourceforge we are off and running, and can now write tests without cutting a single line of java, but wait that’s not all…

Something was still unsettling about the whole deal, and that was the fact that FitNesse allows users to create tests using natural language.

here is a simple example in fitness

users opens the URL http://www.google.co.uk
page has the title Google
page has an element named q true
page has an element named btnG true
user types chocolate into q field
user clicks on the button named btnG
page loads in less than 5 seconds
page has the title chocolate – Google Search
user clicks on the link named Chocolate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
page loads in less than 5 seconds
page has the title Chocolate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and here is the same example in selenease

open http://www.google.co.uk
assertTitle Google
type q chocolate
clickAtAndWait btnG
assertTitle chocolate – Google Search
clickAtAndWait link=Chocolate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
assertTitle Chocolate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As you can see the FitNesse example is easily read and understood whereas the selenim version requires the user to understand the selenium syntax (selenease).

Our friend Anubhava (above) had hit upon the same problem, and implemented a Domain Specific Language (DLS) adepter for the GenricFixture, so problem solved, for now…

Running Selenium with proxy exceptions

The way we have our QA environment set-up we use a DNS server this allows us to mimic the live environment (the customer facing server names are the same as in the production environment). It sounds ideal however it isn’t without problems. We cant set-up a banner server in our environment (because we use a third party banner service) nor can we set-up a WA server (we use multiple WA vendors) so we have to use proxy exceptions that excludes everything from going through the proxy that exists in inside the QA environment.

This obviously means we can end up with a pretty big proxy exceptions list in our browser. Firefox isn’t a problem as there are a couple of plug ins available that can manage multiple proxy settings. However IE requires us to use a hand crafted batch file to update registry settings. Not really a problem, and we are comfortable with how it works. It rarely catches us out.

Now when we cam to automate our tests with selenium we ran into a problem. We needed to tell selenium to use our corporate proxy so it can proxy request to the outside world, and when selenium starts the browser it tell the browser to use a particular PAC file that is generated at test run time. The PAC file is quite simple and tells the browser to use Selenium for anything that lies within the SUT else go external. sound’s great except that it doesn’t work.
We read a few forum posts, and blog posts and scratched our heads. Finally we opened the Selenium source code and found that we could in fact pass in a list of hosts to apply to the proxy exceptions list. We were feeling pretty jaded are spending hours of google time on it, why its not documented clearly anywhere i don’t know.

Okay, so our startup command for selenium looked like this

java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy.ourdomain.co.uk -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -jar selenium-server.jar –avoidProxy

To add proxy avoidance you specify the hosts you want to avoid through the proxy and delimit with the pipe character |, but we then found we had to delimit the pipe character with the caret ^

-Dhttp.nonProxyHosts=*www.ourdomain.co.uk*^|*search.ourdomain.co.uk*

So our new selenium startup string looked like this

java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy.ourdomain.co.uk -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -Dhttp.nonProxyHosts=*www.ourdomain.co.uk*^|*search.ourdomain.co.uk* -jar selenium-server.jar –avoidProxy

This means that if the request is for anything other than www. or search . on our domain, selenium forwards it through our corporate proxy.

Running Selenium with proxy exceptions

The way we have our QA environment set-up we use a DNS server this allows us to mimic the live environment (the customer facing server names are the same as in the production environment). It sounds ideal however it isn’t without problems. We cant set-up a banner server in our environment (because we use a third party banner service) nor can we set-up a WA server (we use multiple WA vendors) so we have to use proxy exceptions that excludes everything from going through the proxy that exists in inside the QA environment.

This obviously means we can end up with a pretty big proxy exceptions list in our browser. Firefox isn’t a problem as there are a couple of plug ins available that can manage multiple proxy settings. However IE requires us to use a hand crafted batch file to update registry settings. Not really a problem, and we are comfortable with how it works. It rarely catches us out.

Now when we cam to automate our tests with selenium we ran into a problem. We needed to tell selenium to use our corporate proxy so it can proxy request to the outside world, and when selenium starts the browser it tell the browser to use a particular PAC file that is generated at test run time. The PAC file is quite simple and tells the browser to use Selenium for anything that lies within the SUT else go external. sound’s great except that it doesn’t work.
We read a few forum posts, and blog posts and scratched our heads. Finally we opened the Selenium source code and found that we could in fact pass in a list of hosts to apply to the proxy exceptions list. We were feeling pretty jaded are spending hours of google time on it, why its not documented clearly anywhere i don’t know.

Okay, so our startup command for selenium looked like this

java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy.ourdomain.co.uk -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -jar selenium-server.jar –avoidProxy

To add proxy avoidance you specify the hosts you want to avoid through the proxy and delimit with the pipe character |, but we then found we had to delimit the pipe character with the caret ^

-Dhttp.nonProxyHosts=*www.ourdomain.co.uk*^|*search.ourdomain.co.uk*

So our new selenium startup string looked like this

java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxy.ourdomain.co.uk -Dhttp.proxyPort=8080 -Dhttp.nonProxyHosts=*www.ourdomain.co.uk*^|*search.ourdomain.co.uk* -jar selenium-server.jar –avoidProxy

This means that if the request is for anything other than www. or search . on our domain, selenium forwards it through our corporate proxy.