A Month in Selenium - October

November 19, 2017
selenium tech

Another month, another update, you lucky people.  The highlights:

W3C TPAC.
I attended the W3C’s TPAC meeting in California. This is the main get-together for many of the “working groups” that are working on standards as part of the W3C. It’s also where the Browser Tools and Testing Working Group met to discuss progress on the WebDriver spec.

Good news! Once we clean up the implementation report, we’re ready to move to “Proposed Recommendation", which is the last step before becoming a standard (or “Recommendation” in W3C parlance).

More good news! The “Level 2” version of WebDriver will have a new logging infrastructure added. This will make it easier for you (yes, you!) to figure out where failures have occurred. Better insight should lead to more stable tests.

Even more good news! Some of the folks from Sauce Labs attended the face-to-face meeting. They help bring an additional perspective to the design and use cases of the protocol. Until now, the group has been mostly composed of browser implementors and people from the Selenium project. The more people involved with the spec, the better it’s going to be.

The minutes for this face-to-face session are available, as are the minutes for the other face-to-face sessions.

Hacking on Selenium
Last month, we were closing in on the Selenium 3.7 release. This month we shipped 3.7.0 and then, because of a small oversight where we missed a jar file in the downloadable artefacts, 3.7.1. There are some nice changes in there. As mentioned last month, one of the areas of focus has been improving how we handle the New Session command when dealing with a local end that might speak both the W3C and JSON Wire Protocol dialects of the webdriver protocol. One of the things that the spec says we’re meant to do is pass though additional top-level fields in the new session payload. 3.7.1 now does this (hurrah!)

One of the nice things from the work in 3.7 is that we’ve laid the groundwork for a clean up of the Selenium Grid code. As part of that, we restored a behaviour where a Grid Node, configured with a path for the Firefox or Chrome binary would have this path injected into any capabilities when starting a session. Making the nodes even more configurable is something that’s on the road map for a later release.

More next month!

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