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Monday, November 28, 2011

Random crashes

New application under test is a web based application. We have Windows and Mac OS X customers. All our Mac OS X customers are using Safari 5.0 or 5.1. Most our Windows customers are using Internet Explorer. We use the meta tag to force Internet Explorer 8 compatibility if you are using Internet Explorer 9. A handful of our Windows customers are using Firefox (whatever is latest).

So I need to create an automated test suite for:
  • Safari 5.0 on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) 32-bit OS
  • Safari 5.1 on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) 64-bit OS
  • Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP 32-bit OS
  • Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7 64-bit OS
  • Firefox 8 on Windows 7 64-bit OS
With this combination I feel I have adequately covered the combinations our customers will care about. If time allowed and everything was written with one automation technology, there is no reason I couldn't run it on other combinations. For example Internet Explorer 9 on Windows XP 32-bit OS or Firefox 7 on Windows XP 64-bit OS.

The assumption is that the above 5 combinations will find most the defects.

My problem is that Safari on Mac OS X is as equally important as Internet Explorer on Windows.

After poking around the web I found Selenium 2.0 (WebDriver) supports all the platforms, sort of. There is no Safari driver for WebDriver but I have a snippet here for using Selenium 1.0 to create a Safari instance, from that I can create a SeleneseCommandExecutor and with the Executor I can create a RemoteWebDriver. A bit hacky but it works.

So I started creating my test automation. I got up to 39 test cases when I decided to run them as a single suite. Ran them on Firefox 8 and everything worked perfectly. Ran them on Internet Explorer. Around 25 test cases in and Internet Explorer pops up a dialog telling me something went wrong with Internet Explorer. I can debug it (because I have Visual Studio installed) or just close it. Regardless, my automation is dead. If my automation dies after the 25th test case and I build it up to 45,000 that would be totally useless. I wouldn't be completely happy with it but if it at least recovered and continued on to the next test case it would be better. But it does not.

So the hunt goes on. I have found a commercial product which claims to work for all the above platforms and more. I'll split up time between evaluating the commercial product and debugging Selenium. Hopefully by  the end of the week I'll have a decision one way or the other.

Stay tuned...

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