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Web functional testing abstraction layer

Project description

FuncBrows is a relatively lightweight abstraction wrapper around various functional web testing tools. It is intended to allow the creation of single unit tests that will run on multiple testing tools with a minimum of configuration. This will allow functional and system tests to be created in a single api.

By necessity, the api will be fairly simple, and will not support the advanced features of certain tools. This is aimed to be a lowest common demoninator, although the selected tool is available, should more complex tests be required (at the cost of tool portability).

Currently Supported

There are two fully supported testing tools:

  • Selenium RC (1.*)

  • zc.testbrowser

It is intended that more will be added over time, but these are what were required to scratch my own itch.

Running the Tests

FuncBrows comes with a full test suite to exercise all the available methods. It uses twisted to create a local, known webserver which can be used to output the expected results. To run it, you will need: * twisted * twisted web * trial (twisted testing tool, usually included with a twisted distribution) To run the tests, execute:

trial test_funcbrows


One of the main aims of FuncBrows is to have a simple and clean API. There are however one or two warts that cannot easily be worked around in the underlying tools. I will attempt to provide some examples of the API, and then explain any workarounds that have been implemented. For more complete examples of every method of the API, see


Instantiating FuncBrows is the main place where the underlying tools show through, as you have to make a selection as to which tool you would like to use.

The basic method takes a browser type, and a URL to test:

f = FuncBrows('testbrowser', 'http://localhost:80')

This will instantiate a zc.testbrowser instance, with the pointing at localhost, on port 80

A selenium instance requires extra parameters (the address and port for the selenium server):

f = FuncBrows('\*firefox3', 'http://localhost', host = '', port = 4444)

Form Usage

FuncBrows requires the name of the form to work on, before anything can be modified in a particular form. Failure to set this will result in a ValueError. This prevents ambiguous form controls. There is however a wart where zc.testbrowser is concerned, and forms without an id on the page. See the note below for how to workaround this.

Set the value of a text box on a form:

f = FuncBrows('testbrowser', 'http://localhost:80')'/')
f.form_name = 'test-form'
f.set_form_text_field('q', 'test')

Page Content

Currently there are only three available methods for getting meta-data and data from the page that is currently loaded:


Property for the current location of the page (the URL)


Property for the title of the current page


The HTML content of the page


Unfortunately, a completely clean abstraction isn’t quite possible, so there are a few places where special care is needed.

  1. Selenium currently struggles with AJAX loaded pages as they don’t fire a page load event. An attempt has been made to get round this, you can pass ‘internal=True’ into the click() method. This will set Selenium to not expect a page load, and to carry straight on.

  2. Forms without an id or name can trip up zc.testbrowser. A workaround for this has been implemented, but is not entirely satisfactory. If you set the form_name = ‘*’, it will use the first form on the page.

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