Quality Assurance/Browser testing

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Status[edit | edit source]

2014-08-monthly:

This month we continued to build out and adjust the new browser test builds on WMF Jenkins. We saw updates to tests and issues identified for UploadWizard, VisualEditor, Echo, and MobileFrontend. New tests for GettingStarted pointed out a need to update our redis storage on the beta cluster. We are currently monitoring an upstream problem with Selenium/Webdriver and IE11 on behalf of VisualEditor, as VE support for IE11 is coming soon.


Rationale[edit | edit source]

Why automate tests at the browser level? They find bugs!

Browser tests are most useful for:

  • Beta features: checking that they work in all browsers.
  • JavaScript: different browsers interpret JS in different ways.
  • Features requiring navigation: unit tests don't navigate.
  • Fragile: if something breaks often, we want to test it regularly.
  • Critical: features that must work all the time.

It's tedious to test manually Wikimedia sites within the multiple browser/operating system combinations that are out there, so we do automated testing to find errors and assure quality.

We use Cucumber because it lets you write tests in plain English; you don't need to know Ruby. Cucumber implements an idea called Acceptance Test Driven Development. The plain English test specifications open a communication channel with non-technical people who wish to contribute to browser test automation.

Check some real examples. .

How to contribute[edit | edit source]

Here's one way to dive in

  • Analyze failing tests in Jenkins browser test runs.
  • Investigate a recent test that's failing
    • drop in to #wikimedia-qaconnect and ask if it's a known issue
    • Look at the test's Build Artifacts, it may have .png files that are screenshots of failed tests.
    • Watch the screencast of the failing test and/or view the test's code.
  • If you manually go through the test's steps on a wiki site (see Quality Assurance/Feature testing) and the test failure reveals a problem, then file a bug against the feature under test.

This doesn't require any local code at all, it's all on the web.

The next level is to fix broken tests and write new ones.

  • Get the test code on your machine.
  • Run browser tests yourself, pointing to some MediaWiki install
  • If the test fails for you but the feature under test seems to be working, try fixing the test, and rerun it.
    • If you find an error in a test, file a bug...
    • and better yet contribute a fix for it in gerrit.
  • You can improve browser tests and write new ones. We use a high-level language that makes tests more approachable.
  • Check the list of EASY tasks – especially good for new contributors.

None of these steps require you to have a working local MediaWiki installation, though you may find it easier to deploy a MediaWiki-Vagrant virtual machine "appliance" which automates installing some of the tools you need and checks out the MediaWiki source code. This also gives you a local working MediaWiki instance, so you can go a level deeper and modify the code of the feature under test to fix it yourself.

If you are interested in automated browser tests, join the proposed MediaWiki Group Browser testing.

Resources[edit | edit source]