Selenium IDE seems dated and lacks features

Skip to first unread message

dolphone bublein

Jan 13, 2016, 9:37:43 PM1/13/16
to Selenium Users
A bit of a rant. I heart selenium. Please bear with me.

I've found that when you do export to c#/nunit/webdriver it doesn't export a lot of the commands. Worse, when trying to write test cases I quickly ran into issues with IE not clicking correctly.

My setup works like this:

  1. Tester makes a test case in SE-IDE and saves it as a .html
  2. I modified SE-IDE to auto-export those html files to C# files
  3. Compile the C# program // it's here where you see commands from SE-IDE missing.
  4. Run the C# program

The problem is I never know what will be exported. For example, pause doesn't get exported into a Thread.Sleep(n);


Having looked into the SE-IDE source code and looking at some of the documentation I know it's old. Click 1. Build and Preferences. The docs are from 2009! Plus the SE-IDE itself is a Legacy Extension. So the code is very old and even when it does export all of the SE-IDE commands I can't get web driver to reliably click a link in IE.

What I did was, I guess, write some middleware between the html files and the C# files that adds in the commands that the C# formatter is missing. I did it in C# though because I didn't want to modify the extension only to lose my work if SE-IDE ever upgrades to a modern Firefox extension.

So that's where I'm at. I feel a bit betrayed by Selenium Webdriver because clicks "sometimes" don't work in IE. I've hacked and patched the C# file that SE-IDE exports and I have created a monster. It works when I coddle it but there's no way I could hand it over to the testers.

For the record I think SE-IDE is great. It just seems whoever was carrying the ball has stopped.


Mark Collin

Jan 14, 2016, 6:45:50 AM1/14/16
to Selenium Users
The plan was to deprecate Selenium IDE and move to Selenium Builder.

I don't know what the current status is, there generally doesn't seem to be much chat about Selenium IDE.

Jim Evans

Jan 14, 2016, 7:53:30 AM1/14/16
to Selenium Users
I swore a couple of months ago I was going to stop getting involved in threads like this, and reduce my presence on this list, but there are so many things I disagree with about this rant that I cannot help myself. First, Selenium IDE is barely maintained. The reason is that no one currently on the project development team (myself included) believes in record-playback as a viable paradigm for creating flexible, maintainable, and elegant test code for long-term projects. You have to remember that Selenium IDE was designed to work with the Selenium RC API, and that API had been deprecated for over five years, at the time of this writing. There is no convenient one-to-one mapping between methods in the RC API and the WebDriver API. Many things, such as the "pause" command you mention, are seen as code smells, and as you say, aren't exported at all.

Second, with respect to challenges with IE, you would fare better with specific scenarios instead of saying in essence, "Sometimes, some things don't work." Such statements are so vague as to be nearly meaningless. Specific bugs can be fixed, but must be reported in a reproducible format. Note that a reproducible issue will nearly always require access to an HTML page as well as the Selenium code that surfaces the issue, but often, issue reporters are unwilling to provide such a page.

Finally, I resent the implication that the project team has "dropped the ball." The team is made up of volunteers, none of whom are paid for their work on Selenium. If you have an issue with how something is maintained, you're welcome to contact the developers (the best communication channel is the project IRC channel, #selenium, found on Freenode), and begin contributing.

Jim Evans

Jan 14, 2016, 8:01:23 AM1/14/16
to Selenium Users
One last point I forgot to mention. It's exactly this sort of post that has caused me to reduce my participation in this mailing list. It questions my competence as a developer, doesn't take time to understand design decisions, and its tone generally assumes that the project team members owe more to the project than they are currently giving for little recompense. For these reasons, it's unlikely I'll be responding further in this conversation thread.

Sean McHugh

Jan 15, 2016, 9:22:01 AM1/15/16
to Selenium Users
Hi Jim, I was absolutely not questioning your competence as a developer. I'm very impressed with Selenium overall. I was actually thinking about contributing to the C# formatter but I didn't know if that was worth while. It kinds of sounds like Selenium IDE is basically dropped though.

I said "sometimes" because I was googling for an answer and came across people saying "sometimes clicks don't work in ie" a few times. Here's an example.

Again, I wasn't trying to insult anyone on the Selenium team. I appreciate all the hard work you guys have done!
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages