OperaWatir Pre-Release

The Norwegian Opera & Ballet House in Bjørvika, Oslo. Notice the water.

Photo: Rafał Konieczny, CC by-sa

We are pleased to announce the pre-release of OperaWatir, a library for driving the Opera browser. It is the latest addition to the Watir family, a toolkit for automating interactions with web browsers, and to Opera Software's range of testing frameworks.

OperaWatir provides a querying engine and Ruby bindings to OperaDriver, the back end library. It lets you easily and automatically test your web applications just like a human would, simulating mouse clicks, text entry and the submitting of forms, reporting the results back so you know when things work, and when they break. By using a real web browser to test exactly what users see you are ensuring that your entire stack, including HTML, scripts, styling, embedded resources and back end functionality, is working.

At Opera Software, we use Watir not only to test web applications, but also for testing the browser itself. We have about 1,200 automated renderer tests running against every new internal build we compile. You can read more about the background of OperaWatir and testing at Opera in an earlier blog post my colleague wrote in 2009.

The source code is already available on GitHub, so you can go and check it out now! While the OperaDriver back end is not yet free software, we aim to release it early next year.

We need to point out that this is a pre-release, and that it should not be considered stable or suitable for use in production yet. Also, while we maintain compatibility with the current Watir implementations, it includes a proof of concept API based on Jari Bakken's ideas for Watir 2. For the more technically inclined I would highly recommend having a look at our ideas. If you have any feedback, let us know! It is our hope that we can discuss and develop this API further in cooperation with the other Watir implementors.

We hope you will enjoy playing around with OperaWatir. You are likely to find some bugs, but we decided to follow the release early and often principle, and push it out to the public before Christmas rather than waiting for another month or two until it is pristine and perfect.

We hope that you will enjoy this little Christmas gift, and furthermore, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us here at Opera Software in Oslo!