Yoav’s post on Nagios reminds me I’d been meaning to post about Selenium. He’s right, by the way, about Nagios.
The best open source emerges when a group of “buyers” have a desperate need and no patients or budget to wait for a vendor to show up and bumble around cluelessly trying to figure out why they are miserable and how to make money off that. OpenQA looks like just such a project.
If you develop web apps and your not aware of OpenQA then your not happy. Particularly Selenium IDE, a Firefox plugin that will record and playback automated tests.
This system is marvalously hoky, plenty of “worse is better” here! But the price is right and it works! In a perfect example of how open source is more likely to have the features you must have v.s. the features that would make the salesman happy this system has horrible horrible doc, but actually works in most browsers.
These testing systems work by exercising the web app. using java script. The tests can be stored in a few formats, but the original format was an HTML table. The testing harness steps thru the HTML table interpreting instructions on how to do the test found in the table rows. Starting from there you get assorted hackery to let you write and run your tests in assorted ways that you might find more comfortable.