The Exciting Future of Source Code Editing in Selenium IDE

Most users of Selenium IDE know this by now that the Source tab allows you to edit tests in the supported languages. The Selenese (HTML) language is supported out of the box. Several other languages are also supported in the bundled plugins. The officially supported languages are CSharp, Java, Python and Ruby. Perl, PHP, and Groovy are also included for now and more can be downloaded via the plugins.

The language of the source code editing can be changed via the Formats menu (under the options menu). Users who have used the source code editing facilities in the past have also noted and complained about the Formats menu not being enabled. It has not gone. It is not going away in the future either. It will be back when the bugs in it are fixed.

Programmers are nowadays used to having powerful editing facilities available to them in their IDEs. While Selenium IDE is called IDE, this kind of power has been missing since its inception. Particularly, here are some of the features that I would like in an IDE:-

  • Line numbers
  • Syntax coloring
  • Braces /Parenthesis matching
  • Find
  • Find and Replace
  • Find with regular expression support
  • Short cuts for common actions like delete line, move line and more
  • Goto line

I currently have a working prototype of Selenium IDE that makes this possible. Here are a few screen shots the prototype in various languages.

I do not know if this advanced editing would be included officially as a part of Selenium IDE or as a plugin, but I think the future sure looks exciting.

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5 Responses to The Exciting Future of Source Code Editing in Selenium IDE

  1. Ravi Gill says:

    Thats awsome samit!, i am looking forward to this one! :)

    Good work. keep it up.



  2. Chris Su says:

    This sounds very interesting, Samit! With syntax highlighting and other tools, it certainly make IDE powerful.

    By the way, did you anticipate user will change Java Source code within IDE, especially after source generated by a formatter? And after the change in source window, will user be running those tests again in IDE? It would be nice to be able to execute Java or other language specific test within IDE, but I guess that not the intend of effort you’re putting on.

    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Chris,

      The conversion to other languages is mostly a one way trip. I have managed to directly run Java and Ruby code from the Selenium IDE in the past and I see no reason why CSharp and Python cannot follow the same way. The problem which will be faced is that Selenium IDE is NOT an IDE for these languages. It cannot understand your code or provide debugging support like your real IDE can. These features can be added to Selenium IDE itself, but I doubt it will be the right way to go. I would rather concentrate on making the move from the Selenium IDE and your real IDE as painless as possible. Something might be coming your way real soon *grins*.


  3. Jim Albea says:

    A single click to toggle a Command to a Comment, and back, would be useful.

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