The Perl, PHP and Groovy formatters for Selenium IDE

The community of Perl, PHP and Groovy users that use Selenium must have felt sad when the official support for these formatters was dropped. Starting v1.2.0 of Selenium IDE, these formatters were no longer bundled with Selenium IDE. I have some good news for you. All these formatters are bundled as individual plugins and you can still get them from Selenium IDE v1.1.0 if you are interested. Here is what you need to do.

  1. Download the Selenium IDE v1.1.0 from official Selenium download site here. Do not install it, the best way is to right click on the link and save link as.
  2. Next, change the extension from .xpi to .zip
  3. Then, open it with your favourite archive manager. I would recommend 7-zip, but you can use any other you like or even the built-in support in Windows.
  4. Extract the groovy-format.xpi, perl-format.xpi and php-format.xpi.
  5. Open the extracted files one by one in Firefox using the File menu -> Open File… menu item.
  6. If you run into compatibility issues, you can bump up the em:maxVersion in the install.rdf. See the screenshot for the location. I am planning to release a tool that will do this automatically in the future. Till then, search in Google on how to do this if you are having trouble. I have heard that installing the Add-on Compatibility Reporter first can also help.

I hope that they will be available for installing directly from the Selenium download page in the future even though they are not supported (Adam, hint, hint :-)).

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9 Responses to The Perl, PHP and Groovy formatters for Selenium IDE

  1. Karl Wyant says:

    Thank you very much for this tutorial. I know that Perl is an older language and some may question how many people still use it. I find it very useful and enjoy that the Selenium exporter is still possible in Perl. I would encourage the developers to keep it around if possible.

  2. Karl Wyant says:

    I think I see the problem. I can get this perl formatter to work, but it isn’t updated for the new commands and syntax of the new version of Selenium. I do hope this will be added back.

    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Karl,

      When I started on the formatters for the new Selenium api (webdriver), the Perl bindings for it were not in sync with the other officially supported ones. Until someone from the Perl community steps up to maintain the Perl driver (bindings) to keep it in sync, it will be difficult to support the exporter for Perl. We will try to keep the existing ones around as long as possible.


  3. David says:

    Hi Samit,
    What is your opinion on which language is good general purpose language to learn?

    I’m not a programmer in my day job but need to cut a bit of code now and again on both Win and Linux the investment in effort needs to last me a while. I had learned Perl which was more or less perfect for my purposes, but sadly looks like coming to the end of its shelf -life.


    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi David,

      Interesting question and I keep getting it again and again. I am almost done with a blog post on this topic. Keep an eye on my blog for it.

      I have learnt and used a fair amount of languages over a couple of decades. I love Perl myself and I find it perfect for many purposes. Lately, I have begun to appreciate a language called Scala. I have started using it where I would have used Perl. The compact syntax and rich collections support is most welcome. If you like Perl, you might also like Scala. Ruby and Python are also general purpose languages which are quite popular nowadays. I had to do some tasks in both Ruby and Python. Ruby just worked. Python required some searching and reading on the web to get my task done. Hence I have a preference for Ruby over Python. Ultimately all languages require time and effort. I find that after putting in that time and effort, Scala is a pleasure to work with.


  4. Manya says:


    Please let me know when the Groovy formatter will be availalble. I was using that when it was with early selenium IDE versions and now I cannot see that it comes with it.

    please let me know whether this will be availalble. Groovy(webDriver)


    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Manya,

      The official support for Groovy was dropped as we do not have any people with good knowledge of Groovy who can maintain the formatter any more. We hope someone from the Groovy community would step forward and support it. So far I am not aware of any Groovy (Webdriver) formatter.


  5. Bhaskar says:


    Thank you very much for providing this tutorial..
    It helped me alot…


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