Monday 26 November 2018

Many Months in Selenium: to November

Well, it's been a long time since I sat down and wrote a post about the adventures in Selenium-land. Time for an update!

Since I last wrote, the work of updating the JSON handling code in the java tree has been completed, and it appears to be stable. However, it would be a terrible waste of time if that was all that we had done, and fortunately it's not :)

The big thing is that we've now finished the 3.x release cycle, and we're getting ready for 4.0. Someone foolishly let me pick version numbers, so the last few releases of 3 tended to get ever closer to π. Judging by some of the bug reports, the initial jump, from 3.14 to 3.141 appears to have confused some folk, but now that we've reached 3.141.59 I think the point has been made (and, just maybe, the joke is wearing thin)

The 4.0 release is going to be a lot of fun. My main focus has been the new Selenium Grid, which features a more modern design, for use with things such as AWS and Kubernetes (and docker compose). Of course, maintaining a simple user experience has been high on our list of goals, so people used to the existing approach of "hub" and "node" will continue to be able to run the system like that. The biggest change is that under-the-covers, the new standalone server and the new Grid are exactly the same software, which is a huge change from the current approach where we have two not-terribly-well-integrated codebases in the same binary.

Another big change is that we're exploring the move from using Buck to build much of Selenium to Bazel. This hasn't been something I've been keen on doing, since I used to be the tech lead on Buck, and I think it has a number of useful properties. Despite this, Bazel has a comparatively huge amount of community support, and that means that people wanting to hack on the project have a smaller learning curve to climb.