Introduction & documentation
John Ralls' proactive distinguished enhancements of swWxGuiTesting
have made my strong wishes with respect to further developement
-- that were there from the very beginning -- come true,
and confirmed my trust and confidence in it's enormous power and potential:
That is, starting from 25 January 2008 development of swWxGuiTesting will continue
in the fully open space of sourceforge.net -- "the world's largest
destination for Open Source" -- under the slightly different name wxGuiTesting
and lead developer John Ralls.
This renaming denotes that the project is no longer under the auspices of the company
Simpleware Ltd (Exeter, UK), however,
tribute is paid to the original project sponsor Simpleware Ltd,
foremost company directory Dr Philippe G Young.
While I developed swWxGuiTesting
as part of my MPhil study at the University of Exeter, UK,
in collaboration with Simpleware Ltd
-- a spin-off company
from this university --, the company director Dr Philippe G Young is embracing the idea of contributing
it to the open source community. For the sake of simplicity and striving/hoping for an integration into the
wxWidgets framework we have decided to put it under
(thanks to Julian Smart's
explanations and advise).
As discussed in the
wxWidgets developers mailing list under subject "Contributing an automated wxWidgets GUI testing framework to
the open source community" this site hosts the offered automated wxWidgets GUI testing framework -- named swWxGuiTesting.
However, ideally this site will be only the temporary home of the project until it finds a better place that is
hopefully within wxWidgets itself.
A first overview about swWxGuiTesting is given in the mailing list postings:
Reinhold Füreder, 30 Jan 2006
<<< recommended introductory starting point
Much more details
on the motivation and especially concepts of swWxGuiTesting are found in the standalone MPhil
While this chapter also lists the required steps to make any wxWidgets based GUI application testable by this pragmatic
framework, it admittedly does not replace a more developer-friendly tutorial...
The sources (including building instructions and via Doxygen generatable API documentation) are zipped into:
For version details please see Updates
Remaining internal dependencies
Instructions for building are found in Building.txt
, that is also part of the source archive.
The building was tested under Microsoft Windows (2000, XP) for Microsoft Visual C++ 6,
Mac OS X 10.4 with GCC 4 (for versions >= 1.5 of swWxGuiTesting)
and Ubuntu Dapper Linux with GCC 4 (for versions >= 1.2 of swWxGuiTesting; version 1.0 was tested with
an ancient Red Hat 8 Linux installation with GCC 3.2 -- choosing this version is reasoned in the aforementioned
mailing list postings).
The build process is based on the open source tool CMake
(a release version >= 2.4.5
is required for wxWidgets 2.8.x),
after the third party dependencies are built independently according to their respective standard
build rules (including e.g. "make install" for the sake of simplicity, but not mandatory if additional CMake
option adaptations are not frightening;
non-standard building settings are outlined below, and potentially specified
in some detail in the doxygen documentation).
- Starting from version 1.5 the stable release version 2.8.6 of wxWidgets (now also including Unicode
builds) is supported and tested under Mac OS X (Carbon), Linux (GTK2) and MSW: Many thanks to John Ralls!
- Starting from version 1.4 the stable release version 2.8.0 of wxWidgets is supported and tested
under MSW and Linux (GTK2). The build procedure is now based on standard CMake wxWidgets utilisation modules,
which in turn requires CMake >= 2.4.5 in order to support wxWidgets 2.8.x. This step makes building easier because
(a) no non-standard CMake modules need to be copied initially, (b) there is no need to edit CMakeLists.txt to
specify wxWidgets version, and (c) configuration within CMake is easier: e.g. when wxWidgets was installed with
the installer under MSW, or by means of "make install" under Linux everything is found automatically; alternatively
just unzipping under MSW requires only the manual setting of wxWidgets_LIB_DIR (e.g. D:\CVS\wxWidgets-2.8.0-rc3\lib\vc_lib)
and wxWidgets_ROOT_DIR (e.g. D:\CVS\wxWidgets-2.8.0-rc3).
- Starting from version 1.3 the testing release version 2.7.0 of wxWidgets
is supported and tested under MSW and Linux (GTK2). Also the dependency of
Xerces-C++ was replaced in favour of the
expat library which already comes with wxWidgets.
Choosing the wxWidgets version required:
- In all CMakeLists.txt replace the following:
with for instance:
- Only under Microsoft Windows: When running CMake select the right wxWidgets root directory.
- Starting from version 1.2 the stable release version 2.6.3 of wxWidgets
is supported and tested under MSW and Linux (GTK2).
This change required a few changes in the swWxGuiTesting sources and
also in the utilisation of the CMake based build system. On the other hand, XRC is
already included in wxWidgets; cf. initial release:
In the initial release (version 1.0) the supported wxWidgets was:
2.4.2 < used version from August 2003 < 2.5 (at that time the additionally
required XRC library was not included in wxWidgets).
(Static build; of course, dynamic should work as well, but may or may not require little
adaptations in the build instructions. The used configuration of a recent wxWidgets version itself:
setup.h for MSW; configure settings are straightforward for Linux).
Also the wxrc executable is required during the building.
- CppUnit: versions 1.8 - 1.12.0 were tested
There is an optional dependency on VTK
(tested with versions 4.x - 5.0 built with CMake)
to allow Capture & Replay (C&R) of VTK render window interactions. However, the generated test cases for such interactions
do not fulfil the ultimate goal of being easily maintainable.
Building notes/hints for Linux (Ubuntu Dapper):
- Configuration for wxWidgets build: "configure --with-gtk --with-opengl --disable-compat26"
(for unicode add: "--enable-unicode"; for debugging add: "--enable-debug --enable-debug_gdb")
- Install lib and dev packages for CppUnit (and previously also for Xerces-C++)
- Install X11 header packages: xlibs-dev
- Install mesa-glx (incl. -dev) and/or nvidia-glx (incl. -dev) packages
- Potentially adapt LD_CONFIG_PATH to include /usr/local/lib to allow using/running the standard build of wxrc tool
Automatic skeleton code generation of test cases and test drivers
Dependencies from swWxGuiTesting to SimplewareFramework (whose subcomponent it originally was) were
removed to some extent by:
- replacing wxWidgets based extensions again with wxWidgets base classes
- removing any non-core classes, and related methods (e.g. ViewFrame + FrameFactory's CreateViewFrame() method)
Nevertheless, there are still dependencies that demand that the user of the testing framework builds her system under
test (SUT) with some constraints (cf. so-called FrameFactory). In case swWxGuiTesting will be integrated into
wxWidgets, one could get rid of these dependencies if wxWidgets takes over their strictly required responsibilities.
Example usages for swWxGuiTesting
As outlined in the MPhil thesis chapter test case skeletons and test drivers can be generated by means of the free
. It should be sufficient to point the installed wxCRP
application to the decompressed swWxGuiTesting wxCRP repository
(4.4MB) with crap quality (sorry) shows the process and result of utilising wxCRP.
- Examples (except complex ScanCAD ones) can be found in "external" UsingSwWxGuiTesting project.
(Note: Only test suites registered with the name "WxGuiTest" are part of a swWxGuiTesting test
- "Movies" initially recorded with the wonderful vncrec tool (http://www.sodan.org/~penny/vncrec/)
are available for easy demonstration purposes. (Sorry for the partly disappointing movie quality.)
- Note that the "Simple Test" and "Simple C&R Test" are in fact testing the GUI testing framework, and
the GUI is only for the sake of simplicity initialised in the setup() method instead of in the application
under test (AUT).
- Simple Test (UsingSwWxGuiTesting/Cxx/SimpleTest.*):
- Test case source file: SimpleTest.cpp
- Movie: SimpleTest.avi (2.0MB), step-by-step protocol
- Based on original test of Capture & Replay (C&R) in Testing/Cxx/swWxGuiTesting/CppGuiTest/swCRCaptureTest.cpp
- Artificially sleep for 1 second after each event simulation: wxThread::Sleep(1000) at end of WxGuiTestHelper::FlushEventQueue() method
- Using temporary interactivity (breakpoint afterwards is not reached) to demonstrate control flow splitting and easy visual inspection
- Using breakpoint to demonstrate control flow splitting and easy debuggability
- Simple Capture & Replay Test (UsingSwWxGuiTesting/Cxx/SimpleCRTest.*):
- Test case source file: SimpleCRTest.cpp
- Movie: SimpleCRTest.avi (7.9MB), step-by-step protocol
- Bootstrap GUI test case built solely upon a GUI initialisation in setup() and the CAPTURE macro in the test case:
- during bootstrapping the test case is written directly into backup file (*.cr*)
- each key stroke in a text control results in an event => collect them
- Fix pragmatic code generation of capture phase:
- adding include directories
- removing duplicate container lookups and variable declarations
- adding assertions
- Replay captured test case like a normal test case
- Complex Test - ScanCAD
Most importantly see the conclusion section of the MPhil thesis chapter and the mailing list discussions so far.
This project is more than a proof of concept for easy and maintainable cross-platform automated wxWidgets GUI
tests, but by no means a product.
- Tutorial/cookbook that is more developer-friendly than the thesis chapter.
- wxWidgets warnings in one of the examples (test case) with respect to resources.
- C&R: looked up containers => cache them somehow to prevent duplicate lookups and variable declarations.
- C&R: do not emit code directly + fill map of include directories during emitting => all include directories (without duplicates) can be actually emitted first, before the rest of the code follows.
21.11.2007 - Release 1.5 supporting wxWidgets 2.8.6 (including Unicode) under Mac OS X, Linux GTK and MSW: Special thanks to John Ralls
for his great work and feedback!!!
- Supporting Mac OS X required very moderate adaptations and is a significant corroboration of the initial
hypothesis that swWxGuiTesting's concept allows easy and maintainble cross-platform automated wxWidgets GUI
testing based on a single test case source
- Unicode wxWidgets builds are now supported too
18.12.2006 - Release 1.4 supporting wxWidgets 2.8.0 under MSW and Linux GTK:
- Switch to official CMake wxWidgets utilisation modules -- wxWidgets 2.8.0 requires at least CMake 2.4.5
- wxGuiTestHelper::CreateDefaultDialog() -- modal flag at dialog creation time is no more needed in order to have testable dialogs
Known bug with wxWidgets 2.8.0 under Linux GTK2:
- If C&R capturing is active, spin control scrolling seemingly leads to no less than 6 events, but spin control values do not change...
26.11.2006 - Minor release 1.3.3 with some minor fixes/improvements:
- Minor refactoring of emitting of pending events, plus also apply it before adding new comments.
- Improve C&R control: enable/disalbe start and stop button accordingly.
- Modal dialog timer approach - don't forget to call TransferDataFromWindow etc (cf. OnOk, OnCancel
methods): call appropriate standard dialog event hanlder directly depending on the desired return code.
- Don't allow duplicate calling of event handler (cf. CppGuiTestEventSimulation): seemingly this cannot
be prevented for tree item selection, or is the tree item even simulation buggy (MSW, Linux + GTK2)?
18.10.2006 - Minor release 1.3.2 demonstrating another approach (as in the MPhil thesis chapter) to handle user-defined
modal dialogs (cf. CppGuiTestModalDialog test case):
Based on Julian Smart's hint a one-shot timer fires and allows the
subsequent execution of some dialog interaction code before actually dismissing the modal dialog with the specified return
code. Although this does not work for standard predefined modal dialogs in a platform independent way (e.g. wxDirDialog
under MSW), it is an improvement to the previous solution by not strictly requiring to use an event-driven modal dialog
usage instead of the easier function-like usage (cf. Section 184.108.40.206 in the MPhil Thesis chapter).
13.10.2006 - Minor release 1.3.1 supporting building with latest release of CMake: Version 2.4.3 required a few tiny
but critial modifications in the CMakeLists.txt.
05.10.2006 - Release version 1.3 supporting wxWidgets 2.7 plus removed Xerces-C++ dependency in favour of the expat library which already comes with wxWidgets.
Plus minor improvements:
- Make "real" test cases in CRCppEmitterTest.
- C&R: fix line break in emitting of non-integer numbers in code (e.g. was: "0.5" => "0.\n5").
14.08.2006 - Minor release version 1.2.2 supporting VTK 5; plus fix building for C&R of VTK render window interactions under Linux.
07.07.2006 - Release version 1.2 supporting latest stable release wxWidgets 2.6.3 also under Linux (GTK2).
27.06.2006 - Move website to new host, because the previous free webspace provider has shut down the page
without any notice some time ago. Thanks to my friend Werner Fischer for hosting it.
09.06.2006 - Recreate VNC movies in the shape of MPEG videos to allow playing them on all
systems. Thanks to Carl Godkin for reporting the problem.
03.05.2006 - Release version 1.1 supporting latest stable release wxWidgets 2.6.3 with patch 2 under MSW.
Initiated by Carl Godkin.
14.04.2006 - Uploaded recompiled MPhil thesis chapter
: now recognizable full sequence diagrams in Appendix A, Section 1.5 (page 95).
17.02.2006 - Initial "release".