I thought this was funny

We started our web test automation efforts using Selenium RC to drive the Internet Explorer browser.  Unsurprisingly, we eventually threw our hands up in the air over the insane instability of IE7 and got it to work quite well against Firefox (IE8 didn’t seem to be much better, but Selenium might not have caught up to it yet).  Along the way, we had something in our StoryTeller test driver that killed off any open IE windows before every single test to avoid IE hangups killing off the build.  Josh just suddenly pinged me about whether or not we could get rid of the “killIExplore” method.  I said that I would rather not because we really should try to get the IE automation going again someday. It came down to the fact that Josh likes to run Pandora in IE because it’s the only thing he uses IE for and it’s easy to find Pandora on his taskbar.  When he was running a StoryTeller test it did it’s little “kill all IE windows” trick and shut down Pandora in the middle of a good song.  So there you go, we ended up changing our test automation architecture just to make Pandora work better for one person.  Priorities.


Moral of the story?  I’d really appreciate it if our customers just wouldn’t use Internet Explorer.

About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at http://codebetter.com/jeremymiller.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
  • Rob Kitson

    Chrome > Create Application Shortcuts… Although Win7 has managed to botch displaying them on the taskbar, but read somewhere that Google had a fix in the works.

  • John Dhom

    One man can make a difference, go Josh. I’ve been running IE for the same reason, Pandora. Hmm… could run it under FireFox / IETab, will give that a try.

    @Paul… i’ll give that a try, would love to punk… er punt… IE ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • http://www.chrisholmesonline.com Chris

    I laughed pretty hard when I read this. Then I saw Chad’s blog post this morning about commenter tolerance levels. Then I came back here and actually read Phillip’s comments. Then I cried…

  • http://tim.theenchanter.com/ Timothy Harper


    DIE ! DIE ! DIE ! DIE !

  • http://www.commongenius.com David Nelson

    I do the same as Stephen does. Restarting the machine is a royal pain.

    Oh, and Phillip is an idiot.

  • http://www.StoresConvenience.com convenience stores

    Thanks for posting, definitely going to subscribe! See you on my reader. Please come visit my site Convenience Stores when you got time.

  • http://meandmycode.com Stephen

    The killing IE part made me cringe, but because I often open tabs and leave them running on one instance as a reminder to read them.. often this can span multiple sessions (I tend to build more and more up than I read), killing IE would mean I just lost days of saved up articles/etc I was planning to read ๐Ÿ˜› (yes I’m aware its a poor system).

  • http://igorbrejc.net Igor Brejc

    @Torkel: here are some pointers to your question: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/417380/watin-or-selenium

  • http://www.codinginstinct.com Torkel

    What are the benefits of Selenium compared to Watin?

  • KevDog

    Hey, there are always going to be the sarcasm impaired like Phillip.

  • http://chadmyers.lostechies.com Chad Myers


    Philip needs squelched.

    1.) Anonymous poster
    2.) Unnecessary use of extreme vulgarity
    3.) Nothing productive in his comments (only insults)
    4.) Totally missing point of post, yet firing away salvos anyhow

    That’s like a -150 post rating on my scale of comment-worthiness.

    I’d delete the comments and ask him to post politely

  • http://xheo.com Paul Alexander

    I’ve done stuff like this too and found myself thinking “Why does Outlook keep closing while I’m working!” only to remember it’s closed automatically by a test script.

    Incidentally, Josh you may want to try http://getopenpandora.appspot.com/. I believe it hosts the Flash control directly ( or possibly the IE ActiveX Control) which should let you test without killing Pandora.

  • Phillip

    I read it 3 times before posting, and i read it again just incase, still reads like you fucked up. Never had a problem with automated tests on IE before. Granted i’ve never used Selenium tho.

  • http://joshuaflanagan.lostechies.com Joshua Flanagan

    Ha! Phillip, you didn’t get it right at all.

    And the part about me losing my song wasn’t funny…

  • http://codebetter.com/members/jmiller/default.aspx Jeremy D. Miller


    Don’t be an ass — and try actually reading a blog post before making inflammatory comments. We abandoned *automated* testing with IE because IE was unstable during the testing builds.

  • Phillip

    Ok let me get this right… you couldn’t test in IE because the guy writing the tests had another piece of software which caused IE to crash when running automated tests…

    And your saying you wish your customers didn’t use Internet Explorer, for your own fuckup?