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Thucydides Release 0.9.98 – Better screenshots management

Thucydides Release 0.9.98 is now out.

More granular screenshot capturing

Adding on to some recent enhancements to screenshots management, Thucydides now supports a method to give you even finer control on capturing screenshots in your tests. Using the newly added takeScreenshot method, you can now instruct Thucydides to take a screenshot at any arbitrary point in the step irrespective of the screenshot level set earlier.

Simply call Thucydides.takeScreenshot() in your step methods whenever you want a screenshot to be captured.

Disk space optimization for reports

Thucydides now saves only rescaled screenshots by default. This is done to help reduce the disk space taken by reports. Should you require to save the original unscaled screenshots too, this default can be easily overridden by setting the property, thucydides.keep.unscaled.screenshots to true.

From this release onwards, html source files for the screenshots will also not be saved by default. Set the property, to true if you wish to override this behaviour.

Html in step descriptions

This is not really a new feature but rather a hidden feature that one of our users, Alex Artukh, has been experimenting with. You can pass valid HTML text as parameter to @Step methods in the step library. This will show up as formatted text in the reports on the step details page. The following screenshot demonstrates this.

HTML formatted text, if passed to a step method will be displayed as shown. This can be useful for annotating or documenting the tests with helpful information.

HTML formatted text, if passed to a step method will be displayed as shown. This can be useful for annotating or documenting the tests with helpful information.

This was achieved by creating a dummy @Step method called description that takes a String parameter. At runtime, the tests supply this method with formatted html text as parameter.

public void description(String html) {
    //do nothing

public void about(String description, String...remarks) {
    String html =
    "<h2 style=\"font-style:italic;color:black\">" + description + "</h2>" +
    "<div><p>Remarks:</p>" +
    "<ul style=\"margin-left:5%; font-weight:200; color:#434343; font-size:10px;\">";

    for (String li : remarks) html += "<li>" + li + "</li>";

    html += "<ul></div>";


Read here for more details.

Incidentally, this feature was broken in the last release due to some regression but has been fixed in the latest release.

Other enhancements

  • Selenium version has been updated to 2.30.0 (Selenium Release notes)
  • WebElementFacade class now has a getAttribute() method to return the value of a given attribute.
  • Continuing with our support for test count based batch strategy from last release, a new system property, thucydides.batch.strategy, has been added to configure the batch strategy. By default this property is set to the value DIVIDE_EQUALLY which divides the test cases equally among batches. Set this property to DIVIDE_BY_TEST_COUNT in order to distribute test cases across batches based on number of test methods in each test case.

Keep watching this space for more.


Thucydides Release 0.9.95 – Example reporting for junit tests

Example reporting comes to Junit tests

Our latest release (0.9.95) brings the example reporting format changes (released last month for jBehave) to parametric junit tests. A few cosmetic changes have also been done for better organization of information and improved readability.

Let’s look at these changes in detail.

Tests table is reorganized to remove clutter.

As the screenshot above demonstrates, the test table on main report page reduces clutter by showing test results at a test-method level instead of a separate row for each parameter set.

Test details page is better organized for readability

Test details page is better organized for readability.

The details page will list all parameter sets in a table. By default, the parameters are names “Parameter 1”, “Parameter 2” and so on. But this can be configured with a comma separated list of column headings passed as an attribute to the @TestData annotation.

@TestData(columnNames = "Word,Definition")
public static Collection<Object[]> testData() {
  return Arrays.asList(new Object[][]{
    {"apple", "A common, round fruit"},
    {"banana", "An elongated curved fruit"}

Further, the steps section will show a collapsed view with a row for each parameter set. The plus  icon can be clicked to expand the top level step to reveal all the steps and corresponding screenshots. Failed test examples will be highlighted in red.

Support for Firefox preferences

A new property firefox.preferences can be used to supply a semicolon separated list of Firefox configuration settings. For ex.,


Integer and boolean values will be converted to the corresponding types in the Firefox preferences; all other values will be treated as Strings. You can set a boolean value to true by simply specifying the property name, e.g. -Dfirefox.preferences=app.update.silent.

For the lazy, here’s a complete reference to Firefox’s configuration settings –

Support for test count based batch strategy

Thucydides makes it possible to split the web tests into smaller batches, and to run each batch on a different machine or different virtual display. This is achieved by  specifying two parameters when you run each build: the total number of batches being run (thucydides.batch.count), and the number of the batch being run in this build (thucydides.batch.number).

For example, the following will divide the test cases into 3 batches (thucydides.batch.count), and only run the first test in each batch (thucydides.batch.number):

mvn verify -Dthucydides.batch.count=3 -Dthucydides.batch.number=1

However, this strategy divides the test cases equally among batches. This could be inefficient if some of your test cases have more tests than others. This release adds a new batching strategy based on number of tests in the test cases. The strategy is implemented with the help of a TestCountBasedBatchManager which evenly distributes test cases across batches based on number of test methods in each test case.