Researching Drupal and acceptance testing. Or where Simpletest admits it falls short. (so what'd we gonna do about it?!)

(Since writing this article I've posted a newer article about Selenium here)

Based upon my recent research, there seems to be a sentiment in the Drupal-community-at-large (an undefinable thing to be sure) of, 'there's no need to look any further than simpletest for any testing needs' (unit, integration, acceptance, etc). This is counter to simpletest's own documentation (bottom of page) which explicitly suggests to look for other alternatives for acceptance testing.

After Googling to death 'selenium rc drupal', 'selenium rc php', etc I realized that almost no one seems to be implementing Selenium RC within their Drupal workflows.

Scratching my head at this I decided to figure out 'why' by doing an exhaustive search of all things Simpletest and found that it does indeed have support for making acceptance tests (see bottom of article) - BUT - and it's a big but - there's no javascript support.

So I started tracking down how the Drupal community plans to deal with the lack of JS support in Simpletest, and stumbled upon this effort to get some kind of JS testing framework into Drupal 7 head, which if I read things correctly appears to be more about unit testing than UI/acceptance testing. So the current Drupal roadmap for the latter doesn't seem to exist. (anyone have ideas/links to things related UI/acceptance testing for Drupal that I might have overlooked? UPDATE: Just found this link, but also seems to be more on the unit testing side and it's currently seems to be inactive)

At the moment I'm left wishing that getting Selenium RC to work wasn't so painful (it requires installing PHPUnit, which in-turn requires installing a PEAR extension, which for many requires installing PEAR itself).....or to put it another way....currently I'm feeling stuck between tackling something which does what I want but which isn't embraced (Selenium or acceptance testing) by the larger Drupal community, or else tackling something (Simpletest) which is supported by the larger Drupal community but doesn't offer the level of functionality I'm looking for.

Wondering how I can help.

Related articles:
Selenium and Drupal
Unit VS UI Testing
Develop an automated javascript testing framework

21 August, 2008