Announcing Selenium 4
If you’re already a Selenium user, this update should be as easy as just changing your dependency from 3.x to 4.0.0. We’ve worked hard to ensure that this is a “drop-in” upgrade, having focused on keeping the public APIs as stable as possible.
Of course, we’ve made changes, so if you relied on code that was marked as internal to Selenium, or that was deprecated, you might experience some hiccups. Please check our documentation for advice on how to deal with each of the common problems we’re aware of.
But there’s more to Selenium 4 than just being a stable release of what was there before! It brings a whole host of new and exciting features that we hope will make your tests more fun to write, and more stable when you run them. Let’s take a look at some of them!
We’ve introduced “relative locators”. These allow you to specify where on the page an element can be found using language that people use too; things like “above that element”, or “to the right of this other element”. This will hopefully provide you all with a tool to fight against incredibly complex locators, making your tests read a little more clearly, and being more resilient to changes in the page’s DOM. We’re not the first ones to come up with this idea – that honour belongs to Sahi – but if you’ve not used them before, we hope you like them!
We’ve added these new features in a way that fits in with our existing APIs. There’s no need to rewrite your tests: just use the new features when it feels right to you.
We have also rebuilt the Selenium Grid, taking lessons from successful projects such as Zalenium and Selenoid to enhance the capabilities. This new Grid runs just as well as a single process, running on a single machine, as it does in the traditional “hub and node” configuration, but it also supports a fully-distributed mode, for use in modern infrastructure running Kubernetes. It has better security baked-in, because we know that securing a Grid can be a difficult task. And at all of these scales and sizes, all the new features we’ve added to the language bindings will work as expected.
The Grid can also manage Docker containers on your local machine, pulling images such as the standalone firefox server so your infrastructure maintenance becomes just a little bit less taxing.
Finally, the Grid is easier to manage. We’ve revamped the UI, placing it on top of a GraphQL model that anyone is free to query and make use of to create their own visualisations or monitors of the Grid. If you’d like to peek into a running session, there are live VNC previews you can open and interact with, providing even better insight into what’s been going on. And if you want even more information, we’ve integrated support for OpenTelemetry into the Grid, so now you can find out exactly what’s happening, where, and when.
I know it’s a cliche to say that it’s a “very great pleasure”, but, being honest with you, it genuinely is. Working on this new version of Selenium has been a chance to work with some amazing engineers, and to be part of a vibrant and energetic community. It’s been a lot of fun to write this code, with these people, and it feels right to say “thank you” to as many of them as possible here. So, without waiting any longer….
We would like to thank all of our users who have helped Selenium be successful over the years. Without you we wouldn’t be where we are today. We would also like to thank all the contributors who have submitted Pull Requests, your contributions make Selenium better. For everyone who’s taken the time to file an issue, and to let us know where there’s been a problem: thank you. We only have a chance to improve when we know that there’s something that needs work!
And finally, thank you to all the Selenium Committers, BrowserStack, Sauce Labs, and our Selenium-Level sponsors for getting this release ready for our users.
We hope you enjoy Selenium 4, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it!