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Posted June 20, 2013

Guest Post: Introducing Your Newest Intern


Our friends at SitePen have been working hard on their new JavaScript testing stack, Intern. They wrote Intern to integrate easily with Sauce, and were kind enough to write us a guest post about why they did it. Thanks SitePen team for helping promote the open source way! Every Web app developer feels the pressure to keep up with the constant sea of change that surrounds the Web platform today. Every six weeks, someone releases a new browser version. Every six months, someone releases a new Web-enabled phone, tablet, TV, or toaster. Without exceptional testing tools, properly supporting all the platforms and devices that people use today is impossible. As an open-source software company that works closely with a wide variety of companies, it was extremely important for us at SitePen to be able to provide consistently high-quality, well-tested code. While the Dojo Toolkit has had an automated testing solution for several years called D.O.H., when it was written back in 2007, the only real platform for Web apps was a desktop computer. As a result, D.O.H. inherited many limitations that come naturally from focusing on a single platform and was missing several major features that our team felt were necessary for maintaining high-quality code, like extensibility, integrated code coverage analysis, and easy continuous integration support. When we started work on Dojo 2 and identified D.O.H. as needing an overhaul, we wanted to make sure that whatever we ended up with was a tool that would be usable by all JavaScript developers, even if they were not using Dojo to build their Web apps. In order to avoid blindly reinventing the wheel, we first investigated adopting existing, well-known JavaScript testing software. As we performed this research, we found time and again that every tool, while promising, fell short in areas critical to how we felt testing should be done—often within their most fundamental architectural choices. This lead us to start anew, adopting the best features from existing products and adding several innovations of our own based on our 13 years of experience writing Web apps and JavaScript libraries. The result is our newest SitePen Labs project, Intern. Sauce Labs was a natural fit for this project from the start for many reasons. Everyone at SitePen is extremely dedicated to the open Web, and Sauce Labs was the only cloud testing company we found that used the W3C’s WebDriver standard instead of relying on proprietary systems and protocols. By fully embracing open Web technology, Intern and Sauce Labs offer long-term interoperability and flexibility that other testing tools and cloud testing providers simply do not. Sauce is also, to our knowledge, the first and only cloud testing provider to publicly offer free accounts to open-source projects like Intern, dgrid, and the Dojo Toolkit (thanks!). From a logistical perspective, Sauce Labs gives us access to a complete & reliable server farm for testing that we would otherwise need to buy, configure, and maintain ourselves. Bonus Sauce features like automatic video and WebDriver command log capturing have made it incredibly easy for us to identify and reproduce test failures after-the-fact, and the ability to watch video and break into live tests has saved time and reduced confusion on numerous occasions. The few times we’ve had an integration problem, the Sauce support team has been incredibly responsive and helpful. Since its public release, the level of interest and feedback we’ve received about Intern has been amazingly positive. People have told us that getting up and running using Intern with Sauce is just as easy as we’d hoped it would be. Our developers’ level of happiness writing tests has gone way up, our clients are extremely satisfied with the quality and ease with which they can maintain the code we deliver to them, and we’ve saved lots of time and money that would have been spent on manual quality assurance testing and re-testing. Intern with Sauce is now an integral part of our successful development strategy, and we’re delighted to be able to share it openly so you can also “make the Intern do the testing”. SitePen is an open-source software company that focuses on providing expert JavaScript consulting, training, and support to businesses around the world. Also, we’re hiring!

Jun 20, 2013
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