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Posted September 5, 2013

The Mobile JSON Wire Protocol Workshop


Last week, Santi and I headed to London for a two day JSON Wire Protocol workshop at the Mozilla London office. We were joined by Simon Stewart of Facebook and the Selenium Project, David Burns of Mozilla, François Reynaud of ios-driver, and Dominik Dary of Selendroid. The workshop could not have happened without the leadership of the Selenium Project, and we’re excited to be working closely with them to further promote and push the goal of developing lasting standards for mobile automation. The Selenium Project was instrumental in developing standards for web automation with the W3C, and as mobile automation and frameworks continue to evolve, we all agree it’s crucial to develop standard specifications for how mobile automation should work and ensure maximum interoperability between frameworks. We feel that the workshop was a huge success that fostered meaningful collaboration between projects for the benefit of users and the open source community. We believe collaboration like this will help mobile automation move forward.

What we covered

We made great progress over the two days of the workshop in planning what the specs of a standardized mobile automation protocol would look like and developing a roadmap of how to get there. You can read the agenda of the workshop here, and see detailed minutes of what we covered here. On day 1 we did detailed spec planning, working out areas where the different projects didn’t align and coming to a consensus about how to move forward. Day 2 focused on developing roadmaps for submitting extensions to W3C and implementing changes in the automation servers and client libraries. The end goal of all this planning is to eventually submit proposed standard specs for the JSON Wire Protocol to the W3C, just as Selenium has done for browser automation.

What this means for mobile automation

We hope that the work we’ve done thus far and the work to come will ultimately greatly benefit anyone doing mobile automation, as well as the open source community. It means that users will be able to switch between mobile automation frameworks as needed without needing to relearn how each works, creating a more robust open source mobile automation ecosystem. We hope greater interoperability will help grow an already growing open source community that can provide great community support for people looking to do mobile automation, and give people the protection from vendor lock-in that open source can provide.

Sep 5, 2013
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