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0.15.9 • Public • Published

Time Is All (log driven test engine with ExtJs support)

This is an engine for [massive] regression testing automation. It allows any types of testing: unit testing, functional testing, etc. Both assertion-driven and logs-driven testing are supported.

The engine supports Web sites testing using Selenium WebDriver and provides API for work with ExtJs components. Xvfb is supported.

Note: since the 0.12.15 tia version - the minimal supported Node.js version is 8.6

To don't blow up versions for now TIA is not following SEMVER rules. The 'patch' version part is changed at adding new functionality and bug fixes, and the 'minor' version part is changed at commits which break backward compatibility.

After 1.0.0 version I will follow SEMVER strictly.

Some TODO for 1.0.0:

  • more wrappers for Selenium actions.
  • more API for ExtJs actions.
  • API refactoring (before 1.0.0 release).
  • some global variables usage refactoring.
  • typings definitions.
  • better documentation with examples.
  • more means for exploration of ExtJs applications.
  • more assertions.
  • more compatibility with continuous integration systems.


The engine has tests for itself, they can be used as examples.

Selenium WebDriver notes

There are wrappers for Selenium API, but sometimes one needs to know Selenium. sOrig global object provides Selenium objects (listed below).

GUI part is created on top of the official JS selenium-webdriver binding:

It is good to know following Selenium terms:





chrome webdriver


After install one can find examples of (non TIA) selenium tests here: tia/node_modules/selenium-webdriver/test

Common workflow for tests using Selenium Webdriver

  • Go to some URL. (see s.browser.loadPage(url)).
  • Wait for some event like HTML element appearance, some JS object state, title value, etc. (see s.wait* functions) (If you are assured that element exists you can work with an element without wait).
  • Send various mouse or keyboard events to the found element (*, s.sendKeys*).
  • Read some data from the HTML element.
  • Read some data from JS objects. (s.browser.executeScript()).
  • Check that values are equal to expected ones by various assertions (see 'a' global object), or just logging results.

Notes about ExtJs

  • To save your time for autotests creation and to make tests faster, it is strongly recommended to develop some design of id naming in your project, and use id everywhere.

  • For dynamically generated id you need to get id of HTML elements using TIA API or s.browser.executeScript, and then send user actions to this id.

  • Also you can use s.browser.executeScript to access ExtJs objects your way and return JS DOM for further interactions by TIA API and selenium-webdriver API.


Test suite

A set of tests located in some directory. This directory is specified by --tests-dir cmd line option or by TIA_TESTS_DIR environment variable.


JavaScript file, located inside test suite directory. This file is executed by TIA and can use all global objects, exposed by TIA (see below). Test file should create a test log by TIA API.

All *.js files are considered as tests except config.js and suite-config.js which are considered as config files.

Global objects exposed by TIA, which test can use

They are defined in following files:

  • api/api-index.js
  • engine/init-global-objects.js
  • api/selenium/sel-index.js
  • api/extjs/extjs-index.js

You can explore 'gT' global object to find them all. You can use 'gIn' global object to extend TIA's API.

Global objects have short aliases (see details in files listed above).

Test log

This is a text file which is created by TIA API calls (actions with logging, assertions, etc.) in a test JS file. The file reflects the test scenario and should be very similar with the according test case section.

At the end of the log TIA writes statistics info about the test and adds logs from browser console (if such option is enabled).

The log file name is equal to the test file name, but the log has the .log extension (instead of .js).

Test logs are not commited to VCS.

Etalon test log

When the test author finished test creation, he should run it, check the test log and mark it as etalon (reference) log by renaming .log to .et.

Etalon logs are commited to VCS.

Meta log (suite log)

This is a log with statistics for all tests from the tests directory. The name of a meta log consists of the tests directory name and .mlog extension. The meta log is sent to emails (if --email option is specified and there is a correct email config).

NOTE: The meta log is also affected with the sectionTitle option in config.js files.

*.mlog files are not commited to VCS.

Etalon meta log

They are etalons for *.mlog, and have .et extension.

*.et files are commited to VCS.

Browser profiles

The br-profiles directory is created as a sibling to the tests directory. (see --tests-dir option or TIA_TESTS_DIR environment variable description) and keeps browser profiles.

See also the selProfilePath option in the config/default-suite-config.js.


  • diff, rm, zip utililies (you can use Cygwin on Windows)
  • Node.js 6.10+.
  • Xvfb (if you wish to run tests under Linux without GUI). How to start: $ Xvfb :1 -screen 5 2560x1440x24 How to stop: $ killall Xvfb
  • The 'xvfb' directory contains the script for using as /etc/init.d/xvfb and

Installation at tests development.

$ npm install tia

Now in the project you can use node_modules/tia/bin/tia.js as start script for node.js.

If you are lucky, your IDE will support some autocompletion for TIA API.

Installation for daily tests run

$ npm install -g tia

Self - test after installation

$ tia --run-self-tests

Creating / debugging tests

  • $ mkdir my-prj
  • $ cd my-prj
  • $ npm init
  • $ mkdir tests
  • $ npm install tia

In your debug configuration you can use

node mode_modules/tia/bin/tia.js

as engine.

Using typings

There is not TIA DTS for now. But there is DTS for selenium-webdriver (it is pretty out of date, but helpful).

$ npm i -g typings $ typings install selenium-webdriver --ambient --save

Speed up test creation/debugging using connection to the existing browser session

If you are testing some heavy application and application start requires noticeable time, you can use the '--use-remote-driver' option. In this case TIA will use existing browser session for all test runs. Inside your code you can use the gT.firstRunWithRemoteDriver global variable to distinct very first run (when you need some browser session initialization) from following runs (for which you need just use the existing session).

Use tia --help to see the help for the following things:

  • --use-remote-driver cmd line option.
  • --stop-remote-driver cmd line option.
  • gT.firstRunWithRemoteDriver global variable.

Config files

For engine


If the root tests dir contains suite-config.js file, it will override parameters from config/default-suite-config.js (see this file for parameter details).

An example:

 module.exports = {
   mailRecipientList: "",


If some directory contains config.js file, it will override parameters from config/default-dir-config.js (see this file for parameter details).

Also config.js from the current directory overrides config.js from parent directory (except sectionTitle parameter).

An example:

module.exports = {
  sectionTitle: "Config testing",

For email

There are two ways how to use email settings.

--email-cfg-path cmd line option and TIA_EMAIL_CFG_PATH environment variables.

You can specify path to some *.js or *.json file. TIA does require this config and options are merged to default suite config, see config/default-suite-config.js. If the mailRecipientList field in the config is empty, email will be disabled.


Email options also can be defined in suite-config.js (see above). Settings from suite-config.js will override cmd line and env variable settings. See config/default-suite-config.js for email option descriptions. To keep credentials secret you can have suite-config.js like:

var suiteConfig = {};
try {
  suiteConfig = require('./mail-settings.nogit.json');
} catch(e) {
suiteConfig.option1 = 'value 1';
suiteConfig.option2 = 'value 2';
module.exports = suiteConfig;

Use JSON here because JS files (except config.js, suite-config.js) are runned as test files.

Environment variables

See TIA_TESTS_DIR, TIA_REQUIRE_MODULES, TIA_EXTERNAL_LOG descriptions in tia --help. Use TIA_NO_COLORS - to disable ANSI colors.


To show help when TIA is installed globally:

$ tia --help

To show help for local installation:

$ node bin/tia.js --help

Order of tests execution

Tests are executed in the alphabet order, so it is recommended to prefix your folders and tests by numbers, like 00_CheckingSomeStuff.js.

How it works

How the engine works and how different files are created

TIA does recursively walks the tests directory. suite-config.js from the root tests directory is used to setup parameters for the whole test bunch. config.js from any directory is used to setup parameters for the given directory and its subdirectories (with exception of sectionTitle parameter).

Other *.js files are executed by TIA and should use TIA API to create logs. For each test there should be an etalon log, which is thoroughly checked by the author, and is saved as *.et file.

After a test finish, its current log is compared with its etalon log. If there is a difference it is saved as *.dif file. Note: All diffs are made as diff newOut oldOut, so as error or difference will be on top of log.

There is an ability to create expected diff files (*.edif). If the current *.dif is equal to *.edif it is not counted as a diffed one.

If there will be some error, the test log will contain:

Info about the error, and if test uses selenium:

  • browser console output
  • browser exceptions
  • path to the screenshot made immediately after the error (*.png file)

Meta logs details (also see above for meta log descriptions)

Logs with statistics info for the whole test bunch. They have *.mlog extension These logs are sent to email (if corresponding options is enabled).

Email subject has following notations

[ET_MLOG/DIF_MLOG, ]linux_3.16.0-4-amd64, [AS PREV/AS PREV (8 diff(s) changed)/DIF FROM PREV], "testsWdHelpers", Dif: 0, Fail: 0, EDif: 0, Skip: 0, Pass: 4, 19203.05 ms

  • ET_MLOG - the current meta log is equal to the etalon meta log
  • DIF_MLOG - the current meta log is different from the etalon meta log
  • TOO_LONG - tests duration is exceeded --too-long-time parameter
  • linux_3.16.0-4 - OS.
  • amd64 - Platform.
  • NO PREV - no previous log, e.g. the first run, custom files removing, or some terrible fail at previous run.
  • DIF FROM PREV - the current tests run is different from the previous run.
  • AS PREV - the current run is equal to the previous run.
  • AS PREV (8 diff(s) changed). - the current run has diffs in the same tests as in previous run, but diffs are changed.
  • testsWdHelpers - root tests dirname.
  • Dif: 0, - zero tests have diffs.
  • Fail: 0, - zero failed assertions.
  • EDif: 0, - zero expected diffs.
  • Skip: 0, - zero skipped tests (dues ot 'skip: true' in config.js)
  • Pass: 4, - 4 assertions in the whole test bunch passed.
  • 19203.05 ms - tests duration.

Meta log notations

They are almost the same as for Email subject notations. Meta log contains statistics info for each directory.

Meta log contains two parts: short (contains diffed tests only) and long (contains all the tests).

Process exit code and stdout

TIA returns 0 if all tests are passed as expected, or 1 if there are unexpected diffs.

The 'true' value for the suite-config.js option metaLogToStdout prints meta log to stdout (see config/default-dir-config.js for more details).

See also the --log-to-console option description in the tia --help output.

API for tests creation

The api directory contains functions (with JSDoc documentation), which perform users action emulation, assertion checking, logging and other actions.

FAQ and lifehacks

  • xvfb analog for Windows.

See the desktops utility for creation alternative desktops.

  • How to subscribe to updates:

You can use this link in your RSS feed client:

  • Autocompletion in IDE. If your IDE does not automatically suggest autocompletion for short named global objects 's', 't', 'l', etc., you could try 'gT.s', 'gT.t', etc. Also you can use break points and explore these global objects.

  • You can copy .jshintrc, .jscsrc files from TIA to your project and use them, it can speed up your debugging.

Files description

  • bin/tia.js - The main file of TIA.
  • api - API to be used in tests. browser-part subdirectories contain scripts to be executed in browsers.
  • inner-docs - my inner documentation, TODOs, current thoughts, design decisions, etc.
  • engine - the heart of the TIA.
  • log-viewer - Here is the prototype for Web client for logs exploration.
  • tests - self tests for TIA.
    • tia - tests for non - GUI part.
    • wd-helpers - web driver tests.
  • utils - inner TIA utilities.
  • xvfb - utility to run GUI tests so as do not prevent other work with the computer. See xvfb/ for more details.

File types:

  • *.log - test log
  • *.mlog - meta log for directory with tests
  • *.mlog.json - meta log as JSON (to use with HTML log-viewer (it is in my TODO list for now))
  • *.mlog.notime - meta log without time measurements
  • *.mlog.notime.prev - previous meta log without time measurements
  • *.et - etalon logs and etalon meta logs
  • *.js - tests or configs
  • *.json - configs.

Known issues and bugs

  • WebStorm often kill detached child process when it stops debugging. So --use-remote-driver TIA option sometimes does not keep chromedriver running.

  • Browser profiles do not save on Windows after browser closing. I.e. you can use predefined profiles, but it will not be updated after selenium tests. Chrome's profile is broken after browser exit, Firefox profile does not save changes to initial profile, it uses initial profile as a template to create some tmp profile. Firefox's --profile option does not work with Selenium. For now I did not use tests which preserve cookies and sessions between browser restarts.

  • On Linux, browser profiles do correctly save for chrome. Firefox on linux has the same behaviour as for Windows.

  • If you will change input focuses during some selenium test work, there can be errors in this test.

  • On Windows selenium sometimes incorrectly returns old page title.

License: MIT

Words of gratitude

The engine was started to develop in the "R-Vision" company ( Thank you, "R-Vision", for initial sponsorship and for allowance to open the sources.


Since year 2004 I have been involved in auto-testing. I very like it and I have many ideas to implement. So I develop this test engine, dedicating most of my free time to this, using all my experience and best practices. Main goals of this project is to create a good tool for ExtJs applications testing, and to fasten autotesting in common, using the log comparison paradigm (and not the assertion paradigm, though assertions are also supported).

If you like this test engine, you can to star my project on github:

If you wish to support the project with moneys, here is an info about my accounts for donations:

My TODO lists are in 'inner-docs' project directory: After 1.0.0 release I am planning to create a github wiki page and create the site containing engine documentation with search ability.


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