December 16, 2015

New Editor's Draft of W3C WebDriver Specification Released!

A new Editor's Draft of the W3C Spec Has Been Published! 

A new Editor's Draft written by Simon Stewart and David Burns has been released on December 3, 2015 to the World Wide Web Consortium's Browser Testing and Tools Working Group:

Difference Between a W3C Working Draft and an Editor's Draft

What is the difference between a W3C Working Draft and a W3C Editor's Draft?

From a post on StackOverflow back in Oct 2011:

"A Working Draft is a document that has been officially published by the group that is developing it, which means that the members of that group have agreed that it is in a state worth sharing with a wider audience (generally this is for feedback purposes — it certainly does not mean that the participants agree with everything that is in the document). 
"An Editor's draft is the document as currently being worked on by the person in charge of writing it (the editor). 
"You can think of it more or less in software terms: a WD is a dot release, or at the very least a tag, while an ED is the absolute freshest version from the latest commit.
Deciding whether one should look at a WD or an ED depends largely on the culture of the group that is working on that specification. In this case with the WebApps group, it is better to look at the ED since it is far more likely to reflect the current fast-moving thinking that goes on on the mailing list. The same tends to apply to other groups that develop APIs. 
"A word of caution: before a specification has been implemented and shipped, it is just a specification. You should be very careful not to infer from it that various vendors participating in the group will be implementing it as is, or even at all. The purpose of making specifications available early, while they are being developed, is to gather the broadest possible feedback — not to make any form of promise (at least not before they reach a maturity level higher than WD)".

W3C Review Committee: Browser Testing and Tools Working Group

For those who don't know, the W3C's Browser Testing and Tools Working Group "produces technologies for use in testing, debugging, and troubleshooting of Web applications running in Web browsers". They have been reviewing the WebDriver specification for quite some time. (See a working draft dated July 10, 2012) hoping to make it an industry standard.

This workgroup consists of twelve representatives from Google, four representatives from Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, three representatives from Mozilla, three representatives from BlackBerry, three representatives from Adobe Systems, three representatives from Microsoft, two from Intel.

Jim Evans, the former Microsoft representative who took responsibility for writing the Internet Explorer driver before Microsoft decided to officially support WebDriver, is also part of the committee.

Abstract of the document:

"WebDriver is a remote control interface that enables introspection and control of user agents. It provides a platform- and language-neutral wire protocol as a way for out-of-process programs to remotely instruct the behaviour of web browsers. 
"Provided is a set of interfaces to discover and manipulate DOM elements in web documents and to control the behaviour of a user agent. It is primarily intended to allow web authors to write tests that automate a user agent from a separate controlling process, but may also be used in such a way as to allow in-browser scripts to control a — possibly separate — browser. 
"The standard forms part of the Web Testing Activity that authors a larger set of tools commonly used for testing"

If you want to see the document as it changes, you can even view it on GitHub:

-T.J. Maher

// Manual tester, 15 years
 // Automated tester for [ 8 ] months and counting

Please note: 'Adventures in Automation' is a personal blog about automated testing. It is not an official blog of


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A WD is a dot release, or at the very least a tag, whereas an ED is the most recent commit's absolute freshest version.
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