Do You Use Bookmarklets in Web Testing?

Check out our new article, “Web testing hack: Using bookmarklets to supercharge your testing power,” by @parwalrahul. Rahul shares his insights into using bookmarklets for enhancing web testing, offering practical tips and examples.

What You’ll Learn:

:bookmark_tabs: How to use bookmarklets to streamline web testing tasks.
:bookmark_tabs: Techniques for creating custom bookmarklets for specific testing needs.
:bookmark_tabs: Practical examples demonstrating using bookmarklets in extracting and manipulating web data.

After reading the article, we’d love to hear from you:

  • Have you used bookmarklets in your web testing?
  • Do you have any tips or stories about leveraging bookmarklets?
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Really enjoyed the article! I find bookmarklets can be really helpful when I need to navigate through pages which require a lot of user input such as a form. I would use this when I don’t need to focus on testing that page as it speeds up the process of getting to the page I need.

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loved this, great article by Rahul. I’m definitely looking forward to implement this in my work

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James Bach created all the bookmarklets mentioned in the article, and Rahul really should have credited him for that. He even refers to James’s GitHub repository as “the repository”, doing all he can to imply that it’s his without actually saying so. Much of the article is copied and pasted from James’s GitHub repository. This is very poor practice.

Bookmarklets for accessibility testing
We use dozens of bookmarklets for accessibility testing because we find that well designed single-purpose tools like that usually produce more useful and accurate results than large multi-purpose testing tools. Also, we can inspect the bookmarklet code to see if it is doing the tests properly (which isn’t always the case), which we can’t do with most other tools. We can even fix the bookmarklets if we want to.

My inventory bookmarklet for web pages
I have created a bookmarklet that doesn’t test anything, but it generates an inventory of all sorts of things that are of interest when doing accessibility testing. It parses the DOM of the current page in its current state and opens a popup window containing lists of more than 20 features such as accordions, carousels, date pickers, headings, landmarks, iframes, tables etc. as well as listing elements with positive tabindex or z-index values, which are usually red flags.

We find this immensely useful because a lot of these components are often hidden and only visible under certain conditions, such as at particular viewport sizes or under various error conditions. The tool finds things I didn’t know about on almost every website I test.

I will make the bookmarklet available to the community when I have done some more work on it.

I didn’t know about James’s bookmarklets when I created mine. They serve similar purposes in different ways, and I can see he has run into some of the same problems I did. I know James well, so hopefully we can collaborate to make both tools better.

An inventory tool for entire websites
We often test websites containing tens of thousands of pages that may have been developed over many years. With websites of this size and age, no one knows everything that’s in there that might need to be tested. So how do you find those things?

The Screaming Frog website mapping tool recently added the ability for users to add scripts that run on every page as the tool spiders its way through the website. We took some of the content detection rules from our bookmarklet and turned them into scripts for Screaming Frog. When we use it to map a website, it now reports which pages contain content types we are interested in, such as forms, sortable data tables, accordions etc.

That report now plays an important part in the scoping process to determine what we are and are not going to test. Then when we do the testing, the bookmarklet provides deeper information about those features.

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I agree and it’s the reason why I thought I’d ignore this piece…but it seems people read it.
Thanks for putting it on the spot.

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It has come to my attention that there is more to this than meets the eye. Can someone from MoT, ideally Ady, confirm whether MoT required that the reference to James Bach was removed from the article? And if so, why? And does MoT practice any other censorship?

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Hi Steve,

Thanks for bringing this to attention.

We’ve unpublished the piece for now.

Best,

Sarah

Hi Sarah,

That’s not the response I was looking for. MoT has some kind of problem with James Bach and told the author to remove the reference to him, which frankly sounds childish. The absence of a reference led me to wrongly accuse the author of plagiarism, for which I have had to apologise.

Moderation of content is fair enough if it violates MoT’s policies. But censoring content is not ok, and that’s what’s happened here.

Regards,

Steve

1 Like