Category Archives: Selenium Tests

Remember the bloody Cache!

The Situation:

You change annotations in your classes (e.g. the @validate annotations for your controller or for your entity objects). Of course you implemented some test cases before to check, if the validator is used and does it’s work. But… The bloody validator is not called, the annotation has exactly NO effect.

The Reason:

Typo3 caches the class information (incl. the annotations) internally in order to not parse all the class structures on each and every request (i.e. to save time…). As long as this cache is not refreshed, your annotation changes will have no effect at all.

The Solution:

Bildschirmfoto vom 2015-01-10 21:23:26

  1. You can uninstall and re-install your extension on each and every development step. This is pretty annoying, but cleares the cache reliably.
  2. If you just overwrite your php-files inside the Typo3 ext folder (see also I am lazy (The Server Architecture)), you have to clear the cache manually at least when changing class information like annotations.

The Problem:

You don’t have to do this very often, because most of the time you just change the internal implementation and not the class structure. Thus you don’t think of clearing the cache and just skip this step. This blog post is just here to remember you on that topic. Whenever something is not working at all, try to clear the cache and retest first. This might solver your problem immediatly.

Running Typo3 4.5.xx Selenium testcases nowadays

If you want to (or have to) use Typo3 4.5.xx today, you will run in certain trouble trying to get the Selenium tests working, because the related phpunit extension requires an older version of Selenium, which itself requires some older browser versions to run. Here are the details and the solution:

  • Typo3 4.5.xx (actually tested with .32 and .37) comes with phpunit extension 3.7.22
  • phpunit extension 3.7.22 requires Selenium Server 2.32.0 and is not compatible to later versions like 2.43.1
  • Selenium Server 2.32.0 requires Firefox 20.0.1 and is not compatible to later versions like 33.0


  • For the Selenium server it’s quite simple: Download the jar of version 2.32.0 from the official repository and run it using java. If you want to run two different Selenium servers on the same machine in parallel, you just have to set up a different port for the second one to listen to (use the -port nnnn option to do so).
  • For the Browser it’s a little more tricky, because (I assume) you want to use the latest browser version for your personal web surfing (and for your Typo3 development and testing environment) while you have to use the former version 20.0.1 for the Selenium WebDriver. I downloaded 20.0.1 from the official repository and installed it to a directory, that’s not part of my PATH declaration (in my case /opt/firefox-20.0.1/).
  • After installation you have to change your test script to make it tell the Selenium WebDriver to use the local Firefox installation. Have a look at the following code sample:
protected function setUp() {
    $this->setDesiredCapabilities(array('firefox_binary' => '/opt/firefox-20.0.1/firefox'));
    // other stuff to set up

In line 3 you find the definition for the WebDriver that is telling, which Firefox binary to use. Please note that this refers to the binary directly and not to the directory only.

I wrote my own Selenium Base Test class to do stuff like this in order to not copy and paste this part for each and every test class. I strongly recommend to do so, if you want to do the basic setUp and tearDown jobs centralised.

Big challenge: Selenium causes the ObjectManager to fail

It might happen (in my case it did) that running Selenium tests will cause your ObjectManager to fail. After (!) the first Selenium test run, the ObjectManager or some other instance that uses the $GLOBALS[‘TYPO3_DB’] connection might fail like this:

Bildschirmfoto vom 2014-10-20 21:43:31I simply wrapped my ObjectManager call into a try-catch-block to get some more details about the issue. This is the stacktrace (you might face something similar):

#0 [internal function]: PHPUnit_Util_ErrorHandler::handleError(2, 'mysql_real_esca...', '/opt/typo3_src-...', 774, Array)
#1 [...]t3lib/class.t3lib_db.php(774): mysql_real_escape_string('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...', 0)
#2 [...]t3lib/cache/backend/class.t3lib_cache_backend_dbbackend.php(205): t3lib_DB->fullQuoteStr('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...', 'tx_extbase_cach...')
#3 [...]t3lib/cache/frontend/class.t3lib_cache_frontend_abstractfrontend.php(103): t3lib_cache_backend_DbBackend->has('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...')
#4 [...]typo3/sysext/extbase/Classes/Object/Container/ClassInfoCache.php(59): t3lib_cache_frontend_AbstractFrontend->has('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...')
#5 [...]typo3/sysext/extbase/Classes/Object/Container/Container.php(289): Tx_Extbase_Object_Container_ClassInfoCache->has('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...')
#6 [...]typo3/sysext/extbase/Classes/Object/Container/Container.php(127): Tx_Extbase_Object_Container_Container->getClassInfo('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...')
#7 [...]typo3/sysext/extbase/Classes/Object/Container/Container.php(95): Tx_Extbase_Object_Container_Container->getInstanceInternal('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...', Array)
#8 [...]typo3/sysext/extbase/Classes/Object/ObjectManager.php(83): Tx_Extbase_Object_Container_Container->getInstance('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...', Array)
#9 [...]typo3/sysext/extbase/Classes/MVC/Controller/AbstractController.php(167): Tx_Extbase_Object_ObjectManager->create('Tx_Extbase_MVC_...')
#10 [...]typo3conf/ext/csevents/Tests/Unit/Controller/AppointmentControllerTest.php(51): Tx_Extbase_MVC_Controller_AbstractController->injectObjectManager(Object(Tx_Extbase_Object_ObjectManager))
#11 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Composer/vendor/phpunit/phpunit/PHPUnit/Framework/TestCase.php(828): Tx_Csevents_Tests_Unit_Controller_AppointmentControllerTest->setUp()
#12 [...]typo3/sysext/extbase/Tests/Unit/BaseTestCase.php(62): PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase->runBare()
#13 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Composer/vendor/phpunit/phpunit/PHPUnit/Framework/TestResult.php(648): Tx_Extbase_Tests_Unit_BaseTestCase->runBare()
#14 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Composer/vendor/phpunit/phpunit/PHPUnit/Framework/TestCase.php(776): PHPUnit_Framework_TestResult->run(Object(Tx_Csevents_Tests_Unit_Controller_AppointmentControllerTest))
#15 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Composer/vendor/phpunit/phpunit/PHPUnit/Framework/TestSuite.php(775): PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase->run(Object(PHPUnit_Framework_TestResult))
#16 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Composer/vendor/phpunit/phpunit/PHPUnit/Framework/TestSuite.php(745): PHPUnit_Framework_TestSuite->runTest(Object(Tx_Csevents_Tests_Unit_Controller_AppointmentControllerTest), Object(PHPUnit_Framework_TestResult))
#17 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Composer/vendor/phpunit/phpunit/PHPUnit/Framework/TestSuite.php(705): PHPUnit_Framework_TestSuite->run(Object(PHPUnit_Framework_TestResult), false, Array, Array, false)
#18 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Classes/BackEnd/Module.php(831): PHPUnit_Framework_TestSuite->run(Object(PHPUnit_Framework_TestResult))
#19 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Classes/BackEnd/Module.php(593): Tx_Phpunit_BackEnd_Module->runAllTests(Object(PHPUnit_Framework_TestSuite), Object(PHPUnit_Framework_TestResult))
#20 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Classes/BackEnd/Module.php(288): Tx_Phpunit_BackEnd_Module->renderRunningTest()
#21 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Classes/BackEnd/Module.php(206): Tx_Phpunit_BackEnd_Module->renderRunTests()
#22 [...]typo3conf/ext/phpunit/Classes/BackEnd/index.php(86): Tx_Phpunit_BackEnd_Module->main()
#23 [...]typo3/mod.php(51): require('/home/.sdb/var/...')
#24 {main}

It’s obvious that t3lib_db does not have any link to the database after a Selenium run (look at the last “0” parameter at #1, line 2). This link is set up by t3lib_db::sql_pconnect(…) and used by calling $GLOBALS[‘TYPO3_DB’]. That’s where this database connection is stored.

The root cause for this failure is inside the PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase class that runs all tests. In some circumstances (I’ll come to the details later on) it backups the $GLOBALS before running a test and restores them back right after the test was executed. It looks like this:

public function runBare()
    $this->numAssertions = 0;

    // Backup the $GLOBALS array and static attributes.
    if ($this->runTestInSeparateProcess !== TRUE &&
        $this->inIsolation !== TRUE) {
        if ($this->backupGlobals === NULL ||
            $this->backupGlobals === TRUE) {

        if ($this->backupStaticAttributes === TRUE) {

// more test preparation (code skipped...)

    $this->testResult = $this->runTest();

// shutting down the test (code skipped...)

    // Restore the $GLOBALS array and static attributes.
    if ($this->runTestInSeparateProcess !== TRUE &&
        $this->inIsolation !== TRUE) {
        if ($this->backupGlobals === NULL ||
            $this->backupGlobals === TRUE) {

        if ($this->backupStaticAttributes === TRUE) {

// even some more cleanup activities (code skipped...)

You see some if-statements steering, if the backup/restore is done or not. In case of my Selenium testcases, the backup/restore was performed, i.e. the following parameters are set:

$this->runTestInSeparateProcess = NULL; // default; = FALSE would be the same
$this->inIsolation = NULL; // default; = FALSE would be the same
$this->backupGlobals = NULL; // default; = TRUE would be the same
$this->backupGlobalsBlacklist = array(); // default

With this setting, the TestCase tries to backup and restore all $GLOBALS values including the $GLOBALS[‘TYPO3_DB’] connection. PHPUnit_Util_GlobalState does this by serialising and deserialising this resource, which in case of the DB-connection does not work. Right after the restore $GLOBALS[‘TYPO3_DB’] is set to 0.

To avoid this, a) someone has to fix the restore-procedure or b) you have to avoid the backup/restore of the DB-connection. Options for b) directly come from the parameters above:

  1. Run the test in a separate process (to be described later on) or…
  2. Set the “backupGlobals” switch to “FALSE” in order to not backup/restore any global variables (which might lead to other problems, if your tests change global values) or…
  3. Exclude the TYPO3_DB variable from being backuped/restored by adding it to the blacklist.

I found a Typo3 Forum post about this issue: It recommends to use solution #3. It works!!!

class Tx_Csevents_Tests_Selenium_BasicSeleniumTestCase extends Tx_Phpunit_Selenium_TestCase {

    // add "TYPO3_DB" to the global backup black list in order to not lose the DB connection
    protected $backupGlobalsBlacklist = array('TYPO3_DB');

    //.... (followed by the rest of this class)

That’s it: I already introduced a “BasicSeleniumTestCase” class to handle all Selenium Test cases. Now I use this class to overwrite the $backupGlobalsBlacklist, which is empty by default, using a list that contains “TYPO3_DB”. Now $GLOBALS[‘TYPO3_DB’] is not backuped nor restored any more, thus it’s save from being overwritten by 0 (because resource values are not serializable). Finally fixed! 😀