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README.md

Test.ai Classifier Plugin for Appium

This is an experimental plugin for Appium that enables test automation of mobile apps using Test.ai's machine-learning element type classifier. It allows you to find Appium elements using a semantic label (like "cart" or "microphone" or "arrow") instead of having to dig through your app hierarchy. The same labels can be used to find elements with the same general shape across different apps and different visual designs.

If you haven't worked with Appium element finding plugins before, you should first check out the Appium element finding plugins doc.

System Setup

First, you'll need some system dependencies to do with image processing.

macOS

brew install pkg-config cairo pango libpng jpeg giflib

Linux

sudo apt-get install pkg-config libcairo2-dev libpango* libpng-dev libjpeg-dev giflib*

You may have to install each package individually if you run into issues

Windows

TBD (not yet tested or supported)

Appium Setup

Appium's element finding plugin feature is experimental, so you will need to be using Appium version 1.9.2-beta.2 at a minimum.

Classifier Setup

To make this plugin available to Appium, simply go to the main Appium repo, and run npm install test-ai-classifier to install this plugin into Appium's dependency tree and make it available.

Otherwise, install it somewhere on your filesystem and use an absolute path as the module name (see below).

Usage

Element finding plugins are made available via a special locator strategy, -custom. To tell Appium which plugin to use when this locator strategy is requested, send in the module name and a selector shortcut as the customFindModules capability. For example, to use this plugin, set the customFindModules capability to something like {"ai": "test-ai-classifier"} (here ai is the "selector shortcut" and test-ai-classifier is the "module name"). This will enable access to the plugin when using selectors of the form ai:foo.

In addition to this capability, you'll need to set another Appium capability, shouldUseCompactResponses, to false. This directs Appium to include extra information about elements while they are being found, which dramatically speeds up the process of getting inputs to this plugin.

In your test, you can now make new findElement calls, for example:

driver.findElement('-custom', 'ai:cart');

The above command (which will differ for each Appium client, of course), will use this plugin to find a shopping cart element on the screen.

How did we know we could use "cart" as a label? There is a predefined list of available labels in lib/labels.js--check there to see if the elements you want to find match any of them.

Match confidence

Using the testaiConfidenceThreshold capability, you can set a confidence threshold below which the plugin will refuse to consider elements as matching your label. This capability should be a number between 0 and 1, where 1 means confidence must be perfect, and 0 means no confidence at all is required.

This is a useful capability to set after reading the Appium logs from a failed element find; this plugin will tell you what the highest confidence of any element that matched your label was, so you could use that to modulate the confidence value. The default confidence level is 0.2.

Development

There are some tests, but they must be run ad hoc. See the tests themselves for assumptions.

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