What is the difference between XPath and conditions in test automation?


XPath vs Conditions in Test Automation

XPath and conditions are two ways to locate elements on a webpage. XPath is a language for navigating through XML documents or HTML pages. It selects elements based on their attributes or location in the document tree. Here's an example of using XPath in @playwright/test:

const link = await page.$('//a[@class="my-class"]');

Conditions, however, are statements that evaluate to true or false. In test automation, conditions are used with locators to wait for an element to appear or become interactable. Here's how you might use a condition in @playwright/test:

await page.waitForSelector('button:enabled');

XPath can be powerful but brittle if your page structure changes often. Conditions are more resilient as they rely less on specific element attributes and more on whether an element is ready for interaction.

As a best practice, try to avoid XPath and opt for user-facing attributes like role names or data-testid attributes. These types of locators are more stable over time as they're less likely to change due to cosmetic updates.

Remember, your choice between XPath and conditions will depend on your application's unique characteristics and testing requirements. For more insights, check out Mastering Playwright Test Automation: Your Comprehensive Cheat Sheet.

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