5. Waits

These days most of the web apps are using AJAX techniques. When a page is loaded to browser, the elements within that page may load at different time intervals. This makes locating elements difficult, if the element is not present in the DOM, it will raise ElementNotVisibleException exception. Using waits, we can solve this issue. Waiting provides some time interval between actions performed - mostly locating element or any other operation with the element.

Selenium Webdriver provides two types of waits - implicit & explicit. An explicit wait makes WebDriver to wait for a certain condition to occur before proceeding further with executions. An implicit wait makes WebDriver to poll the DOM for a certain amount of time when trying to locate an element.

5.1. Explicit Waits

An explicit waits is code you define to wait for a certain condition to occur before proceeding further in the code. The worst case of this is time.sleep(), which sets the condition to an exact time period to wait. There are some convenience methods provided that help you write code that will wait only as long as required. WebDriverWait in combination with ExpectedCondition is one way this can be accomplished.

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.by import By
from selenium.webdriver.support.ui import WebDriverWait
from selenium.webdriver.support import expected_conditions as EC

driver = webdriver.Firefox()
driver.get("http://somedomain/url_that_delays_loading")
try:
    element = WebDriverWait(driver, 10).until(
        EC.presence_of_element_located((By.ID, "myDynamicElement"))
    )
finally:
    driver.quit()

This waits up to 10 seconds before throwing a TimeoutException or if it finds the element will return it in 0 - 10 seconds. WebDriverWait by default calls the ExpectedCondition every 500 milliseconds until it returns successfully. A successful return is for ExpectedCondition type is Boolean return true or not null return value for all other ExpectedCondition types.

Expected Conditions

There are some common conditions that are frequently come across when automating web browsers. Listed below are Implementations of each. Selenium Python binding provides some convienence methods so you don’t have to code an expected_condition class yourself or create your own utility package for them.

  • title_is
  • title_contains
  • presence_of_element_located
  • visibility_of_element_located
  • visibility_of
  • presence_of_all_elements_located
  • text_to_be_present_in_element
  • text_to_be_present_in_element_value
  • frame_to_be_available_and_switch_to_it
  • invisibility_of_element_located
  • element_to_be_clickable - it is Displayed and Enabled.
  • staleness_of
  • element_to_be_selected
  • element_located_to_be_selected
  • element_selection_state_to_be
  • element_located_selection_state_to_be
  • alert_is_present
from selenium.webdriver.support import expected_conditions as EC

wait = WebDriverWait(driver, 10)
element = wait.until(EC.element_to_be_clickable((By.ID,'someid')))

The expected_conditions module contains a set of predefined conditions to use with WebDriverWait.

5.2. Implicit Waits

An implicit wait is to tell WebDriver to poll the DOM for a certain amount of time when trying to find an element or elements if they are not immediately available. The default setting is 0. Once set, the implicit wait is set for the life of the WebDriver object instance.

from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Firefox()
driver.implicitly_wait(10) # seconds
driver.get("http://somedomain/url_that_delays_loading")
myDynamicElement = driver.find_element_by_id("myDynamicElement")