DebanjanB DebanjanB -3 years ago 115
Python Question

Selenium3.4.0-Python3.6.1 : In Selenium-Python binding using unittest how do I decide when to use self.assertIn or assert

I am working with Selenium 3.4.0 with Python 3.6.1. I have written a script following the Python documentation through

module which is a built-in Python based on Java’s
using geckodriver 0.16.1 and Mozilla Firefox 57.0 on Windows 8 Pro machine, 64 bit OS, x-64 processor. In my test method
I have the following lines which works well:

def test_search_in_python_org(self):
driver = self.driver
self.assertIn("Python", driver.title)
elem = driver.find_element_by_name("q")
assert "No results found." not in driver.page_source

When I am asserting the "page title" I am using:
self.assertIn("Python", driver.title)

But, when I am asserting a string (my assumption), within the page source I am using:
assert "No results found." not in driver.page_source

My question is what are the factors/conditions which decides whether I should use
or simply

Any suggestions or pointers will be helpful.

Answer Source

Looking at the Python unittest documentation and also recalling from the bunch of Django unittests that I once had to do here, are my findings.


First thing that is the most simple thing and in my opinion the biggest difference between the two, is the cases where you can use each command. They are both interchangeably usable in the case of a test class, however, in order to use the assertIn command, you need to import the unittest library. So, say I want to know if h is in hello. A simple way to do it through the assertIn command is:

class MyTestCase(unittest.TestCase):
    def is_h_in_hello(self):
        self.assertIn("h", "hello")

and then I need to run tests, that is through unittest.main() in this example, in order to get my answer. But using the assert command, it is much easier to see if h is in hello. Which is very simply done like so:

assert "h" in "hello"

But essentially, both will give me the same answer. However, what distinguishes the two methods is the simplicity of use in the second method.


The second difference I found was the readability of the results on Python Shell. The unittest library is designed so that the commands are very specific. So if a test fails, you will receive a very clear message saying what went wrong. Say now you want to see if b is in hello. Doing it through the class method (simply changing "h" to "b"), the message we get after running the test is:

AssertionError: 'b' not found in 'hello'

Ran 1 test in 0.038s

FAILED (failures=1)

So it very clearly tells you: 'b' not found in 'hello', which makes it very convenient to see what exactly is the problem. But say you do the same process through the assert command. The error message generated is something like:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#2>", line 1, in <module>
    assert "b" in "hello"

Although it tells you the error type (AssertionError), and the traceback, it does not specifically tell you that "b" is NOT in "hello". In this simple case, it is very easy to look at the traceback and say oh, there's no b in hello! However in more complicated cases, it might be tricky to see why this error message was generated.

Overall, the two methods are very similar and will get you the result you want, but essentially it comes down to the little differences here and there, having less lines of code and how straight-forward the Shell messages are.

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