Waiting is usually problematic when you have dynamic web interfaces, eg. web sites that have lots of AJAX.

Explicit waits

There are four built in methods that you can use to make your waiting experience more pleasant (and remove those evil sleep statements from your code)

  • Watir::Wait.until { ... } where you can wait for a block to be true
  • object.set where you can do something when it’s present
  • object.wait_until_present where you just wait until something is present
  • object.wait_while_present where you just wait until something disappears
  • The default timeout for all these methods is 30 seconds, but your can pass an argument to any of these to increase (or decrease) it as needed.
require 'watir'
b = Watir::Browser.start 'bit.ly/watir-webdriver-demo'
b.text_field(id: 'entry_1000000').set 'your name'
b.select_list(id: 'entry_1000001').wait_until_present
b.select_list(id: 'entry_1000001').select('Ruby')
b.button(value: 'Submit').click
b.button(value: 'Submit').wait_while_present
Watir::Wait.until { b.text.include? 'Thank you' }

Implicit waits

As an alternative, you can use the WebDriver’s implicit waits to specify a maximum time (in seconds) the script will try to find an element before timing out. This is done by setting the property of the underlying driver:

require 'watir'
b = Watir::Browser.new
b.driver.manage.timeouts.implicit_wait = 3 # 3 seconds
# Note that using implicit waits can make your tests slower
# and more difficult to understand when they fail.