GUI automation tool (windows)

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Wed Aug 11 13:27:49 CEST 2010

On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 06:12:49 +0000, Grant Edwards wrote:

> Automating a GUI
> isn't done to test how well the GUI works for real users.

Or to put it another way... automated tests aren't useful for usability 
testing, regardless of whether one is testing a GUI app or a CLI app.

> It's done mainly for two purposes:
>   1) Regression testing to make sure that the GUI's behavior (good,
>      bad, or indifferent) hasn't changed since the previous revision.
>   2) To test the functionality underlying the GUI.

I would like to point out that automating GUIs isn't just done for 
testing purposes, but has other reasons as well. Probably the most common 
is for the same reason any automation is done, be it writing a script or 
building a robot: to reduce the amount of manual effort needed to do some 
repetitive or frequent task.

Mouse and keyboard event recording software used to be one of the killer 
apps for power users back in the days of classic Apple Mac and early 
versions of Windows. I'm not entirely sure why they've faded away... it 
seems to have left an empty niche, for power users who aren't comfortable 
writing shell scripts, batch files or messing about with DBUS, but still 
want to automate repetitive tasks.

Another common use is automating interactions with web sites via 


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