Software developers rely on an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), a software that combines all the tools that developers may require to write and test code. It usually consists of a source code editor, a compiler and a debugger, all contained in a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Selenium IDE is an Integrated Development Environment implanted on a Firefox extension for Selenium tests. Selenium tests are frameworks that are used to test software for web applications without necessarily learning the transcription language. It was founded in 2004 and has undergone major updates to date.

What happens to Selenium IDE in Firefox 55 onwards?

As we all know, change is the only permanent thing in life. Firefox, just like all other applications has undergone some updates to solve minor bugs and fixes and to improve the interface. The updates in the latest Firefox 55 were however so major that they affected the compatibility of the application with the Selenium IDE.

This news came as a sharp blow to many to the global tester community since this was the main tool that was used in automated testing.

Changes in Firefox 55 and How They Affected Selenium IDE

One of the updates to Firefox 55 was the introduction of the use of extensions as opposed to the existing XUL or XPCOM based add-ons. Extensions are used to extend and modify the capabilities of a browser. The extensions for Firefox were built using the WebExtensions API. The Selenium IDE was however not based on web extensions. As a result, the IDE could not be supported on the Firefox 55 as well as its higher versions.

The new update made it possible for software developers to hide columns within the Network monitor, to support the HTTP header and to filter network requests. Hiding the columns is important to developers who aim to format the sheet. Hence, only the relevant information is usually displayed. The HTML header is important as it displays information such as the page, links to CSS and other metadata.

With the new update came the new APIs. APIs are used by software applications to access the data of an operating system or application. It is an interface that allows the software to access any other information that may be necessary. Firefox 55 incorporated the use of The Background Tasks API which programs tasks to be executed when the browser detects some free time. The Intersection Observer API was also incorporated to observe any changes.

There were also some improvements in the JavaScript to fix some bugs. The object operator (…) is now supported in object deconstructing. The Shared Array Buffer and Atomics objects are now enabled. The Intl API now uses the browser’s default locale as opposed to the operating system’s default locale, most especially when no locale setting is provided.

There are many more changes that have been implemented in the latest versions of Firefox. It may be difficult to grasp all of them at a go; hence, software developers are encouraged to provide any useful insights that may help others.

Nikolay Advolodkin is a self-driven SDET on a lifelong mission to create profound change in the IT world and ultimately leave a legacy for his loved ones, community, and the world at large. Today, he serves as the CEO and Test Automation Instructor at and contributes informative articles to leading test automaton websites like and

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