Robot Framework User Guide. Bootstrapped


Eight years ago when I graduated from the University my first job title was a QA Engineer. Lots have been changed since then, but these days I am once again facing some QA tasks. Gladly this time we are talking Test Automation.

In particular my team mates and myself are going to develop a set of test cases to automate acceptance and regressions testing for Nuage VSP products. For many reasons for this task we chose Robot Framework as a tool to write our test cases. Without going into the details about what are the benefits of Robot let me jump to the very point of this post.

Robot has one of the most comprehensive User Guides I’ve seen in Opensource world. It is well-written, descriptive, with lots of examples, but… But it lacks of modern formatting. It is hard to read the docs on a wide monitors, impossible to read on tablets/phones, code snippets have been formatted in too narrow elements and other visual stuff that prevents one to enjoy the documentation itself in full flavor.

Given that I made a humble attempt to beautify the official User Guide of Robot by going the same way as I did with NokDoc — namely, using the Bootstrap CSS and automatically rebuild the docs with it.

Please meet (rfug stands for robot framework user guide).

What has been changed?

  1. Layout now responsive, meaning it will adapt to your device resolution. You may enjoy RF User Guide on portable devices
  2. Open Sans font is enabled by default
  3. Tables are now 100% wide and with a cleaner look

PDF version

I have also compiled a PDF version of the Bootstrapped User Guide. It has the same nice styles applied as well as Table Of Contents, so you will have the ability to navigate through the document quick & easy.

What could be added?

  1. I still have some things to fugure out how to make the page layout be more usable on small resolutions (phones)
  2. Sidebar with all the table of contents links

How it’s been done?

I wrote a small html parser powered by BeautifulSoup4 package to add/change the elements in original User Guide. And I uploaded it to the free HTML server of github (namely github pages).



Building Web front end for Python scripts with Flask


Recently I revived my relationship with Python in an effort to beat routine tasks appearing here and there. So I started to write some pocket scripts and, luckily, was not the only one on this battlefield – my colleagues also have a bunch of useful scripts. With all those pieces of code sent in email, cloned from repos, grabbed on network shares I started to wonder how much easier would it be if someone aggregated all of them, made a Web UI and shared this experience.

Thus, I started to build web front-end to python scripts with these goals in mind:

  • allow people with zero python knowledge to use the scripts by interaction through simple Web UI;
  • make script’s output more readable by leveraging modern CSS and HTML formatting;
  • aggregate all the scripts in one repo but in a separate sandboxed directories to increase code manageability.

This short demo should give you some taste of what it is:

Disclaimer: I am nowhere near even a junior python or web developer. And what makes matters worse is that I used (a lot) very dangerous coding paradigm – SDD – Stackoverflow Driven Development. So, hurt me plenty if you see some awful mistakes.