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Playwright vs jsdom: What are the differences?


Playwright and jsdom are two popular tools used in web development. While both serve similar purposes, there are several key differences between them that make them suitable for different use cases. In this article, we will highlight the top 6 differences between Playwright and jsdom.

  1. Browser Automation vs. HTML Parsing: Playwright is primarily designed for browser automation and enables developers to automate browser tasks such as interacting with web pages, performing actions like clicking buttons, filling forms, etc. On the other hand, jsdom is an HTML parser that allows developers to parse HTML documents and perform operations on the resulting DOM structure. Playwright's focus is on emulating user actions in a real browser environment, whereas jsdom is focused on working with HTML content.

  2. Cross-Browser Support: Playwright offers cross-browser support, allowing developers to write automation scripts that work across multiple browsers like Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit. This cross-browser compatibility enables testing and automation across different browser environments. On the other hand, jsdom is mainly focused on emulating the browser environment, but it does not provide direct support for cross-browser testing.

  3. Headless and Non-Headless Execution: Playwright provides support for both headless and non-headless browser execution. Headless mode refers to running the browser without a visible UI, which is useful for tasks like testing and automation. Playwright allows developers to easily switch between headless and non-headless modes based on their requirements. In contrast, jsdom operates in a headless environment by default and does not have a visible UI.

  4. JavaScript Execution: Playwright provides an environment for executing JavaScript code in the context of a web page, allowing developers to dynamically interact with the page and make modifications. This includes executing scripts, manipulating the DOM, and handling events. jsdom, on the other hand, does not have an execution environment for JavaScript code within the parsed HTML document.

  5. Network Requests: Playwright allows developers to intercept and modify network requests made by the browser, enabling scenarios like stubbing or mocking network responses during testing. It also provides features for tracking network activity and performance measurements. jsdom, being an HTML parser, does not have built-in functionality for intercepting and modifying network requests.

  6. Rendering and CSS Support: Playwright renders web pages using an actual browser engine, providing accurate rendering of dynamically generated content and CSS execution. This makes it suitable for scenarios where rendering accuracy is crucial, such as visual testing. jsdom, on the other hand, does not perform full rendering and does not execute CSS stylesheets. It focuses on providing a simulated DOM environment without visual rendering capabilities.

In summary, Playwright and jsdom offer distinct functionalities in the web development ecosystem. Playwright is primarily focused on browser automation, cross-browser testing, and JavaScript execution, whereas jsdom provides an HTML parsing environment for DOM manipulation. The choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the project and the desired use case.

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Pros of jsdom
Pros of Playwright
  • 1
  • 14
    Cross browser
  • 10
    Open source
  • 9
    Test Runner with Playwright/test
  • 7
    Promise based
  • 7
    Well documented
  • 5
    Integrate your POMs as extensible fixtures
  • 5
    Execute tests in parallel
  • 5
    API Testing
  • 4
    Python Support
  • 4
    Capture videos, screenshots and other artifacts on fail
  • 3
    Inbuild reporters html,line,dot,json
  • 3
    Context isolation
  • 1

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Cons of jsdom
Cons of Playwright
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 12
      Less help
    • 3
      Node based
    • 2
      Does not execute outside of browser

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    What is jsdom?

    It is a pure-JavaScript implementation of many web standards, notably the WHATWG DOM and HTML Standards, for use with Node.js. In general, the goal of the project is to emulate enough of a subset of a web browser to be useful for testing and scraping real-world web applications.

    What is Playwright?

    It is a Node library to automate the Chromium, WebKit and Firefox browsers with a single API. It enables cross-browser web automation that is ever-green, capable, reliable and fast.

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    What tools integrate with jsdom?
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    What are some alternatives to jsdom and Playwright?
    Selenium automates browsers. That's it! What you do with that power is entirely up to you. Primarily, it is for automating web applications for testing purposes, but is certainly not limited to just that. Boring web-based administration tasks can (and should!) also be automated as well.
    PhantomJS is a headless WebKit scriptable with JavaScript. It is used by hundreds of developers and dozens of organizations for web-related development workflow.
    Enzyme is a JavaScript Testing utility for React that makes it easier to assert, manipulate, and traverse your React Components' output.
    Use our cloud-hosted infrastructure to securely run your code on powerful hardware with a single command — without any changes to your code. If you have your own infrastructure, our Enterprise offering provides powerful, easy-to-use cluster management functionality behind your firewall.
    Puppeteer is a Node library which provides a high-level API to control headless Chrome over the DevTools Protocol. It can also be configured to use full (non-headless) Chrome.
    See all alternatives