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PhantomJS, a Browser for Web Page Interaction Automation

PhantomJS is an open source scripted, headless browser used to automate web page interaction. PhantomJS was initially released in 2011 and there were several releases but now the project is abandoned. The last stable release was in January 2016.

 

PhantomJS is basically based on WebKit and has JavaScript API. It provides fast and native support for various web standards: SVG, Canvas, JSON, CSS selector, and DOM handling. PhantomJS has no GUI and exists only in script and can automate different processes with JavaScript. PhantomJS provides optimal solutions for network monitoring, page automation, screen capture as well as headless website testing.

 

Developers can get access to the browser’s DOM API that allows automating interactions with web pages. They can also manipulate web pages with usual libraries such as jQuery.

 

By using WebKit, PhantomJS can capture web pages as screenshots. It can render any content of a web page and can be used to convert Canvas elements, images, SVG, and HTML content styled with CSS. PhantomJS can save screenshots in different formats such as GIF, PDF, JPEG, and PNG.

 

With PhantomJS, developers can automate the process of running tests of web applications. It enables performing general command-line based testing and tells developers where they are running into an error. Although PhantomJS is primarily known for its use in web testing, it’s not a testing framework.  PhantomJS is just used to launch tests with suitable test runner.

 

PhantomJS can run tests with various test frameworks such as WebDriver, Capybara, Mocha, QUnit, Jasmine, and more. Besides, the browser is used in continuous integration systems to run tests on any new code before it’s added to a project.

 

PhantomJS allows the inspection of network traffic and can be programmed to collect data about a web page performance. Developers can automate performance analysis with Jenkins and YSlow.