Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sikuli talk follow-up

Thanks to everybody who made time in a busy Ohio LinuxFest schedule to make it to my talk on Project Sikuli! I appreciated your attention and your questions.

You can browse my slides at, and/or download a tarball with all the code demonstrated at

I promised to follow up on the questions that stumped me, so here are the first couple answers...

- I mentioned how debugging with pdb is difficult because switching to the command-line window to interact with pdb interrupts the program flow, and when you issue a "continue" in the debugger, your Sikuli script will barrel along in the command-line window with the debugger instead of in the application you wanted Sikuli to drive. A couple people suggested debugging the script from a remote machine, connecting with pdb and attaching the debug process to the Sikuli process. I still don't know whether that's possible - definitely maybe - but I realized that there's a very simple remedy that I feel silly for not suggesting before.

In your Sikuli script at the point you want to enter the interactive debugger, instead of simply inserting import pdb; pdb.set_trace(), insert import pdb; pdb.set_trace(); switchApp('Window Title Of The App I Am Debugging') - that should put the script you're debugging back on track.

EDIT: WAIT - I got this wrong - this doesn't make sense. You do need to switchApp() back to the window your script was running in, but not immediately after invoking pdb.set_trace(); rather, it needs to be invoked just before running, pdb.continue, etc. I think the right way to do this is to subclass pdb; give me a bit to produce and test something like that.

- I confirmed that there isn't yet a "Recording" mode, or anything to automatically translate your actions into Sikuli commands. Really, though, I'm not sure how much that would help - writing the Sikuli commands is actually the easy part of the automation. The hard part is figuring out precisely which actions to take to get the effects you want most reliably.

OLF was really good this year. I especially enjoyed the hallway track - met lots of really interesting people that I need to follow through with on some neat ideas. The exhibit hall was a great place for PyOhio folks to meet new people and connect them with the Python community - thanks so much for all the PyOhio crew who came out to staff the booth! Thanks to the organizers for all their work!


Anonymous said...

What's OLF?

Marco De Paoli said...

Ohio LinuxFest, I suppose... :-)