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gamera lets you control and interact with web pages directly from your Ruby code. Essentially, you can wrap any web page with a Ruby API.

Table of Contents


  • a lightweight way of implementing the PageObject pattern on top of Capybara
  • a framework for abstracting web pages into Ruby classes
  • rainbows, puppies and kittens for every user (not included)

What is the Page Object Pattern?

The brilliant Martin Fowler describes the PageObject pattern in detail. Here's is a list of the essential features of the pattern.

  • A PageObject creates an application-level API for a web page or section of a web page. For example, create_user_account instead of fill in this field, click on this button
  • A PageObject allows a software client to do or see anything that a human can.
  • A PageObject provides an easily programmable interface that hides details of the specific HTML controls and elements.
  • Changes to the underlying web page shouldn't alter the PageObject interface (as long as the web page still supports the same business processes)
  • The result of navigating from a PageObject (e.g. clicking on a link or submitting a form), should be another PageObject.


Gamera requires Ruby 2.1 or later.


Gamera is cryptographically signed. To be sure the gem you install hasn’t been tampered with:

Add our public key (if you haven’t already) as a trusted certificate

gem cert --add <(curl -Ls

To install with gem, run

gem install gamera -P HighSecurity

The HighSecurity trust profile will verify signed gems and dependencies. Gamera's dependencies should also be signed,

To install with Bundler, add this line to your Gemfile:

gem 'gamera'

and then run

bundle [install] --trust-policy [HighSecurity|MediumSecurity]

You may need to use MediumSecurity if other gems in your Gemfile have unsigned dependencies.

Using gamera

gamera has two primary classes:

  1. Page is a base class which you can subclass to create specific page objects or you can create subclasses that capture additional common behavior (for example, flash messages in a Rails app, common header or footer menus and so forth) and extend those to create specific page objects.
  2. Builder is a base class for capturing business process methods that require multiple page objects (for example, adding a new user to a new group, which might require creating a new user, creating a group and adding the user with each step occurring on different pages in the web app). In practice, Builder subclasses are also used to create or alter data in the system.

Example: Use gamera's Page class to create a user registration page object

Given a registration page that looks like

      <form action="#">
        <label for='first_name'>First Name</label> <input type='text' id='first_name'>
       <label for='last_name'>Last Name</label> <input type='text' id='last_name'>
       <label for='email'>Email</label> <input type='text' id='email'>
       <label for='password'>Email</label> <input type='text' id='password'>
       <input type='button' id='save_button' name='Save' value='Save'>

create a corresponding page object class

  require 'gamera'

  class RegistrationPage < Gamera::Page

    def initialize
      @url = ''
      @url_matcher = %r{/registration}

    def register_user(first_name:, last_name:, email_address:, password:)


    def first_name_field
      find_field('First Name') # Capybara finder

    def last_name_field
      find_field('Last Name') # Capybara finder

    def email_address_field
      find_field('Email') # Capybara finder

    def password_field
      find_field('Password') # Capybara finder

    def save
      find_button('Save').click # Capybara finder

You could also simplify this by using Gamera::PageSection::Form

  require 'gamera'

  class RegistrationPage < Gamera::Page

    def initialize
      @url = ''
      @url_matcher = %r{/registration/new}

      form_fields = {
        first_name: 'First Name',
        last_name: 'Last Name',
        email: 'Email',
        password: 'Password'
      @registration_form =
      def_delegators :registration_form, *registration_form.field_method_names

    def register_user(first_name:, last_name:, email_address:, password:)


    def save
      find_button('Save').click # Capybara finder

In either case, you can then call

  rp =
  rp.register_user(first_name: 'Laurence',
                   last_name: 'Peltier',
                   email_address: '[email protected]',
                   password: 'so_secret')

in your code to register a new user through your web app's registration page.

Example: Extend gamera's Page class to create a RailsPage class

For a given web app, you may find that you want to capture other common elements in your page objects, such as, for example, flash messages in a Rails app or a navigational node that's common to the entire site. One approach to this is to subclass Page, add the common elements and then use the new subclass as the parent for the actual page object classes.

For a Rails app, a new RailsPage class might look something like

   class RailsPage < Gamera::Page

     def flash_error

     def flash_message

     def has_flash_message?(message)
       has_css?(flash_notice_css, text: message)

     def has_flash_error?(error)
       has_css?(flash_error_css, text: error)

     def has_no_flash_error?

     def has_no_flash_message?

     def has_submission_problems?
       has_flash_error?('There were problems with your submission')

     def fail_if_submission_problems
       fail(SubmissionProblemsError, flash_error.text) if has_submission_problems?


     def flash_error_css

     def flash_notice_css

     def flash_error_div

     def flash_notice_div

This could then be used as the parent class for the RegistrationPage in the previous example, adding the ability to check the flash message when the user is registered.

Example: Creating a Builder subclass to capture a multipage business process

For this example, let's assume we're automating a task management site that lets a manager assign task to members of her team and that we've already created page objects for some of the pages: NewTaskPage, UserLoginPage, AssignTaskPage. Then we might create a AssignedTaskBuilder like so,

require 'gamera'
require 'page_objects'

class AssignedTaskBuilder < Gamera::Builder.with_options(
:admin_email, :task_name, :task_due_date, :assignee_email
  def build
    new_task_page =
    assign_task_page =

    new_task_page.create_task(task_name, task_due_date)
    assign_task_page.assign(task_name: task_name, to: assignee)

  # Give back a builder with default values set (say for easy test data setup)
  def assigned_task_builder
      admin_email: '[email protected]',
      task_name: 'That thing you do'
      task_due_date: + 24.hours
      assignee: '[email protected]')

Notice that an instance of the class won't actually do anything until the build method is called. This lets us to defer the build until the data or process neeeds to happen. The builder as data factory model allows us to reuse the builder, change the defaults or create a new builder instance with different defaults.

require 'assigned_task_builder`
include AssignedTaskBuilder

assigned_task_builder # => builder with the default options # => actually assign the default task
another_task_builder = assigned_task_builder.refine_with(task_name: 'That other
thing you do') # => a new builder with a different task name # => assign the new task

Using gamera with Pry

We've created some toy web apps in Sinatra and some simple page objects on top of them to test gamera. You can play with some of the spec pages and apps in pry, using the following

cd ~/workspace/talos/lib
pry -r ./pry_setup.rb

This will add convenience methods that can be used in pry

Start the single page SimpleForm web app from pry with pry> simple_form. Use this:

pry> simple_form_page.visit
pry> simple_form_page.fill_in_form(:text => 'Entered Text', :selection => 'C')
pry> simple_form_page.submit

to fill in the form on the app and submit it.

To see page object examples which handles page redirection or return page content, start the SimpleSite web app with

pry> simple_site

Example: Page Redirection via Pry

pry> redirect_page.visit(false) # => should redirect to home page; "false" tells it not to validate that the page landed on is the page requested
pry> redirect_page.displayed? # => false
pry> home_page.displayed? # => true

Example: Page Content from a PageObject via Pry

pry> hit_counter_page.visit
pry> hit_counter_page.text =~ /You have visited this page 1 times/ # => match!


See this great guide to contributing to Open Source projects from GitHub