I've taken some time to write a small sanity test pack to run on the web app that uses the platform my team develops.
Although we have a very good and thorough automated test coverage, I'm very paranoid and want to make sure we didn't miss anything that breaks basic functionality, not that it happens often, or in recent memory, I'm just paranoid - it's a good quality for QA person, right?
So I went about the correct way of doing things, Page Object Model; I have a basic page object that has functionalities that are relevant through the whole app, like knowing when page is fully loaded, how to login, etc. Everything else inherits from this class.
First problem, http authentication, selenium and watir still (!!!) don't have a proper way of dealing with this well, so I went with the normal "https://username:password@url." method, which by the way, nobody else tells you this: use URI encoding on the username and password.
But then I got to the playback page on our app (which is kinda an important page if you're online movie retailer), for reasons not important for this post, on this page there's a https -> http redirect, this redirects cause our username:password deal to be lost and I got stuck with the authentication popup.
Googling how to get around this today still gives me about the same answers as a few years ago, which include this lovely (yet old) Watirmelon post that suggest using AutoAuth plugin for Firefox, usually I'd be against this, since it binds my tests to Firefox, but since for my particular sanity-for-other-team kind of work, I don't really mind, however AutoAuth no longer works with recent versions of Firefox, it stopped working on v39, currently we're on v47.
After much dive into documentation and stackoverflow questions, I gave up, I was ready to ask them to turn off HTTP Authentication for that page, until a co-worker casually mentioned:
Try opening the http version with username and password on the url first, at the start of your test, then go to the normal https start page and do the normal test, the browser will remember when you get redirected.
That a stupid solution... but it works, so it ain't stupid.
Here's how my code changed:
browser.goto inject_auth( url ) if url
browser.goto inject_auth(url).sub( 'https', 'http')+ 'playback/fcf7ce62-5695-4d80-be85-662798c9ac7c?token=undefined'
Hacky, I know, I have to load the normal page first, because I set up the http load purposely to hit a 404 so this wouldn't cause any unintentional side effect, but it also gives me another redirect, only after this little dance I get to go to the initial page I intended.
Hope this helps other people trying to automate apps with redirects.
The Watirmelon post I mentioned before resolves the problem with NTLM auth, which could be applied to everything, however my solution doesn't solve that particular problem, if you find out how, please let me know.