Today we celebrate the publication of the WebDriver specification as a W3C Recommendation.
WebDriver is a powerful technology for browser automation, often used to enable cross-browser testing of Web applications, but also used for many other purposes.
The WebDriver spec defines a set of interfaces and a wire protocol that are platform- and language-neutral and that allow out-of-process programs to remotely control a browser in a way that emulates the actions of a real person using the browser.
WebDriver is widely used day-to-day by Web developers around the world to drive testing of their Web applications, and to ensure that they work across multiple browsers. It is also used for cross-browser testing by browser vendors as part of the web-platform-tests effort, in order to catch and eliminate browser incompatibilities before they ship.
There are already implementations of the WebDriver standard available for every major desktop browser, and language bindings are offered by a number of projects, notably Selenium.
Having a standard way to automate interaction with a browser — a way that works across different browsers and browser engines — is a big win for Web developers in helping ensure their Web applications work in the best way they should for their users.