The first decade of GUI ripping: Extensions, applications, and broader impacts

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Proceedings - Working Conference on Reverse Engineering, WCRE




This paper provides a retrospective examination of GUI Ripping-reverse engineering a workflow model of the graphical user interface of a software application-born a decade ago out of recognition of the severe need for improving the then largely manual state-of-the-practice of functional GUI testing. In these last 10 years, GUI ripping has turned out to be an enabler for much research, both within our group at Maryland and other groups. Researchers have found new and unique applications of GUI ripping, ranging from measuring human performance to re-engineering legacy user interfaces. GUI ripping has also enabled large-scale experimentation involving millions of test cases, thereby helping to understand the nature of GUI faults and characteristics of test cases to detect them. It has resulted in large multi-institutional Government-sponsored research projects on test automation and benchmarking. GUI ripping tools have been ported to many platforms, including Java AWT and Swing, iOS, Android, UNO, Microsoft Windows, and web. In essence, the technology has transformed the way researchers and practitioners think about the nature of GUI testing, no longer considered a manual activity; rather, thanks largely to GUI Ripping, automation has become the primary focus of current GUI testing techniques. © 2013 IEEE.

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