I've used capybara for a while, now I see watir is another possibility for writing web automation.
Both are ruby based and use selenium.

Other than syntax differences, are there significant differences between them that could help me in choosing between them. I'm not looking for a recommendation or 'which is best?', just what the significant difference is (if any) between them?

  • The question is too broad. Could you specify the main point of differences that you are interested? "Main goals", "learning curve, "performance", etc. May 13, 2017 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


Watir is Object Oriented while capybara is domain specific.

Capybara is simple to use, quick to deploy but maintenance will be an issue over time.

Watir needs overhead to develop its page abstraction and etc but it pays for its dividend in the future for its maintainability.

  • 2
    This just isn't true - Capybara provides a DSL that may be used if wanted, but can also be written in the same object oriented manner as Watir if the user prefers. Apr 21, 2019 at 16:41

I have asked similar question here on watir Github: What are known reasons to use watir not capybara?

You may find something useful there.

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