Why can't we write "ChromeDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();" in Selenium?

  • Why do we create a ChromeDriver instance and then assign it to a "WebDriver" interace reference.

    Webdriver driver  = new ChromeDriver();

    Why cant we create a Chromedriver , Firefoxdriver or IEDriver reference and assign it the object?

    I am a complete newbie in Selenium and java?

  • Actually, you can.

     ChromeDriver x = new ChromeDriver();

    is a perfect valid Java statement.

    The point of using the interface WebDriver on the fact that all the API (methods) that you will be using are defined on the interface:

    enter image description here

    The classes ChromeDriver and Firefoxdriver implement these methods for the specificity of these browser. However, for your usage it is not necessary to know about each implementation, because they simply fulfill the interface (a contract) - it is a principle know as Abstraction in OOP.

    It allows you to pass a concrete object (a ChromeDriver or a Firefoxdriver) throughout methods "disguised" as something more generic. If you actually need to change the object, you just need to act of its creation point and everything else will work fine at run-time. If you come to need something specific of ChromeDriver, you can cast the WebDriver to a ChromeDriver, but note that this operation is fragile to the change of the concrete object.

    In a nutshell, in programming, always prefer to act on higher levels of abstraction, in order to be robust against changes in the lower levels.

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