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Hudson 3.0 takes on Jenkins

Elliot Bentley
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First Hudson release under Eclipse Foundation brings plug-in manager and reduced footprint, but is it enough?

Having graduated from the Eclipse Foundation last month, the Hudson project has released version 3.0 of the continuous integration server – the first production release under the open-source foundation.

New additions to Hudson 3.0 include a plug-in manager for Hudson’s 400 plug-ins, a simplified installation procedure and a redesign of Hudson’s web interface using jQueryUI. Under the hood, Hudson’s footprint is reportedly 50% smaller thanks to the replacement of multiple third-party libraries with licenses incompatible with Eclipse.

These changes may not be enough to tempt back users of Jenkins, the popular fork of Hudson that has left the original in the dust. Judged purely on the basis of commit data, the Jenkins community appears now to be far larger and more active than that of the original project.

Hudson was originally created by Kohsuke Kawaguchi, a Japanese developer working full-time for Sun. When Oracle acquired Kawaguchi’s employer, however, the community became frustrated with the big O’s mishandling of the project – accidentally locking Hudson devs out of their own mailing lists and overruling a move to GitHub.

The dispute culminated in a fork of the code under new name Jenkins, which became so successful that Oracle donated its existing Hudson code and IP rights to the Eclipse Foundation in May 2011. Having begun shipping milestone releases of the new, Eclipse-guided Hudson this time last year, 3.0 represents a new beginning for the once-forsaken project.

However, it remains to be seen if Hudson can regain its lost momentum, or else be forever consigned to the role of Jenkins’ wayward cousin.

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