Hudson Vs. Oracle

Hudson To Become Jenkins?

Towards the end of 2010, Oracle ruffled yet more feathers, this time in the Hudson community. Oracle asserted that they owned the 'Hudson' trademark, in order to prevent the Hudson community from moving the project to GitHub, following some problems the community were experiencing with the Java.net migration. Before the GitHub move could go ahead, Oracle stepped in and announced that, as they owned the Hudson trademark, the community were not free to migrate the project onto a different infrastructure and still keep the Hudson branding. This did not go down well with the community, although Kohsuke, CloudBees CEO Sacha Labourey and Andrew Bayer did enter into talks with Winston Prakash, Oracle manager Denis Tyrell and Ted Farrell, regarding the dispute.

Now, it seems those talks have come to a conclusion. Bayer has posted a blog revealing that, although they worked with Oracle to reach agreements on issues such as project infrastructure, code review policy and governance structure, they could not agree on the trademark issue. In his blog, Bayer refers to the knowledge that Oracle own the rights to the name Hudson as “living under a sword of Damocles." Now, he proposes taking Hudson and renaming it 'Jenkins' in order to free themselves from “the burden of Oracle's ownership of its name.” The team have already begun the process of registering domains and Twitter users under this new moniker, and Kohsuke intends to register the trademark for Jenkins in his name, ultimately transferring ownership of the trademark to the umbrella of the Software Freedom Conservancy.

Furthermore, the team plan to move the infrastructure off Oracle-owned and Oracle-hosted severs, and rename existing independent components of the infrastructure, so they no longer use the term 'Hudson.' While the new project is finding its feet, an interim governance board consisting of three members will be instated. This board will comprise of Bayer, Kohsuke and, if Oracle decide to get involved in Jenkins, Oracle engineer Winston Prakash. Bayer proposes that, following an initial 3-6 month period, elections will be held to determine new board members.

But, they do not wish to make this move alone: “Obviously, such a move could not be undertaken without the agreement and support of the Hudson community. We believe this proposal is the best choice for the project in the situation it's currently in, but we aren't closing off discussion, questions, etc, and we encourage your feedback and comments. If there's anything you need clarified, please ask and we'll do our best to answer.”

According to the blog, Oracle will present their own proposal for Hudson continuing as an Oracle product. “I encourage you to read it when it becomes available and weigh it accordingly,” says Bayer. After Oracle's proposal has been issued, Bayer will run a poll to determine the position of the community. He also extends an offer for Oracle to work with them on the Jenkins project, although it will be “on equal terms with all other contributors.”

So, is this a fork? Bayer attempts to make a distinction between a fork, and a renaming of an existing project. He presents Jenkins as a renaming rather than a fork, as Kohsuke is working at Jenkins which, to Bayer at least, makes Jenkins “the true home and the future of the project.”

Jessica Thornsby

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