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Interview with the creator of Jenkins – Kohsuke Kawaguchi

“The CDF will foster collaboration among open source projects that span the whole software delivery lifecycle.”

Dominik Mohilo
© Shutterstock / rawf8  

The CloudBees team announces the launch of the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CD Foundation or CDF). We invited Kohsuke Kawaguchi, the creator of Jenkins, to give us some insight into the goals of CDF, the details around project donations and more! 

Big news coming over from the CloudBees team that announces the launch of the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CD Foundation or CDF), a foundation that will operate under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation. CloudBees was the leading voice in this launch initiative, but the CDF was realized in collaboration with the Jenkins Community, Google and the Linux Foundation itself.

To learn more about this announcement and what it has in store for the developer community, we invited Kohsuke Kawaguchi, the creator of Jenkins, to give us some insight into the goals of CDF, the details around project donations and more!

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JAXenter: Twenty-two major   (software) companies – CloudBees, GitLab, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and Red Hat to name a few – in cooperation with the Linux Foundation just announced the launching of the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF). What are the goals of this new Foundation?

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: The CDF consists of members and projects that believe in the transformational power of Continuous Delivery to software development and thus to the business. The CDF will foster collaboration among open source projects that span the whole software delivery lifecycle.

JAXenter: Jenkins, your creation, and tools like Jenkins X, Tekton and Spinnaker are initial CDF projects. What are the benefits for me and my project if I decide to donate it to the CDF?

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: Every software development team needs many open source tools to deliver software, so when we bring our projects and work together, I think we can solve user problems faster and more effectively.

JAXenter: Will there be something like an incubator for new projects, like in the Eclipse Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation, and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation? Who will decide which projects will become part of the CDF?

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: The CDF is just launching, so more work needs to happen in the coming weeks to build out these structures. Fortunately, the Linux Foundation has a lot of expertise, and many people involved in the initial projects also have a long history in open-source. So I think we collectively know how to do this well. The CDF is an open foundation, and it’s not meant to be an exclusive circle of “insiders.”

JAXenter: How will the new Foundation be organized? Will there be a board of directors or will it be just one? Are there going to be elections?

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: The charter of the CDF describes this in gory details. Roughly speaking, there is the governance board that deals with money and oversight, then there’s the technical oversight committee that coordinates across projects, nurture projects, and so on. And yes, it involves elections.

JAXenter: Is there some kind of new license planned? If yes, can you spare the details?

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: I haven’t heard any member nor project mention this. Sustainability of open source is an important topic in the industry, and I know some groups have tried to use licenses to solve this challenge. I think they identified the right problems and I commend their efforts, but I don’t think that will work.

JAXenter: How are people going to collaborate on certain topics and projects? Will there be mailing lists, a slack server for communication? On a technical level: Will everything be handled via GitLab / GitHub or is something else planned?

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: One of the things I learned through the Jenkins project is that open source projects need a different level of structure at different phases. My expectation is that each project is given autonomy to do what’s right for them. Then at the level of the CDF, I think various structures will be likely useful to drive engagement from companies, such as working groups and special interest groups meeting recurrently.

JAXenter: As a final question: What has the year 2019 in store for Jenkins and Jenkins X?

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: I honestly don’t know! But I do know that more people are working on it and a lot is getting cooked (for example, a collaboration between Jenkins X and Tekton is happening as we speak), so if the first few months of 2019 is of any indication, it’s going to be another crazy year!

Thank you very much!

Author
Dominik Mohilo
Dominik Mohilo studied German and sociology at the Frankfurt University, and works at S&S Media since 2015.

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