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Oracle hands Hudson to Eclipse, but Jenkins fork seems permanent

Paul Krill | May 4, 2011
Having irked the open source community with its handling of the Project Hudson continuous integration server inherited from Sun Microsystems, Oracle abruptly changed course today and handed Hudson over to the open source Eclipse Foundation.

Oracle's Farrell disputed that: "Since the fork, Oracle and Sonatype have been focused on stabilizing and improving Hudson's quality," rolling out a test suite to run tests that had not been run in years. Oracle also changed the development process so a new release happened every five weeks instead of every week, to improve predictability for users, he said. Oracle's post-fork release of Hudson, version 2.2.0, fixed about 20 high-priority bugs.

Oracle's gesture may be too late -- and is questionedBut a developer of the Jenkins core saw Oracle's gesture as a bit late. "It's a shame no one from Oracle or [Hudson participant] Sonatype reached out to anyone from the Jenkins community -- we'd still love for them to rejoin the community and contribute to Jenkins," said Andrew Bayer. He said he does not know why Oracle did not propose donation of the Hudson trademark sooner, when efforts were underway to prevent the Hudson-Jenkins split. "While they proposed an Eclipse-like governance/development process, they never expressed a willingness to donate the trademark to an external foundation."

Both Bayer and Kawaguchi questioned whether Oracle has the legal clearance to reassign Hudson intellectual property. "I'm not sure whether Oracle actually has all the necessary rights to reassign copyright and relicense the full Hudson [intellectual property] -- that's definitely going to be a challenge for them," Bayer said.

Doubt that the Jenkins fork will be integrated back into HudsonAsked if Hudson and Jenkins could be reunited, Bayer was doubtful: "Everything that's happened on the Hudson/Eclipse front up until this morning has been entirely behind closed doors on a corporate level, without any community discussion or public involvement, while the Jenkins community has been conducting its governance meetings in public, with all members of the community invited and contributing. We'd love for Oracle, Sonatype, et al. to rejoin the Jenkins community, but the fact that no one from either company reached out to the Jenkins community on this suggests they're not interested in that."

Bayer stressed the strength he believes Jenkins now has over Hudson: "The Jenkins organization on GitHub now has almost 500 repositories, the majority of those plug-ins, and almost 100 public members, while Hudson only has its core repository available and only four public members. Of the 25 most commonly installed plug-ins from before the split, 21 of them have moved primary development to focus on Jenkins, with the remaining four not having any changes during that time. In fact, 40 new plug-ins have been added to Jenkins since the split, while only one has been added to Hudson. The development community has definitely made its choice heard."


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