Happy with Hudson

I’ve been using Hudson as a continuous integration server now for about a week and I am pretty happy with it.
Currently, I run CruiseControl on one machine and Hudson on another one. Both are building three branches of a large Java project from a Subversion repository (trunk, current release, and an integration branch for the current release). During the last week, we had two broken builds due to incomplete commits to the repository, which both systems reported within half an hour. And both systems reported, when the build was fixed again.
So, both systems fulfill their main purpose.

In addition, Hudson has some features, that I didn’t actually miss in CruiseControl until I discovered them in Hudson:

  • A currently ongoing build can be stopped from the UI. Hudson is quite responsive here: Usually, this only takes a couple of seconds. It seems as if you don’t have to wait until the current ant target is completed.
  • There is a “Shutdown Mode”. Once activated, no new projects are build. In CruiseControl, I usually waited until the svn update within the build file was complete and then killed the process.
  • Hudson projects handle svn updates and checkouts themselves. I always found CruiseControl lacking in this regard. Even though it is easy to have a target in a special build file to update the checked-out project, why not let the tool do the job? To set up a new project in CruiseControl, you need to add the project to the configuration and check-out the sources. In Hudson you create the project or duplicate it from an existing project (quite handy!) and run the project. Hudson takes care of the check-out.
  • Hudson handles removing the checked-out copy when deleting a project.

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