Why Choose Jenkins?

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Summary

During November 2010, a sudden outage in the project hosting infrastructure led the development team to initiate several changes to the project infrastructure. This quickly grew into a broader question about the control of the project by Oracle. The key contributors of the project discussed this with Oracle in the following months, but the negotiation failed to reach a consensus over the trademarked name "Hudson". As a result, a call for a vote was made to change the project name from "Hudson" to "Jenkins". On January 29th, this vote closed and the motion to rename was approved by 214 to 14 votes. Outside the vote, the motion was also widely supported (as can be seen here and here.)

In the following days, the Hudson team moved the infrastructure to its own servers, and started producing Jenkins releases that inherit from the original Hudson code base.

Why Choose Jenkins?

Because everyone else has

Look at adoption statistics that indicate most users moving on to Jenkins, as well as other adoption metrics indicating clear shift in the userbase.

Because the Hudson team has moved to develop Jenkins

The crew that has been developing Hudson core since its inception is now working on Jenkins. So you can trust our expertise and the the passion to keep pushing the software forward.

Compare core commits: as of 9-March, Jenkins core has 307 commits from 30 contributors; Oracle Hudson has 136 commits by 4 contributors. To see the latest, compare Jenkins to Oracle Hudson (full compare MINUS 341 commits due to merging in full history of another component into the core repository).

Because a large number of plugin authors have chosen to support their plugins on Jenkins

Substantial majority of the plugin developers have chosen to stick with the Jenkins project. So you can expect bug fixes and new improvements to them from Jenkins.

Check plugins with "Moved to Jenkins" notices on the Oracle Hudson wiki; even more mention Jenkins without using the word "moved".

Because we'll make incremental iterative improvements to the code

The Jenkins team follows the tradition in the Hudson project of making compatible, iterative improvements to the code base that protects your existing data and in-house plugins.

Because the community supports us

Because the user community and the broader internet community supports us, as can be seen in the vote counts (214 to 14), Twitter, poll (see "What Continuous Integration tool will you be using in 2011" and click "Results"), this StackOverflow question and so on. So you'll enjoy the benefit of the bigger user base, in terms of more active user support, articles/blogs on the web, etc.

Compare the users group activity from February, 2011 on between Jenkins and Oracle Hudson. Or compare the bugs reported to the issue tracker between Jenkins and Oracle Hudson (264 created vs 79 created as of March 9th.) Also notice that most of the "fix" in Oracle Hudson is plugin developers closing their bugs to consolidate them on Jenkins (example)

Frequently Asked Questions

What actually happens when I make a choice?

When you make a selection, it modifies your Hudson's update center to point to Jenkins or Oracle Hudson. As a result, your future updates will come from the respective projects. So for example, if you choose Jenkins, you'll see plugin updates that we broadcast, and you'll get notification of new Jenkins releases.

If you make a selection and later decide to revisit your choice, you can manually set the update center by "Manage Hudson" > "Plugins" > "Advanced" > "Update Site" and enter:

Is Jenkins going to be backward compatible with my Hudson?

Yes. The Jenkins code base is the same, the development approach is the same, the culture of this project remains the same. We follow the same tradition of honoring backward compatibility. So your existing Hudson deployment (i.e. version 1.395 or earlier) will upgrade smoothly to Jenkins. Protecting your existing deployment and custom plugins are very important for us, and we'll remain backward compatible with past versions of Hudson and Jenkins all the way, just like your Hudson has been backward compatible all the way.

Who's behind the Jenkins project?

The Jenkins project consists of developers from around the world contributing their time on the project. See Ohloh committer graph for the diversity. As a part of the rename, we appointed an interim governance board that consists of Andrew Bayer, and Dean Yu, and Kohsuke Kawaguchi.

The goal of the governance model is to remain independent from any corporate influence that's inconsistent from the meritocracy model, which was the root cause of the rename. This consensus is widely shared in the community.

How will I know if a plugin supports Jenkins, Oracle Hudson or both?

Plugins built against Hudson version up to 1.395 will work with Jenkins. Newer plugins that require Jenkins 1.396 or later are only guaranteed to work on Jenkins (and the same goes for Oracle Hudson.)

How do I participate in the Jenkins community?

Please join our mailing lists, or file issues in our bug tracker, update the Wiki, drop by our IRC channel, or follow us on Twitter.

Note that bug tracker and Wiki require you to have an account on jenkins-ci.org.

More Reading Materials

If you are interested in more background information, see the following coverage of this event:

Updates since the split

Hudson Labs, the community site

Kohsuke Kawaguchi, the project creator

Blogs

The Register

InfoQ

IT World

Reactions on Reddit

Reactions on Hacker News

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