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05 May 2011, 11:12

Hudson proposed as Eclipse project by Oracle

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Oracle has announced its proposal that the Hudson continuous integration system become a project of the Eclipse Foundation. Oracle's proposal would see the Hudson IP, including the trademark, transferred to the Eclipse Foundation and, according to the FAQ, SonaType, Tasktop and VMWare will join the project's initial pool of contributors at Eclipse, supported by IBM and Intuit. Oracle says it is making the move to "improve the insight, predictability and openness of the Hudson project and we believe having it part of the Eclipse community was the best way to achieve that."

The transfer is expected to take a number of months to ensure that the code and its provenance is correctly attributed. While Hudson is currently licensed under the MIT licence, making switching to the Eclipse Public Licence relatively simple if required, Hudson depends on six third party libraries (Java Native Access, jCIFS, XOM, JCaptcha, JCommon and JFreeChart) which are licensed under the LGPL; the proposal says that the developers will need to either re-implement the functionality or get the library licence changed.

In a blog posting, the Eclipse Foundation's Executive Director Mike Milinkovich said "Hudson is coming to Eclipse for all the right reasons. The Eclipse community is itself a big user of Hudson, and we all look forward to the growth in momentum, innovation and predictability that will result from this move." Although the Foundation has many development tools under its governance, it currently does not have a continuous integration tool.

The Hudson system had been the subject of a dispute between Oracle and the project's community which resulted in the creation of a fork of the project, Jenkins. Discontent between Oracle and Kohsuke Kawaguchi, the project's founder and former Sun / Oracle employee, flared up when Oracle objected to the project moving off Oracle servers and onto Github. A vote within the community saw majority support for forking the project to create Jenkins. Since then, Oracle has worked with Sonatype on enhancing Hudson with JSR330 integration and has moved the project's code repository to Github.

Reacting to the announcement, Kawaguchi wrote in a blog posting that he was "quite surprised" by the announcement. He believes Oracle's move shows the success of the Jenkins project, but he is also disappointed that Oracle was not prepared to accept a neutral third party's governance during the dispute. Oracle says that before the split it had deemed Eclipse as "too heavyweight" but since the split it has realised that it was the "best course of action".

Kawaguchi also pointed out that there are some other IP issues, such as the Hudson logo being Microsoft clip art and the status of the six months of contributions to the code he made after he left Oracle. In comments, Ian Skerrett, Marketing Director at Eclipse pointed out that Eclipse has a "well defined process that I am sure will address any issues that might arise." The proposal is also being discussed on the Eclipse forums.


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