Oracle has come under criticism this year over a number of open source projects, among them the Java-based Hudson continuous integration (CI) system. In the case of Hudson, a number of key members of the community forked Hudson into the Jenkins CI project after disagreement with Oracle on how to proceed with the project's development and governance.
Hudson at Oracle however is still alive and well. Today Oracle took a major step toward ensuring the open source future and continued success of Hudson by giving the project to the open source Eclipse Foundation.
"We're still totally committed to Hudson, we are still behind it as ever," Ted Farrell, chief architect and senior vice president, Tools and Middleware at Oracle told InternetNews.com. "This move will help grow the community and relieve any concerns that people have about it being an Oracle-owned project. We welcome all people that want to contribute and have their voices heard."
Farrell said that Eclipse will provide the governance and participation model that Hudson needs. Farrell said that for years Hudson has not had a proper governance process and it's an area that Oracle has been keen on fixing.
"Oracle has a long history of working with Eclipse and I think Hudson will fit in really well with their high-level of standards," Farrell said.
By running the project as an Eclipse effort, the project can have an open model that encourages and enables participation and development.
"So we're giving back to the community, which allows it to be more open," Farrell said. "As part of the proposal Oracle and Sonatype will each have multiple committers, VMware is also putting in a full time committer and both Intuit and IBM are also listed as supporters of the project."
Farrell added that he expects that both the committer and supporter lists will grow as Hudson is embraced by the Eclipse community. Farrell stressed that Oracle still has no plans for building a commercial implementation of Hudson.
"We do have plans for commercial support for the open source project," Farrell said. "Our goal in the Tools and Framework group, which is my team, is that everything we produce is free of charge for our customers to help them build applications, so I think Hudson fits really well into that."
Farrell added that he's not sure if the Jenkins fork will reconnect with Hudson at Oracle. He noted that Jenkins is welcome to join Hudson if they want too.
Oracle has not been sitting idle on Hudson since Jenkins forked the project earlier this year. Farrell noted that a new test framework has been added to Hudson and the new 2.0.0 release fixes the top 29 bugs in the project as voted on by members of the Hudson community.
"We've been working towards improving quality and predictability," Farrell said.
Moving forward Farrell said that currently the Hudson UI is very tightly coupled to the plug-in model. He noted that users have asked for the project to provide more flexibility.
"It really locks in the way things are done," Farrell said. "People have asked multiple times to separate those two things to give more flexibility for user interface options and keep it separate from the core execution model of running and co-coordinating the diff jobs. "