Who Are You?

I'm Arnaud Lacour. Quality's my thing. Even though I'm originally a developer, I've always looked at it from the angle of high availability, reliability, catastrophic recovery and such. On the performance side of things, I like to keep an eye on regressions introduced as more features get added.

What Do You Use Hudson For?

We use (and abuse?) Hudson for a number of things:

Build System

Our build system is written in Ant and we use a single project with little to no external dependencies in a java.net subversion repository.

Distributed Builds

The variety of systems we have is the hard thing to manage for us:

There are many more possible conbinations but we just don't have the hardware or the energy (or will) to maintain so many boxes. Also, most of the time exhaustive coverage is not required to catch 90% of issues. It takes very little DOE to figure that out and mixing the platforms was done to maximize the odds of finding those 90% of issues. For some of those OSes, we actually have 2 slaves to be able to execute more tests in parallel. We're closing in on 20 nodes and we're going to add 10 more in the near future for automated real-life deployments simulations.

Managing Slaves

Managing all those slaves can be a chore unless it's done right. At least you have to find what works for you. I found that naming the common root to all things hudson /path/to worked fine for me as it works on Unixes and Windows platform (Ant maps /path/to to \path\to which works fine). Then I do the symlink trick on Unixes and I just install hardwired on Windows. Hudson home is always set to /path/to/hudson for example and Java is always /path/to/java/version/latest. this makes managing the tools dependency maintenance really easy on me. And Hudson configuration is down to the bare minimum.

Leveraging The Plugins Power

All in all, if you looked at other CI tools, nothing comes close to Hudson in terms of usability and serviceability. In our previous CI system, we had poor to no reporting facilities and so Hudson comes as a tremendous improvement. For example, here's a snapshot of our performance job.