Nerd Kerfuffle: Hudson to Move to Eclipse! What is Jenkins to Do?

Breaking: Oracle Plans to Transfer Hudson IP to Eclipse | Javalobby.

Hudson was (is) a great continuous integration platform-  super easy to install and use with lots of plugins.  Then, big bad Oracle claimed that while the source was open, the name was not and Oracle owned a trademark on Hudson.  The original author of Hudson, Kohsuke Kawaguchi, said, “Fine, I’m taking my ball and going home,” meaning that he forked the project, called it “Jenkins” and said to Oracle, “There, now the whole thing is open.”  This all happened quite recently, so Jenkins and Hudson are still nearly the same product.

Everyone on both sides seems to agree that the tensions started because of miscommunication, but that wasn’t the whole thing.  The issue was the trademark.  Oracle claims that they just needed more time to resolve an issue and didn’t want to exercise any unusual control over the open source project.

This is another example of why I think Oracle is going to kill Java.  Don’t get me wrong: they don’t want to kill it.  They simply don’t know how to manage it without killing it.  Never assign malevolence to that which can be explained by incompetence.

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  • Jason  On May 23, 2011 at 11:03

    Note: The quotes above by Kohsuke Kawaguchi are my creative interpretation of events, not actual quotes by him.

  • Rob Poole  On August 23, 2011 at 15:54

    Interestingly, from what I’m reading each camp is labeling the other a fork. The lead dev of Hudson who created Jenkins views the creation of Jenkins as a name change, with the new Jenkins code base being a continuation of the original code base. He did this because Oracle indicated strongly that it would refuse to relinquish the Hudson trademark. The implication is that the current “Hudson” is in fact the fork.

    Of course, as I indicated in my opening line, Oracle sees Jenkins as a fork and their version as the “real” deal.

    The lead dev / founder of Hudson (and current leader of Jenkins) is quoted as saying this latest move by Oracle is a tacit admission that they couldn’t keep up with Hudson development; he also seems skeptical that Oracle can legally reassign copyright and relicense other crucial IP in order to transfer the project to the Eclipse Foundation.

    This may all be a moot point. Glancing at the relative numbers of developers, bug fixes, and code commits for the two projects, it seems that Jenkins got the lion’s share.

    • Jason  On August 23, 2011 at 17:44

      I switched to Jenkins immediately. I’m not normally one who rebels against large juggernauts like Microsoft, Google, and Oracle. I prefer to let their products speak for themselves. But I have to say that Oracle has seemed very ham-handed in its stewardship of Java in particular and open-source in general.

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