November 04, 2004 - CruiseControl 2.2

Last week the CruiseControl community released version 2.2 of this excellent continuous integration/build tool. This release adds scads of new features but at least as interesting, at least to me, are the stories behind some of the release highlights.

Starting at the top, I've long been a believer in the "scratch an itch" philosophy of open source, which is to say things get done not because it is correct or the right thing to do but because someone needs to get their real work done. Building multiple projects in parallel is one of the examples of this happening in CC 2.2. Of all the thousands of people using CC there was to my knowledge only a single company that really needed to have multiple builds happening at the same time... but that one was enough.

CC 2.2 adds support for two new source control systems, Surround (from Seapine Software) and SnapshotCM (from True Blue Sofware). SnapshotCM support came the "traditional" route, being submitted by a user of the tool, but the Surround support was submitted directly by a Seapine employee. Having a company spend their own time/money to add support for their tool to CC is a neat milestone for the project.

One of the really visible changes in 2.2 is the radically revamped documentation (before vs after). This change is largely the work of a single person, so big kudos to Joe Schmetzer.

A final feature with an interesting story is the X10Publisher. The story started here on developer testing when Alberto published his article on eXtreme Feedback for Software Development. This article came to the attention of Mike Clark who included the story of the Agitar lava lamps in his excellent Pragmatic Project Automation. Mike published a follow up article on the Pragmatic Automation blog (which is really worth checking out) that then made slashdot and suddenly lava lamps were all the rage. Some folks at ThoughtWorks, the original creators of CruiseControl, picked up on the buzz and submitted the X10Publisher code to the project. Makes me feel like I'm part of an epsiode of Connections!

Posted by Jeffrey Fredrick at November 4, 2004 01:10 PM

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