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Oracle Plans to Transfer Hudson IP to Eclipse

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Oracle Plans to Transfer Hudson IP to Eclipse

· Java Zone ·
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Is it surprising news?  You'll have to decide.  Oracle is now proposing that the Hudson open source CI Engine, which was recently gutted when many contributors chose to join the Jenkins fork after a trademark dispute, should have it's governance and IP transferred to the Eclipse Foundation.  The proposal includes a complete license change for the code (to the EPL) and a transfer of the domain and trademark to the Eclipse Foundation.  The big question is: Why now Oracle?  Why not make this intention clear the community was about to fork? 

Oracle says it will still be a leading contributor to the project and the Hudson project got a fresh batch of contributors from Sonatype who are now working on a new plugin architecture for Hudson that uses a representation style based on JSR 330 dependency injection.  Sonatype has been a fervent supporter of the original project on their blog.  Today VMware and Tasktop have also been invited to join the project.  Mik Kersten, the founder of Tasktop and creator of Eclipse's Mylyn, had a substantial response to today's news in his blog:

Jenkins exercised the very important open source community right to fork, but in the process split the community. I in no way want to diminish what Kohsuke Kawaguchi created, and I have a deep and personal appreciation for the labour of love that open source projects like this require. But FUD ensued around the state of CI, and today’s announcement of moving the project to a neutral body marks major progress.

Consider the alternatives. As we learned with the rapid exodus off CruiseControl to Hudson, CI tools are a well understood space and easy enough to migrate between. If the differences between Hudson and Jenkins had grown sufficiently large and there was overall confusion and friction among the developer and corporate communities, this would have increased the demand for a new CI solution. ... Eclipse is a tried-and-true place to evolve this level of tool support around ALM tools such as Hudson, and we are looking forward to collaborating around the convergent evolution of Mylyn, Hudson and Git/EGit and other key ALM technologies.

We're still waiting on a response from the Jenkins community, but some have predicted that the new, open governance model of the Eclipse Foundation might bridge the gap between the Jenkins and Hudson communities and lead to more cooperation down the road.  While Oracle's leader for Hudson said a few months back that the GitHub migration had to wait, and that a move would constitute a fork of the project, he later said he was never against the move but simply wanted to wait and make sure the whole community was informed. 

Accusations of ulterior motives flew from both sides, so you can either believe that Oracle was okay with relinquishing the trademark all along and just evaluating Hudson very slowly, or that they were not going to do it and the Jenkins fork made them change their minds.  Either way, the Jenkins fork may have been the spark that was needed to make this change happen.

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