Hudson rocks. I mean, holy shit, this is one nice software package. I’m just starting my first foray into continuous integration (CI) and haven’t compared Hudson to other CI software but so far Hudson is so feature rich and easy to use that I don’t see a need to evaluate others.

Hudson has a clean user administration interface but happily obliges me if I want to manually tinker with the XML-format configuration files – something I had to do several times after repeatedly locking myself out trying to get the security settings correct. Editing the configuration files also comes in handy for making bulk changes across a dozen of job settings – for example, adding Jabber notification or renaming projects.

The formal documentation is a little on the light side but the GUI interface and layout of the configuration files is intuitive enough that I usually didn’t need to RTFM. The active support forum helped fill in many knowledge gaps and a little experimentation on my own has so far solved the rest.

Overall, I’m really amazed and thrilled how seamlessly it works with our existing build and testing system which consists of hobbled together shell scripts wrapping other Perl scripts and Ant tasks. I’ll be adding Selenium tests for our web components in the future.

I’ve hit a few, small stumbling blocks – nothing insurmountable – incorporating Hudson into my project and I’ll be posting about some of those. Still, I’m very excited about the prospects of having Hudson help me solve some long standing frustrations on this project, even those that aren’t really a component of continuous integration.

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