I came back this morning from the conference, my third time after Brussels in 07 and London in 06. It was great as usual. If you haven’t been to an Open Space conference, know that you are seriously missing out on something.
There are quite a few things to take away
- there is a surprisingly large number of CI tools, especially commercial; we had a demo of 7; CruiseControl by Paul Julius, build-o-matic by Ivan Moore, Hudson by yours truly, JetBrains TeamCity by Pavel Sher & Yegor Yarko, Rational BuildForge by Lieuwe, Zutubi Pulse2 by Jason Sankey, ThoughtWorks Cruise by Chris Read. Many others were not represented. I don’t quite understand why the market is so fragmented.
- CI tools get less interest than before; there were still a few sessions on CI (CI Tools Showdown, Future of CI…) but fewer than usual. Remember that CI is still the main reason why people come to this conference. Instead, more discussions about Agile in general, and on automated functional testing in particular
- Chris Read from ThoughtWorks wants to push for Open CI, an effort to standardize the storage format of CI tools, so that they can get integrated more easily with other (non-CI) tools, such as Trac, Mingle, etc.
Some advanced features that seemed interesting:
- personal builds (Pulse & TeamCity)
- pipelines (Cruise); I think someone mentioned working on such things in the past, though I cannot find traces of it right now.
- build templates (Pulse); you define things such as a JDK configuration, SVN connection in a template, and you optionally override them in actual jobs that inherit from them. Some (French) people came to me after the conference to explicitely request this on Hudson! I think Hudson is big in France.
- build steps parallelized (BuildForge, Cruise, others?); in a complex job, you can mark some consecutive steps (say, integration tests and acceptance tests) and get them to run in parallel instead
- real time display of the number of tests passing/failing (TeamCity)
- find out exactly who broke the build (build-o-matic)
Interestingly, most commercial tools have a free version (limited to 1 or 2 machines) and charge by the number of slaves (I didn’t realized that slaves were such in demand). Costs are around 10,000USD / year for 10 slaves.
For more on the conference, check out:
- my twitter feed (I posted quite a lot)
- the CITCON Blogs aggregator
- notes on the sessions (few for the moment; more will come)
- my pictures on flickr
Oh, and Steve Freeman coined “Scrum is the new RUP”. I need a t-shirt with that.
Updates (06/10/08): it is Lieuwe, not Louis, who demoed BuildForge. Cleared up that Cruise is the only one doing pipelines and that it supports //ized steps.