BuildMonitor v0.8 is finally here, you can download it from Firefox Add-ons page. This release has a number of nice improvements…
Multiple feeds monitoring
Now you can monitor multiple Hudson instances by configuring their feeds in BuildMonitor preferences. All feed status icons will be displayed on the Firefox status bar, you can mouseover or click each icon to get the build details for the corresponding feed.
Feed status display
The way BuildMonitor uses the orbs to represent the health summary of the feed in v0.7 has been a source of confusion to the users. Many users thought that the orb indicates the latest build status, and not the overall health of the feed.
Another source of confusion is the fact that some users use a Hudson feed with multiple projects, some use a Hudson feed with only 1 project, and some use job-specific feeds, which led to different expectation of what status should be displayed.
With that, I decided to (1) make the status icon configurable with an option to display the overall feed health or the latest build status, and (2) use the weather icon for the overall feed health, while the latest build status keeps using the orbs.
Sound and alert window notifications
v0.8 now has configurable options to enable sound and alert window notifications when there’s a build failure.
When enabled, BuildMonitor plays a shattered glass sound (kudos to The Freesound Project) following a build failure. While alert window notification is enabled by default, it shows an alert a la Growl at the bottom right corner of your desktop.
Note that alert window on OS X only works since Firefox 3.
Green is the new blue
Quite surprisingly, I got asked a number of times about why Hudson uses blue to indicate success (to which I just pointed to this thread and that thread) and why can’t BuildMonitor uses green instead.
I was quite reluctant to add green-for-success as an option in BuildMonitor considering that Hudson still uses blue and the option to use green is not there yet. But I guess if the users want to use green by configuring via BuildMonitor’s preferences menu, then at least they’re aware of the difference, so this option is included in v0.8 . Blue is still the default though.
Personally, I like blue better :p.
I added several new icons from Tango Project in v0.8, and updated the existing icons with new PNGs having transparent background.
Open page in new/current tab
Now you have the option to open build pages in a new tab or the current tab.
The preferences page now looks like this in v0.8…
Firefox add-on status
The add-on is still listed as experimental on addons.mozilla.org’s sandbox, it has been 4 months since I nominated it for approval. The AMO editors are still working on clearing up a huge list of add-ons to approve, I don’t know when BuildMonitor will be approved. I agree that the approval process can scale, but it doesn’t.
With almost 400 active BuildMonitor users (according to addons.mozilla.org), it would be very nice to auto-upgrade all of them. But since we’re still waiting for approval, you have to login again to download, sorry.
Please let me know what you think about this new release. Any comments? suggestions? criticisms?
Projects: buildmonitor firefox hudson jcaptcha kaptcha
by Cliffano Subagio
you will notice that the water effect (at the centre of the image) is now visible with pixels, whereas it wasn’t at all with imaging library in the original simplecaptcha implementation. I tested various settings of the water effect, and opted to minimise the effect so lowercase letters on a small font size are still easy on human eyes. Another change with 2.3 is the ripple effect on the characters. It’s not too obvious on the above image, but it’s more visible on uppercase letters with larger font size.
All in all, I think Kaptcha is a nice simple library that does the job. I started using it with Blojsom SCode Plugin, and contributed some improvements back to Kaptcha. Another (more popular) java-based captcha library is JCaptcha, which is also used by SCode Plugin. I’m not a big fan of JCaptcha for the simple reason that their generated captchas are hard to read. It’s interesting that similar comments were made on Hudson mailing list.
Now, on to Hudson Build Monitor. I just released BuildMonitor 0.7 last night. This version is compatible with the recently released Firefox 3.0.1, and it includes id-ID l10n as the first translation. Next version will have build executors monitoring. I’ve started working on the UI, but the data feed is yet to be added to Hudson core.
As you can see from the add-on page over at mozilla.org, this add-on still hasn’t received an approval for public access. I understand that the AMO editors (which all/mostly are volunteers) have been working hard with the crazy number of submissions per day since Firefox 3 release, but I believe that the current approval process will keep facing the same problem every time there’s a sudden jump in the number of add-on reviews, unless Mozilla allocates additional editors to help out. This is not a rant or gripe towards the editors, on the contrary, kudos to them for the work that they’ve been doing.
If I can suggest a change to the approval review process, I think it’s better to distribute the review tasks to the submitters by specifying a detailed list of tests that must be done by those submitters, and keep the tasks that the editors must do as minimal as possible. For example, if AMO provided me with 50 things to test, then I would go through the list, record the tests as a video, and put them on youtube. The reviewers can then just review the video, and still perform only the really really necessary checks, like scanning the source code for any obvious security issues.
So, Hudson users, please be patient, you have to keep logging in to add-ons.mozilla.org to download the add-on for now :).
When I first developed BuildMonitor, I thought that the typical users would be something like a team of 5-10 developers working on a project, and they would be located in the same building.
After v0.1 was released and feedback started coming in, I learned that some users want to monitor 10-20 projects on the same Hudson instance, there are projects with developers scattered across different time zones, and there was someone who asked for non-English translations since Hudson itself has been translated to 7 languages.
On v0.1 BuildMonitor attempted to parse a complete Atom feed using jFeed & jQuery, which was ok on my tiny test feed, but failed misserably on real projects with lots of builds resulting in large feed. The full Atom feed parsing slowed Firefox for several seconds and froze the user interface, specially on low-spec machines.
This had since been fixed by parsing only the minimum required elements and by limiting the number of builds to parse. I also decided to use plain DOMParser instead of jFeed.
Mozilla Add-ons Policy
Mozilla has been doing a great job with ensuring the quality of the add-ons with their policy which protects Firefox users from malicious add-ons. The policy requires user reviews for public access nomination, but at the same time the site requires user registrations / login to download a sandboxed add-on, something that most people like to avoid.
This introduces a chicken or egg situation. Add-on needs users to test and review the site, but the potential users and reviewers are chased away by the requirement to login. This is even worse for BuildMonitor because the intended audience is targeted to Hudson users, a much smaller portion of Firefox users.
New translation can easily be added to BuildMonitor by adding new locale files to /trunk/hudson/extras/firefox-extension/buildmonitor/src/chrome/locale/ .
As someone who is quite fluent in Indonesian, I attempted to translate BuildMonitor to Bahasa Indonesia (id-ID locale). And it turned out that translating IT terms to Indonesian wasn’t easy, even with the use of Glosarium. I left Indonesia before the era of Internet, and by now there are tons of Indonesian technical terms that I’ve never heard of before.
Projects: buildmonitor continuous integration firefox hudson
by Cliffano Subagio
Update: documentation and screenshots have been moved to Hudson wiki.
I’ve just released BuildMon Build Monitor v0.1, a Firefox Add-on that displays Hudson Build status on Firefox status bar panel. You can install it from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7522 .
This add-on is currently sandboxed (only registered users can click the ‘Add to Firefox’ button). It still needs at least a user review before I can nominate it for public access. So if you can help with a review, it will be highly appreciated. I’ve tested it on Firefox 2.0.14 and 3.0RC2 (Gran Paradiso), on Windows Vista and Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon, against Hudson 1.211′s feed.
BuildMon uses Hudson orbs as the build status indicator.
- Blue orb (success) – all builds were successful.
- Yellow orb (warning) – there’s at least one failed build, but the latest build was a success.
- Red orb (failure) – the latest build failed, someone should fix it, the build breaker is not allowed to go for lunch or go home :p.
BuildMon development was quite straightforward. Mozilla Developer Center has a nice tutorial on Building an Extension, and XUL Planet’s Element Reference is very handy. The only problem I had was on the weird behaviour of the tooltip and popupmenu elements, it took me a while to figure out that placing them within the wrong parent elements resulted in the elements appearing when there are other add-ons installed, but not when it’s the only installed add-on.
Hope you’ll find this add-on useful, and remember… thou shalt not ignore the red orb!
I’ve been using Hudson since its early version (way way before m2 support), mostly for my personal projects. Back then I used CruiseControl at work, and I also briefly looked at Continuum as another option. Hudson has by far been the best at providing the right balance between convenience and flexibility, mad props for that.