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A university research confirms the popularity of Hudson

Posted by kohsuke on February 3, 2009 at 10:08 AM PST

Eric Lefevre found a study of CI tools by Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Venlo, Netherlands. This is based on sending questions to volunteer participants and tabulating the results.

With the usual caveat about the sampling size and geographic distribution of respondents, this paper found that the most commonly used CI tool today is Cruise Control (29 people), followed by Hudson (24 people.) The third popular tool only has 4 people, so beyond that is within a margin of error.

Now, if you look at the download statistics of Cruise Control (sorry if the link shows an error — it times out rather frequently), which reported 1830 downloads last week, and compare that with the statistics for Hudson (which reported 2868 downloads last week), you can see that Hudson is getting more downloads now.

Once again, every statistics should be taken with a grain of salt; there are biases like Hudson's higher frequency of releases and potential difference in how two systems count downloads, but nonetheless I think Hudson is on the right trajectory. This is a much better situation than what Eric found half a year go.

The PDF is available for everyone to download, and I found it an interesting read. I particularly found it interesting that Bamboo and Continuum got no adoption as far as this research was concerned.

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Consider too that the statistics in that survey didn't distinguish between the various flavors of CruiseControl (Java, .NET, .rb)... Based on the changes I've seen at CITCON the last few years I think Hudson has become more popular among experienced CI practitioners than CruiseControl. I don't think this change has fully propagated through the installed base but the trend is pretty clear, esp. for Java shops.

That's an interesting report with many dimensions. The one I was looking for but didn't see was the choice of tool according to the primary development language. There's no obvious reason why a CI tool (or build tool for that matter) should be targeted for Java or C, but they seem to be that way. I'd like to have seen more responses too. ~Matt