Thursday, November 15, 2007


Sometimes you stumble across a tool you wish you had started to use several years ago. A tool which solves (or at least simplifies) a lot of the problems you have when you're developing software. CruiseControl is such a tool; and I had had it on my radar for a couple of years but never gotten around to actually start using it until a few weeks ago.

CruiseControl (or one of its cousins: CruiseControl.NET, CruiseControl.rb) is a tool used to support Continuous Integration, a software development practice which is characterized by frequent commits (usually at least once a day), and regular automated builds several times per day. We haven't gotten around to adopting CI completely, but CC is still a great framework to take care of your automatic build. Here are some highlights:
  • It has nice web dashboard for monitoring the state of the builds. It tracks the time each build takes, and when a build is in progress it estimates time left based on the previous build.
  • It is easy to configure.
  • It can automatically trigger builds when commits are made to the source repository.
  • It can automatically send mails to all users which have participated in the last build (i.e. have commited code since the last successful build). If you want it to it can send mail to everyone for every build, but with several builds per day that quickly becomes annoying.
If you aren't using CruiseControl for your automatic building, you should do so. Now.

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