Just For Fun

Jenkins hits 1.500

The last week the Jenkins project has reached a miletone release — Version 1.500. That's no 1.5 nor 1.5.0. That's the 501st release since its inception, counting all the way up from 1.0, 1.1 to 1.500.

We'll be celebrating this release in the upcoming FOSDEM conference in Brussels, but I wanted to thank everyone for making this great community possible by participating and using it.

Despite all the distances we've thus far come, there are still a lot of work to be done, both in the core and plugins, so we look forward to keep on keeping on in the coming years.

So here is to the next 500 release!

Why does Jenkins have blue balls?

A japanese traffic light It is interesting having an open source project that is sufficiently old to start generating "lore" of some form or another. Jenkins is starting to get to be that age, having been started over 6 years ago.

One of the most commonly asked questions, is about Jenkins' use of "blue balls" to indicate success by default. This is enough of an "issue" for some users that the Green Balls plugin is in the list of top 10 installed plugins.

The reason behind our use of blue to indicate success has its basis in Kohsuke's Japanese upbringing. The cultural differences were enumerated in a bug report comically titled "s/blue/green/g" (JENKINS-369):

This response Kohsuke cited was taken from this Q&A thread

Q. "Why do Japanese people say that they have blue traffic lights when they are really green?" --Question submitted by John Sypal

A: According to the book, Japan From A to Z: Mysteries of Everyday Life Explained by James and Michiko Vardaman, the first traffic signals in Japan were blue instead of green, but the blue lights were difficult to see from a long distance away so they were replaced with green ones. Vardaman says that the custom of referring to traffic lights is a holdover from those days.

This sounds like a good explanation, but the problem with it is that you will hear Japanese people refer to other green things (like cucumbers, spinach, and sometimes grass) as being blue as well. This is because historically, Japanese people considered green to be a shade of blue. For example, the Chinese character for blue, pronounced ao is made up of two characters, iki (life) and i (well) and refers to the colour of plants which grow around a well, a colour between green and blue. When Chinese people see the character, they say it means green, but Japanese people say it means blue.

Japanese books on colours tell us that there are four tertiary colours: red, blue, white and black, and that all others are shades of those four main ones. Ao, therefore, is a sort of ideal blue, halfway between green and blue. The sky is said to be blue, but it is a different shade of ao than a traffic light is. Tree leaves are said to be green, but green is a shade of ao, like crimson is a shade of red.

In another interesting cultural difference relating to colour, Japanese children always colour the sun red instead of yellow.

(here's a direct link to Kohsuke's comment)

Unfortunately it's not for color blind users, although that's a pretty convincing explanation. Jenkins has blue balls because in Japan, red means stop and blue means go!

CI Dinner Wednesday at 6:30

Photo from inside Cafe ChaatApologies for the late notice, I think most of us have been pre-occupied with that fantastic Jenkins User Conference. While there are plenty of folks in town for JavaOne, I wanted to host a meetup/dinner at Cafe Chaat here in San Francisco.

If you're coming from JavaOne directly, use these directions

If you're coming from Oracle OpenWorld, use these directions

Kohsuke will be in attendance as will some other Jenkins User Conference speakers, so if you still have left-over questions, I'm sure you can get them answered before the last of the Mango Lassi is finished!

Look forward to seeing you there!

Upcoming Events in June and early July

I've just added three events coming up in the next few weeks to the Jenkins calendar. Conveniently, they are all events I'll be attending while traveling around Western Europe!

  • The Cologne JUG is having a meetup on Saturday, June 25th, starting at 2pm. We'll be talking about Jenkins, maybe doing some coding, and then heading out for drinks and more talk! You can find more information and sign up at Xing.

  • A few days later, TNG Technology Consulting is generously hosting a meetup in Munich, on Wednesday, June 30th, starting at 3pm. I'll be giving a quick talk on the state of the Jenkins project, followed by Ullrich Haffner (the author of the static analysis plugins for Jenkins) giving a quick talk on how those plugins are used. After that, we'll be having a hackathon, and then more beer! Again, you can find more information and sign up at Xing.

  • A week later, the London CI meetup group is hosting a meetup as well, on Wednesday, July 6th, starting at 6:30pm. We'll be meeting up at the Royal Festival Hall for discussion and drinking. You can find more information and sign up at Meetup.

Do you have a Jenkins event you'd like to have added to our calendar? Let us know!

The first 24 hours in downloads

As I had mentioned in a previous post back when Jenkins was called something else, who can remember what anymore, I spent a lot of time working on a mirroring network. With our departure from any and all Oracle infrastructure, this mirroring network has now become our sole distribution mechanism for pushing out all releases and all plugins, in short, lots and lots of bits.

Just how much data are we now distributing through the Jenkins mirror network?

Over 52GB in 24 hours

Here's the following in terms of a loose breakdown of the number of files served over the past day:

  • 788 .war
  • 447 .deb
  • 290 .rpm
  • 1759 .hpi (plugins)

We're off to a great start! I'd like to extend my thanks again to the OSUOSL and XMission for their help getting the Jenkins mirrors functional as soon as possible