Continuous Information vol.2

Because I work on Jenkins day in day out, it's easy for me to forget that most people don't pay /that/ much attention to Jenkins. If you fit that category, and if you want to stay on top of the latest happenings in Jenkins, don’t miss Volume 2 of Continuous Information, the CloudBees Newsletter for Jenkins.

This issue...

  • Features details about the 6 upcoming Jenkins User Conferences (don’t miss these)
  • Announces the new Jenkins CIA Program (join us to promote Jenkins around the globe)
  • Shows you where to find in-depth information about the latest Jenkins UI improvements and featured plugins (cool stuff)
  • Highlights the importance of Jenkins Security Advisories (install these regularly)
  • Tells you why Jenkins has blue balls instead of green ones (seriously)
  • Shows you the latest Jenkins Usage Stats (still growing super-fast)
  • … and more great stuff, including a bit of Jenkins humor (courtesy of our friends at Geek and Poke)

Announcing the Jenkins CIA

Agent L. Jenkins

For years, we've been hearing about covert installations of Jenkins by groups of developers within larger companies. Rogue engineers, frustrated by the lack of continuous integration would download jenkins.war and run it off their workstation. As time went on, word-of-mouth within the organization spread Jenkins far and wide.

Today we announce an initiative to help support these rogue agents: the Jenkins CIA. CIA being short for Continuous Integration Ambassador of course.

If you're going to be speaking at a JUG or another event where you will have the opportunity to promote and teach people about Jenkins, you too can join the CIA:

  • Send us an email telling us about the event and how many people you expect
  • Write us a guest blog post ahead of time, talking about the event
  • We dispatch Jenkins stickers and a CIA Agent shirt for you to wear.
  • Write up a summary blog post about the event afterwards
  • Repeat!

In the coming months, we'll start collaborating and creating standard presentations that can be easily re-used to introduce people not only to Jenkins, but continuous integration in general, so stay tuned.

If you're not the speaking type but instead prefer to work behind the scenes, you can join the OSS by checking out the Beginner's Guide to contributing to Jenkins.

- Agent Dero, over and out.

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!

Critical security advisory in Jenkins core

We've identified and fixed a critical security vulnerabilities in Jenkins core. This affects all the releases of Jenkins to date (main line releases up to 1.452 and LTS up to 1.424.3.) Please upgrade to the new releases at your earliest convenience, especially if your Jenkins is internet facing.

For more details about the vulnerabilities, affected versions, and so on, please consult the security advisory.

(See our Wiki page about security advisories about how we do these.)

Sponsor a Jenkins User Conference!

With the JUC Paris 2012 call for papers open, it's important to mention that we are also looking for sponsors for the various Jenkins User Conferences that are being planned around the world right now!

Currently there are four conferences being put together right now:

If your company is heavily invested in Jenkins or interested in reaching the kind of audience that will be at a JUC (highly technical, motivated) then you should consider becoming a sponsor one of these conferences (link below)!

Sponsor the Jenkins User Conference