Last week I was looking for a Hudson plugin that would hot deploy a web application to a remote container. In the process I managed to find several other useful and, admittedly, fun plugins.
The Findbugs plugin was an excellent addition to our build process. In case you’re not already familiar with Findbugs, it is a static analysis tool for finding potential bugs in Java code. It can be activated per build and only requires a plugin entry in your project’s POM file. Each build that Hudson performs will yield a report of the potential bugs found, with the ability to filter by severity, class or package location, etc.
You can also drill down to the bug you want to view and get a detailed description of the problem.
If you want to see the bug in context, you can click on the linked file to see the code with the bug highlighted.
And, finally, if you are interested in trends, you can see a clickable graph on the main build page showing total bugs, broken down by severity, over time (build numbers).
All in all a pretty slick plugin.
Jabber (Google Talk) Plugin
If your team uses Google Talk, the Jabber plugin is a great way to deliver build failure notifications. Email works too, but I started noticing that everyone (myself included) was filtering and then missing the emails. It’s much harder to ignore an instant message. I also wanted to make Hudson more quickly accessible to everyone. This plugin lends itself to that goal by allowing you to send commands to your Hudson server via Google Talk. You can issue build commands, get status of builds, and a few other things.
And if you have Google Talk on your phone you can easily check status or run builds from virtually anywhere.
Chuck Norris Plugin
Last, but certainly not least, is the Chuck Norris Plugin. Whether you’re a fan of Chuck’s action flicks or not, you’ve most likely heard the ubiquitous and ever growing list of “Chuck Norris Facts” that float around the Internet (One of my personal favorites is, “There is no chin under Chuck Norris’ Beard. There is only another fist.“). If these make you laugh then this plugin is definitely for you. Once installed, a random Chuck Norris Programmer fact will appear on your build page along with a picture of Chuck Norris. His demeanor in that picture will tell you whether the build has failed or not. If he looks happy, you’re good to go. If he looks angry, you’d better fix the build or hide.
If you’re feeling playful you might even customize Hudson’s GTalk image.