Monday, June 4, 2007

Ambient Orb: Build Status

A few people updated this morning after a published build failure, and are waiting for the fixes to come down before they can really proceed.

Now, because the build failure was published, I only have so much sympathy, but it got me thinking about possible build statuses. Coming back to the Ambient Orb approach, it occurs to me that I'd really like three colors to be used for build status:

  • Green: Last build was successful. No new changes (or, at least, not aware of new changes). Safe to update.
  • Yellow/Amber: Last build was successful. Aware of new changes that could theoretically destabilize the build (commits to the project, or projects on which this project depends). Status of build unknown, but tentatively safe.
  • Red: Last build was not successful. There may or may not be changes, but at this point, it's probably safer not to update, until the orb goes back to green or amber.
If you used an orb this way, you'd expect it to be in 'yellow' state a fair amount, but it seems useful to be able to tell the difference between yellow and green. In order to ensure that the orb goes yellow as soon as possible, I'd consider commit-hooks rather than repository-polling.

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