Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tinderbox (software)
A tinderbox is software development tool that allows developers to manage software builds and to correlate build failures on various platforms and configurations with particular code changes.
An automated build tool is another way to describe Tinderbox. Projects utilising tinderbox technology include Mozilla and FreeBSD. Mozilla's tinderbox is written in Perl. While there are no official releases (as of March 2005), there is an alpha-quality tarball of Tinderbox3 available at Mozilla developer John Keiser's Tinderbox 3 page.
Essentially, Tinderbox is a detective tool. It allows the developer to see what is happening in the source tree. It shows who checked in what (by asking Bonsai); what platforms have built successfully; what platforms are broken and exactly how they are broken (the build logs); and the state of the files that made up the build (cvsblame).
Tinderbox is comprised of a server with clients running builds and reporting status via mail. The server receives mail from tinderbox clients in the form of
The server then constructs a table with time on the vertical axis and the various builds on the horizontal axis.