Lava Lamp Notifier

Plugin Information

Plugin ID LavaLampNotifier
Latest Release 1.4
Latest Release Date Nov 13, 2010
Plugin Central Plugin Central 3.2
Sources Subversion
Support Eclipse Hudson Forum
Issue Tracking Eclipse Bugzilla
Hudson Core (latest) 3.3.3

Indicate Hudson Job status using a Lava Lamp

Circuit Design

The lamp which I used was a "USB Glitter Light" available at low cost from your favourite online auction site, local market or pound store.
Unfortunately programmatic control of this type of lamp is not possible in the as-purchased state, when plugged in it is always on.

Therefore I designed a simple circuit around an FTDI MM232R module and some MOSFET drivers to accomplish this, also adding a piezo-beeper to alert developers when a build fails. The prototype was simply built on old-fashioned stripboard (0.1" pitch).

I used a self-drive piezo-electric beeper to provide an audible alert.
It would have been nice to fit the board inside the base of the lamp, but my prototype was too large, so the completed board was fitted in to a small plastic box with a DC power socket for the lamp. I cut the USB plug off the the lamp cable and replaced it with a matching DC power plug. An LED in parallel with the socket provides an additional on/off indication.

All of the documentation is contained within the Hudson plugin LavaLampNotifier.hpi as You will need to use jar or unzip to extract it.

Lamp Control Software

Since the hudson server is back in the server room, the lava lamp module is attached to USB on a desktop machine and a simple socket server runs to listen for build results.

FTDI provide free USB drivers for a number of operating systems. Higher level code still has to interface with the driver - a SourceForge project, FTD2XXj, has already done this, so writing a Java program to control it becomes very straightforward.

The lamp control software is also zipped up inside the released Hudson plugin as Extract it from LavaLampNotifier.hpi , then unpack it to a directory on your Windows or Linux machine. An example Windows batch file lavalamp.cmd is provided which should get you up and running.

Hudson Notifier Software

The notifier plug-in talks to this server across the network. (I could have used an existing RSS notifier, but didn't want the lamp to be polling Hudson constantly, I rather preferred the immediacy of the result being "pushed" to a known listener.) It consists of a "global" module which allows configuration of any number of different LavaLamp host/port combinations (to support different jobs or projects).

A "per-job" module then allows selection of the lamp you want to notify with the status of each job.

Theoretically alternate "lamp server" modules could be developed which might not necessarily use a hardware lamp at all - listening on an IP-multicast address to pop up an icon in everybody's windows tray is one idea.

Version History

Version 1.4 (13th November 2010)

  • 1.3 messed up due to incorrect Maven POMs, fixed and re-released.

Version 1.3 (12th November 2010)

  • Documentation completed. 
  • Incorporated sub-projects as .zips within the .hpi.
  • Supports notification / listening using IP multicast.

Version 1.2 (30th October 2010)

  • Avoid NullPointerException when no lamp selected in job configuration

Version 1.1 (28th October 2010)

  • Support choice of UDP and TCP communications between notifier and server

Version 1.0 (26th October 2010)

  • Initial Release.


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  1. Apr 01, 2011

    Henk van Voorthuijsen says:

    Great plugin! I would like to suggest an extra feature though: also give a ...

    Great plugin!

    I would like to suggest an extra feature though: also give a notification when a build is started - that way listeners can signal if there is something currently building