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Hardcore History by Dan Carlin

This is an excellent podcast series I've been listening to for years.  Great for roadtrips and vacations too.


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Using Fossil SCM with Jenkins CI

Currently, there is no SCM plugin for Fossil in Jenkins. I've been coding one but it's not yet ready.

Update: I have permission from my employer to open source the plugin. Now if only I had the time...

Update 2:  I've created a github repo for my code:

It turns out, you should be able do a pretty good job of integrating Fossil into Jenkins without using such a plugin.

Here's my idea:

For now, you should just need the Xtrigger plugin. This plugin is capable of triggering a build based on a number of things changing. Among them, a web-addressable piece of content in XML.

Fossil is able to generate RSS feeds trivially.

On the Fossil machine, you'll want to start the fossil server as usual:

$ fossil server --port=1234

On the Jenkins machine, you'll simply install the Xtrigger plugin and set it to trigger a build, by polling the following URL for changes:



Why Fossil-SCM is an excellent choice for introductory programming courses

Fossil SCM for introductory programming courses The use of source control management (or version control - take your pick) is an important skill for new programmers to adopt.  It is expected that all programmers use SCM in their daily jobs, in order to coordinate changes among team members.  Thus, getting beginners to adopt good habits early should be a goal.

While GIT (  is certainly the dominant source control system of today, I believe instructors of introductory classes in programming should consider an alternative called Fossil (

Fossil has several compelling advantages in education over GIT.  You will see that I value the practical aspects of Fossil even more than its technical capabilities.  After all, an instructor has a limited amount of time to have an impact and they don't want to waste time doing technical support on a tool that is too complex.  Helping one or two people is fine but helping 30 can be a real burden.

Simple installation and …

So you want to use Fossil DVCS as your SCM solution? Here are some first steps.

First steps when using Fossil SCM.

Download the executable from

Depending on your programming language and operating systems, you'll want to make sure you ignore certain kinds of file extensions.

You might want to create a configuration file and store it in fossil for use in other fossil setups.  The configuration file goes into the top level directory under a folder called ".fossil-settings".  The filename matches the configuration setting, thus it is called "ignore-glob".

For unix/linux, I would ignore the following file extensions (you can put one per line or separate them with commas. I'll use the per line convention here.)


For Windows, I would ignore these:


Next, you'll want to decide on binary file for the purpose of merging. These go in the .fossil-settings/binary-glob file:


Typing fossil settings binary-…