Monday, 5 July 2010

A CruiseControl monitor for QtCreator

We use CruiseControl to run automatic builds after every commit and I thought it would be nice to monitor the build status from within QtCreator. I also wanted to try creating a simple QtCreator plugin to see how easy it would be to extend it. I already use the Firefox add-on to monitor CruiseControl which does all that I need for a monitor so I just wanted to port that to work in QtCreator.  The plugin adds a red/green icon in the left hand bar to indicate the build status and a tooltip to show the status of individual builds.

The tutorial from VCreateLogic was very helpful setting up a basic plugin.  This tutorial describes how to set up a project, how to add menu items or new settings. So the basic configuration was straightforward.

The Welcome plugin which is part of QtCreator has a class for getting rss feeds. This formed the base for getting the data from the CruiseControl server. The main change required was an update to how the xml is parsed. Also, my first version worked fine when getting data from a test file but would not get data from the server. The original does not set the port, since I assume all normal rss feeds use the default port 80, but our CruiseControl server does not use port 80.  Once discovered this was trivial to fix.

The hardest part was finding out how to add the display widgets to the left hand bar in QtCreator.  A bit of poking around found a modemanager which manages the widgets. That seems to work but I am worried about API changes in future versions since there seems to be no official documentation for the API.

The source for the plugin is available on

At the moment only the monitoring function is implemented.  Hopefully I will be able to find time to add functions to restart or stop builds from a context menu.

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