A couple of people have asked about how to get Prospector working as part of the Jenkins CI server. There are a couple of compatability modes for Prospector which should allow it to be a drop-in replacement for pylint, so until there is better support, here are some instructions for incorporating it into your builds.

Step 1 - Install Violations Plugin

Firstly, you'll need to install the Jenkins Violations Plugin if you haven't already.

Step 2 - Run Prospector

You can run prospector with any of the normal command line options, as long as you include --output-format pylint. This will cause prospector to generate output very similar to pylint -f parseable, which is what is read by the violations plugin.

Another important flag is the --zero-exit flag. If prospector finds any problems at all, normally, then it will exit with a code of 1. This is to make automation in other circumstances easier. However, if your shell script exits in Jenkins with a non-zero exit code, Jenkins thinks it failed and therefore fails the build. Using the --zero-exit flag causes prospector to exit with a code of 0 if it succeeds in running, regardless of how many messages are found.

Include the following line somewhere in your list of CI job tasks:

prospector --zero-exit --output-format pylint > prospector.log

Like so:

Jenkins prospector task

Step 3 - Configure the Violations Plugin

Now the Violations plugin needs to be told to look at the output of prospector. Under the pylint section, add **/prospector.log to the XML filename pattern:

Violations plugin configuration


Obviously this is not a perfect solution, but it works pretty well. The only downside is that all errors reported by tools other than pylint are classifed as 'medium severity'.

Future Work

I want to add first-class prospector support to the Jenkins Violations Plugin. I'll be dusting off my Java skills in the next few weeks - it's been several years since I delved into the world of Maven and public static void main. Keep an eye on the violations plugin repository for a pull request.

People have also asked for xUnit output support. Once I figure out what that is supposed to look like, I'll add it as a new output formatter, which will hopefully allow prospector to be used in more CI tools straight away.

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