We recently wrapped up the first Ibuildings Challenge of 2012; a contest to create a Sismo notifier. At the moment Sismo ships with Growl, DBus, Google Talk and XMPP notifiers. They all extend the SismoNotifier to provide feedback to developers in a particular way. The task was to create a new notifier that was useful, creative or inspiring. This post announces the winners and makes some observations based on the submissions we received.

Contest Key Rules: A Recap

  • You should follow the Symfony code standards as described here.
  • Your script will be run on PHP 5.3.5 installation. Should you need any PHP extension you must provide a patch to the php.ini with the changes made to add the extensions you’ve used.
  • In the spirit of Sismo itself, we’d prefer self-contained solutions. Use Symfony or PHP extensions if you need to, and other frameworks if you must!
  • The name of the PHP class doesn’t matter, but it must extend SismoNotifier and implement the notify() method.
  • You can look at existing Sismo notifiers to see implementation examples, but you cannot implement the same notifier in a different way, e. g. you cannot implement a Growl notifier which is already in master. You can find more instructions on how to extend the notifier on Sismo documentation. It can be found in sismo.sensiolabs.org or github.com/fabpot/Sismo under “Adding a notifier”.

Competition Entries

We created 3 categories; creative, inspiring and useful notifiers. None of the submissions selected a category, so we chose the category we thought best described the submission. We received a total of 23 subscriptions, but only 14 of those actually submitted their code or a link to an existing repository.


The competition was designed to inspire developers to contribute to open source projects. We specifically chose a tool that requires existing unit tests for you to use it – a continuous testing tool – to encourage contestants to write tests. Above all, I hope you have enjoyed taking part in this contest. Now, let’s look at the winners


Considering Sismo is meant to run locally we chose a Wallpaper Notifier as the most useful. It shows the build result as a small bar added to the desktop wallpaper. This is a very customisable solution; you have control over colours, the size of the final wallpaper considering the screen resolution, and a bunch of other options. The added documentation was also very good.

Category Winner Useful: Wallpaper Notifier by Javier Eguiluz


I have noticed that it has become common in some IRC channels to have a bot notifying the chat participants of the commits as they happen. One of the most popular of these bots is Eggdrop. So we picked an Eggdrop Notifier for the inspiring category. This would be particularly inspiring in open source projects that are just starting to build a community. The participants could see what the selected developers were working on locally.

Category Winner Inspiring: Eggdrop Notifier by Andrew Graham


We had a few submissions of notifiers that would speak the test results, but this one made me laugh. I guessed immediately what it was because of its name, but still it was very funny when it ran with a failed build: “Houston, we have a problem here!”, it said. Nice, funny, creative and original.

Category Winner Creative: Houston Notifier by Andreas Hucks


Amongst all the winners, we raffled three prizes: 2 tickets to the PHPNW Conference and an Apple iPad. The prizes go as follows:

PHPNW tickets: Andrew Graham and Andreas Hucks
iPad: Javier Eguiluz

Congratulations to all the winners!


For us as organisers, this has been another fun challenge and we look forward to the next (watch this space!). We offer our warm congratulations to all our participants for such a high standard of submissions, and especially to our winners who fought off some stiff competition to emerge victorious. Thanks to all of you and we hope you had as much fun as we did!