Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weekly Update 2: Completion of Version Control Integration

A little late this week, as I was moving into my summer apartment.

  • The biggest (and really only) news is that I finished the Subversion hooks, and (slightly) improved the backend in general. It is now possible to deny commit access to users based on whether or not they have a Drupal account with that particular Subversion repository. Branches and tags, however, are not supported, as the Subversion backend does not support them. There is the framework for doing so, as the repository creation/edit form accepts path patterns for trunk, branches and tags, so adding support should not be too difficult.

  • The post-commit hooks allows Drupal to gather log information as each commit is made, rather than on a cron run. There isn't much else to it, but it can provide for a bit more immediacy of actions, and in the future, could be an event for the Rules module (something I will work on later in the summer).

  • Both of the hooks come with a set of SimpleTests for ensuring their correct functioning. The tests take a little while to run, as creating, checking out, and committing to a subversion repository take a while (and don't play that nice with the OS-level filecache, since new objects are being created each time), but are helpful for verifying that everything is in working order. They test both positive and negative cases, making sure the hooks fail gracefully when passed invalid information. They currently all pass (as one should hope !), and are able to catch a decently wide range of errors in the operation of the hooks.

  • A minor aside, but it bears mentioning, since I spent several hours testing it, but I discovered that Subversion allows any UTF-8 character for any string (comments, user names, and files). However, certain tools restrict especially the username to a subset of those characters, depending on the configuration options for that program. For example, the svnserve 'passwd' file format uses brackets and equals signs as part of its syntax, so those characters are prohibited in entries in that file, thus preventing Subversion users from having those names. However, if authentication is done in a different way, such as with ssh keys, this restriction no longer applies.

Well, that's all for now, stay tuned next week as I complete the Git repository hooks.