I’ve been looking for a way to have github, my favorite repository hosting service, send emails to interested parties whenever someone pushes new commits into the repository, They don’t seem to provide this service directly, but they do provide both an API for programatically querying the site as well as post-receive callbacks. The latter sends a POST request to URL(s) of your choice. The POST request includes JSON data which contains information about the repository and the new commits (for details, see here). Using this, I was able to put together a relatively simple PHP script which repackages this information into a human-readable form and sends it off in an email (source code here).
I wanted to use the github API to get a list of those who watch the project, and then send an email to those people. Unfortunately the API does not let you query that yet. Instead, my script lets you specify the recipients manually. Alternatively, a simple mailing list implementation is provided so people can sign up for the post-receive emails through a webpage instead.
The only downside is that the JSON github provides does not include information about how many lines were modified, just files. In this respect, Andy Parkin’s post-receive script produces slightly more informative e-mails (but of course it doesn’t work with github).
Coding, PHP, version control
I recently had a need to rewrite a git repository’s history. This isn’t generally a very good idea, though it is useful if your repository contains files it should not (such as unneeded large binary files or copyrighted material). I also am using it because I had a branch where I only wanted to merge a subset of files back into master (though there are probably better ways of doing this). Anyway, it is not very hard to rewrite history thanks to the excellent git-filter-branch tool which comes with git. However, if your goal was to reduce a large repository’s size then git-filter-branch does not quite finish the job since it makes temporary backups of the filtered out files. To remove those, you need to do a little more work. To make it easier to permanently remove files, I wrapped it in a little bash script git-remove-history (also shown below) — simply go to the root of your repository and run the script with the list of files you want to delete and it will do the rest. There is an interesting thread about doing this here on KernelTrap.
set -o errexit
# Author: David Underhill
# Script to permanently delete files/folders from your git repository. To use
# it, cd to your repository's root and then run the script with a list of paths
# you want to delete, e.g., git-delete-history path1 path2
if [ $# -eq 0 ]; then
# make sure we're at the root of git repo
if [ ! -d .git ]; then
echo "Error: must run this script from the root of a git repository"
# remove all paths passed as arguments from the history of the repo
git filter-branch --index-filter "git rm -rf --cached --ignore-unmatch $files" HEAD
# remove the temporary history git-filter-branch otherwise leaves behind for a long time
rm -rf .git/refs/original/ && git reflog expire --all && git gc --aggressive --prune
bash, Coding, version control