Some Fun With Git Hooks and Grunt.js

Before going further, I’ll start by saying that I’m a Git and Github noob, so if you have a better solution to achieve the same goal, give me a shout, I’ll be happy to hear it..!

A few weeks ago, I implemented a small bookmarklet to apply google-code-prettify anywhere on the Web. I put the source code on Github and used the (awesome) Automatic Page Generator to quickly create a landing page to host my bookmarklet.

The generated page lives on the same repository, on a branch called gh-pages. At this point, my concern was the following: How could I include the bookmarklet link on gh-pages branch from the source code living on the master?

Basic (handmadeā„¢) workflow

In a first try, I could just copy/paste the minified source into an <a href="..."> link in my index.html. But what happens if I update the source? I’ll probably have to deal with that kind of work flow:

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grunt # lint, concat and minifies source
git add .
git commit -m "Probably improved something in there"

# copy content from dist/prettyprinter.min.js

git checkout gh-pages # checkout gh-pages branch

# paste code somewhere into index.html (without)

git add .
git commit -m "Updated landing page with latest bookmarklet version"

git checkout master # back to master branch

Rather boring, right? Totally agree! And that’s why I decided to dig a little further to see how I could automate this.

Automate the whole thing!

Avoiding copy / paste

Copy/paste a file from a branch to another may be acceptable if you do it only once. From there, it’s probably better to use the following:

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git checkout gh-pages # checkout gh-pages branch

# add/update 'dist' directory from master branch
git checkout master -- dist

Updating HTML content

As mentioned earlier, I already used grunt.js to lint, concat and minify my source on the master branch. So I searched for a way to use grunt to update the HTML link. I quickly found grunt-replace, perfect fit for the job. I ended up with an HTML source file, with a placeholder for the bookmarklet:

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<a href='@@bookmarklet'>Prettify</a>

And a simple grunt replace task, reading the minified source and generating an up-to-date index.html

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  grunt.initConfig({
    replace: {
      dist: {
        src: ['src/index.html'],
        dest: '',
        variables: {
          bookmarklet: '<%= grunt.file.read(\'dist/prettyprinter.min.js\') %>'
        }
      }
    }
  });

Introducing Git Hooks

Basically, Git Hooks allow you to automatically run custom scripts at any step in your workflow. Hooks must be defined in the .git/hooks/ folder. Placeholder files are already created, giving a pretty good idea about what’s possible or not.

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$ ls .git/hooks/
applypatch-msg.sample
commit-msg.sample
post-commit.sample
post-receive.sample
post-update.sample
pre-applypatch.sample
pre-commit.sample
pre-rebase.sample
prepare-commit-msg.sample
update.sample

You only need to remove the .sample extension to define a hook, then edit the script to create your own awesome automation.

Bringing the pieces together

In my case, I created a post-commit script. Right after every new commit on the master branch, this piece of code runs and does all the crappy work.

post-commit
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#!/bin/sh
echo "\n| [prettify bookmarklet post-commit hook]"
git checkout gh-pages

# Update bookmarklet script from master branch
git checkout master -- dist lib

# update index.html & commit changes
grunt replace
git add .
git commit -m "Regenerated index.html from master branch"

git checkout master
echo "| All Done -- Use 'git push --all' instead of 'git push origin master' to push changes"

As both master and gh-pages branches are modified, they both need to be pushed on the remote repository. I use git push --all, which is fine if you don’t have any other updated branch. Otherwise, you’ll need a specific push for each branch.

Going further

I’d like to find a way to stop the script if the commit doesn’t occur on the master branch, but I’m not sure how to do it…

I’ll probably also add a pre-commit hook to lint/concat/minify the source. Grunt.js already simplified this to a one liner, but I often forget to call it before committing changes.

(Grunt + Git Hooks) appears to be a nice couple with a huge time-saving potential. I’d like to have an opportunity to try it on a larger project and see how it goes.


References

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