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Mutating for evolution using Django and Mercurial

Project description

aino-mutations is a tool to call mutation scripts at a certain revision of a mercurial repository. Mutation scripts are typically scripts that perform database refactoring of some sort. aino-convert is not intelligent:

  • Does not offer introspection

  • Mutation scripts are intended to use raw sql for schema migration which means you will be locked to a particular database engine, that of your own choice of course.


aino-mutations solves the problem of running a mutation in the correct environment. Often when you do mutations you want to perform some logic to insert or remove data. To perform this logic we need the environment in which the mutation was written for. aino-convert automatically updates a mercurial repository to the revision where the mutation was added and executes the mutation script.


  • Django with Multi DB support, v1.2+, or trunk until released.

  • Mercurial, only tested with v1.5

  • Django project managed by a mercurial repository


  1. Add mutations to your pythonpath

  2. Add mutations to INSTALLED_APPS


Mutation scripts are by default looked for in a mutations subdirectory of your mercurial repository root, you can change this by setting MUTATIONS_ROOT in your settings file. Note that MUTATIONS_ROOT should be a relative directory path to your repository root.


aino-mutations seperates mutations for different databases and therefore you need to specify what database you are affecting with your mutation. To add a mutation:

  1. Add the python file (mutation) to MUTATIONS_ROOT/alias/ where alias is the alias used in your settings file (the default is called default).

  2. Add the file to the repository: hg add path/to/mutation

  3. Commit: hg ci -m"my first mutation"

  4. Now run the mutation: python mutate


Mutations are just normal python files that do whatever you like. For convenience there are some local variables passed to the mutation scripts:

  • cursor: a cursor instance for the current database

  • commit_unless_managed is just a shortcut for django.db.transaction.commit_unless_managed

  • dry: this will be True if mutate is run with the --dry option which can be usefull for displaying some info to the user.


  • I created a mutation that was wrong, what do I do?

  • All you need to do is to remove it from the repository: hg rm path/to/mutation; hg ci -m"no more bad code"

  • I want to try a mutation before commiting, how can i do that?

  • run: python runmutation path/to/mutation

  • I have my django project in a deployment environment, can I still use aino-mutations?

  • The best way to solve this since aino-mutations may update project files to a certain revision while performing the mutations it is best to clone the repository to another location while accessing the same databases.

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