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Simple version string management for git

Project Description
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What is it?

A very simple, lightweight, tag-based version string manager for git,
written in Python.

It generates version strings by using Python-based formatting rules
coupled with repository information, augmented by user-defined data.

It supports up to four different version number operands and optional
pre-release version information, in the format
adopt versioning schemes such as `Semantic
Versioning <>`__ a breeze.

Optionally, it also keeps your project's version information blobs
automagically updated via custom templates.

Sample output (this repository):


Most recent tag: v0.3.0-RC1
(NEXT defined as: 0.3.0)
Using pre-release metadata: RC1
Current build ID: 1d170e7f42817d0f277c52ad686b24ac69b353d4
Current version: v0.3.0-RC1.47+1d170e7 => v0.3.0


Please read the simple *Installation instructions* in the
` <>`__
file, you can install either via ``pip`` or by cloning this repository.

*NOTE the **badges** present at the top of these pages (version and
downloads) refers to the latest stable packages uploaded to PyPI:
cloning this repository will checkout the version i'm currently working
on and may not reflect the same version.*

Helps in version string management

Coupled with `git
hooks <>`__,
``gitver`` version blob templates helps to keep your own project updated
with its version information, performing simple template-based
substitution automatically at *post-commit* time, for example.


I'm working on a project that requires precise version string tracking
and synchronization between a server and its different clients, so an
automatic mechanism is needed.

Furthermore, i want the version string and/or other useful information
to be **embedded** in the application code automatically, "compiled-in"
so to speak, without me having to remember to do it manually each time.

Repository pre-requisites

``gitver`` expects your tags to be **annotated** and be in this format:



Text in ``[`` square brackets ``]`` is optional, so these example tags
are all valid for use with ``gitver``:



Note that, at this time, ``gitver`` will **not** skip unsupported tags
during its processing, so whenever it encounter such malformed tags
(i.e. "this-is-my-tag") it will just error out something like this:


ERROR: Couldn't retrieve version information from tag "my-other-tag".
gitver expects tags to be in the format [v]X.Y.Z[.REVISION][-PRE-RELEASE-METADATA]

However, since ``gitver`` will only search for annotated tags, you could
safely use *unannotated tags* for any other need.


Your workflow shouldn't change much from what you are used to, but
before using it, please review the "Repository pre-requisites" section
above and ensure your tags are not already being used for some other

*Note that ``gitver`` will **never** tag, commit or interact in
write-mode with your repository in any way, ever!*

The following is a workflow exemplification of using *gitver* to manage
version strings for your project, given it has already been setup:

- you are working on your repository, now you are ready to promote the
current version to the next release
- create a release tag, ``git tag -a v0.0.2 -m 'Bump version'``
- defines your NEXT version, the one you are going to work *towards* to
by running ``gitver next 0.0.3``
- run ``gitver`` and check everything is fine
- **OPTIONAL** preview or update your project's version information
templates by running ``gitver preview <template name>`` or
``gitver update <template name>``, then rebuild the project to
reflect version changes
- any other manual house-keeping in-between releases can be performed
- now you are working towards the NEXT release, repeat when release
time has came again

How does it work?

By reading your last reachable **annotated** tag, it will generate
customly-formatted version strings, distinguishing automatically between
*stable* and *development* builds, depending on the number of commits
from that last tag (the *commit count*).

It will also apply tag-based or configuration file-based pre-release
metadata in development builds, giving you fine-grained control on how
the final version string will be composed.

Config file

``gitver`` uses a per-repository, JSON-based configuration file.

The default configuration file gets created automatically in
``.gitver/config`` and it contains the following tweakable settings:


# automatically generated configuration file
# These defaults implement Semantic Versioning as described in the latest
# available documentation at

# by default, terminal output is NOT colorized for compatibility with older
# terminal emulators: you may enable this if you like a more modern look
"use_terminal_colors": false,

# prevent gitver from storing any information in its configuration directory
# if the .gitignore file doesn't exclude it from the repository
"safe_mode": true,

# default pre-release metadata when commit count > 0 AND
# no NEXT has been defined
"default_meta_pr_in_next_no_next": "NEXT",

# default pre-release metadata when commit count > 0
"default_meta_pr_in_next": "SNAPSHOT",

# default pre-release metadata prefix
"meta_pr_prefix": "-",

# default commit count prefix
"commit_count_prefix": ".",

# Python-based format string variable names are:
# maj, min, patch, rev, rev_prefix, meta_pr_prefix, meta_pr,
# commit_count_prefix, commit_count, build_id, build_id_full
# Note that prefixes will be empty strings if their valued counterpart
# doesn't have a meaningful value (i.e., 0 for commit count, no meta
# pre-release, ..)

# format string used to build the current version string when the
# commit count is 0
"format": "%(maj)s.%(min)s.%(patch)s%(rev_prefix)s%(rev)s%(meta_pr_prefix)s%(meta_pr)s",

# format string used to build the current version string when the
# commit count is > 0
"format_next": "%(maj)s.%(min)s.%(patch)s%(rev_prefix)s%(rev)s%(meta_pr_prefix)s%(meta_pr)s%(commit_count_prefix)s%(commit_count)s+%(build_id)s"

This file gets created automatically in your ``.gitver`` directory when
you initialize it with the ``gitver init`` command: should you need to
regenerate it, for example after updating to a ``gitver`` release that
adds more configuration options (this will be noted in the ChangeLog or
by other means), you just need to move/delete the old configuration and
trigger regeneration by re-issuing the init command.

Basic usage


$ gitver --help
usage: gitver [-h] [--ignore-gitignore] [--colors {config,yes,no}] [--quiet]


optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
--ignore-gitignore Ignore the .gitignore warning and continue running as
normal (specify this flag before any other command, at
YOUR own risk)
--colors {config,yes,no}
Enable or disable colorized terminal output: 'config'
(default) reads the setting from your configuration
file, 'yes' will force-enable it, 'no' will force-
disable it.
--quiet Disable any stdout message.
--quiet-errors Disable any stderr message.

Valid commands:
version Shows gitver version
init Creates gitver's configuration directory and creates
the default configuration file, if it doesn't exist.
check Checks your .gitignore file for gitver's configuration
directory inclusion.
info Prints full version information and tag-based metadata
for this repository. [default]
current Prints the current version information only, without
any formatting applied.
list-templates Enumerates available templates.
list-next Enumerates user-defined next stable versions.
update Performs simple keyword substitution on the specified
template file(s) and place it to the path described by
the first line in the template. This is usually
performed *AFTER* a release has been tagged already.
preview Same as "update", but the output is written to the
stdout instead (same rules apply).
next Defines the next stable version for the most recent
and reachable tag.
clean Removes the user-defined next stable version for the
most recent and reachable tag or the specified tag.
clean-all Removes ALL user-defined next stable versions.


The following is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step mini tutorial that will
walk you through the features of ``gitver``: we are going to create a
brand new repository at ``/tmp/test`` for this.

Step-by-step mini tutorial

Building some repository history

Let's create a new repository in your ``/tmp`` folder:


cd /tmp && mkdir test && cd test && git init

Now populate it with some activity:


echo "some data" > some && git add some && git commit -m 'initial commit' && echo "more data" > more && echo "another one" > another && git add more && git commit -m 'one more' && git add another && git commit -m 'even more'

Your repository should now look like this:


* b01e958 (HEAD, master) (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) even more (Manuel Bua)
* 8f5862b (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) one more (Manuel Bua)
* fac3511 (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) initial commit (Manuel Bua)

Let's initialize ``gitver`` at this point:


$ gitver init
gitver has been initialized and configured.

``gitver`` just created its own ``.gitver`` configuration directory and
generated the default configuration file ``config`` right there. At this
point it's recommended, but not mandatory, to **exclude** gitver's
configuration directory from the repository by adding it to your
``.gitignore`` file: this is to prevent losing your ``gitver``'s
configuration whenever you checkout old revisions of your project.

Anyway, the tool is quite smart in that and it will *not* proceed if it
detects potential problems with the command you issued, in case your
``.gitignore`` file isn't properly setup, so let's run a check at this
point to see that warning message:


$ gitver check
Your .gitignore file doesn't define any rule for the .gitver
configuration directory: it's recommended to exclude it from
the repository, unless you know what you are doing. If you are not
sure, add this line to your .gitignore file:


So let's create your ignore file, add that line, then run ``gitver``:


$ echo ".gitver" >> .gitignore
$ gitver
ERROR: Couldn't retrieve the latest tag

Right, we have no tags at this point, so let's create ``v0.0.0`` at the
first commit with this command (replace the commit hash with your own
where needed):


git tag -a v0.0.0 -m 'Initial version' fac3511

This is how your repository should look like:


* b01e958 (HEAD, master) (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) even more (Manuel Bua)
* 8f5862b (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) one more (Manuel Bua)
* fac3511 (tag: v0.0.0) (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) initial commit (Manuel Bua)

Now ``gitver`` output should be somewhat more informative:


Most recent tag: v0.0.0
Using NEXT defined as: none, defaulting to -NEXT suffix
(Pre-release metadata: none)
Current build ID: b01e95831e8c240415510be16e93e10f68fb964a
Current version: v0.0.0-NEXT.2+b01e958

Time to decide what the NEXT version numbers will be, so let's set this
and run ``gitver`` again:


$ gitver next 0.0.1
Set NEXT version string to 0.0.1 for the current tag v0.0.0

$ gitver
Most recent tag: v0.0.0
Using NEXT defined as: 0.0.1
(Pre-release metadata: none)
Current build ID: b01e95831e8c240415510be16e93e10f68fb964a
Current version: v0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.2+b01e958 => v0.0.1

Notice how the build id stayed the same but the version string changed:
both strings describes the same point in development, they are
*equivalent*, but given the same descriptive intentions, i find the
latter to be much more clear.

Now lookup your ``.gitver/config`` file and look at the ``format_next``


"format_next": "%(maj)s.%(min)s.%(patch)s%(rev_prefix)s%(rev)s%(meta_pr_prefix)s%(meta_pr)s%(commit_count_prefix)s%(commit_count)s+%(build_id)s"

This defines the format of the version string being generated at this
point of development: since the *commit count* from the most recent
valid tag is greater than ``0``, this denotes a *development* build, and
the ``format_next`` variation is used: the ``%(meta_pr)s`` placeholder
will be replaced by the pre-release metadata if your tag defines one,
else the configuration defaults will be used, but this will only happen
in development builds, there is no point in exposing *pre-release*
metadata in a *stable* release.

The ``%(meta_pr_prefix)s`` counterpart, instead, will be filled with the
value of ``meta_pr_prefix`` *only* if pre-release metadata is used, else
it will be set to an empty string as well.

The same reasoning applies to the *commit count*: whenever it's equal to
``0`` both ``%(commit_count)s`` and ``%(commit_count_prefix)s`` will be
set to an empty string.

This permit to adapt and change version string formats by letting you
defines concatenations more easily.

Tagging a release

Let's add that ``.gitignore`` file we didn't add before, then declare
the version stable by just tagging it as that:


$ git add .gitignore && git commit -m 'Add .gitignore file'
$ git tag -a 'v0.0.1' -m 'Bump version'

Your repository should now look like this:


* 3a3cf5f (HEAD, tag: v0.0.1, master) (Thu Jan 16 17:29:00 2014) Add .gitignore file (Manuel Bua)
* b01e958 (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) even more (Manuel Bua)
* 8f5862b (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) one more (Manuel Bua)
* fac3511 (tag: v0.0.0) (Thu Jan 16 17:08:54 2014) initial commit (Manuel Bua)

So let's have ``gitver`` take a look at the repository now:


$ gitver
Most recent tag: v0.0.1
Current build ID: 3a3cf5ffe0a6a2f6051420ac730554c92bf9bdf2
Current version: v0.0.1

As you can see, ``gitver`` now uses the *other* string format from the
configuration file:


"format": "%(maj)s.%(min)s.%(patch)s%(rev_prefix)s%(rev)s%(meta_pr_prefix)s%(meta_pr)s"

This is being used when the commit count from the most recent tag is
equal to ``0`` since this denotes a *stable* build, rather than a
development one.

Depending on your project, format strings can change slightly between
*stable* and *development* versions: ``gitver`` gives you full control
over what format to use in each case.

For completeness, let's use the ``format_next`` format for the stable
build as well and edit that portion of your configuration file to look
like this:


"format": "%(maj)s.%(min)s.%(patch)s%(meta_pr_prefix)s%(meta_pr)s%(commit_count_prefix)s%(commit_count)s+%(build_id)s"

Done that? Now look at ``gitver``'s output now:


$ gitver
Most recent tag: v0.0.1
Current build ID: 94b2ef2ed92844377f1e8b1160a014bae0273792
Current version: v0.0.1+94b2ef2

As expected, there is no sign of prefixes, nor default metadata or
commit count in the stable build.

Template-based version information blobs

One of the main reasons for this tool to exists is to be able to also
automatically update your project own's version information *blob* (e.g.
````, ````, ...) or some other external file
with the project's version information.

Template format

The only **required** bit of information *gitver* needs is where the
output of the template should be placed, so the first line shall only
contain the path to the output file in a Bash-style comment (spaces are


# /path/to/project/file.extension

The rest of the file is obviously up to you, an example is available at
the "Template example" section.

*Why is the format starting with a Bash-style comment, you say?* The
initial version of *gitver* was a Bash script, so it was a natural
choice to adopt that: i then realized i didn't like how things were and
rewrote all it in Python, but the template format stayed the same
because it was *simple*.

Template variables

Given these basic assumptions:

- the latest tag is ``v0.4.9``
- the NEXT version numbers have been defined to be ``0.4.10``
- the actual commit count is ``2``

Here is the list of variables, with their values, available for use in


${CURRENT_VERSION} = 0.4.10-SNAPSHOT-2/a3a73a58
${BUILD_ID} = a3a73a58
${FULL_BUILD_ID} = a3a73a5861e5721055f3a12545201e265ba0c097
${MAJOR} = 0
${MINOR} = 4
${PATCH} = 10
${REV} = (empty string, or a revision number if present)
${REV_PREFIX} = (empty string, or a '.' if a revision number is present)
${COMMIT_COUNT} = 2 (or 0 if commit count is 0)
${COMMIT_COUNT_STR} = '2' (or an empty string if commit count is 0)
${COMMIT_COUNT_PREFIX} = either the 'commit_count_prefix' specified in the config file or an empty string, if the commit count is 0
${META_PR} = either the pre-release metadata from the last reachable tag, the 'default_meta_pr_in_next' (from config file), the 'default_meta_pr_in_next_no_next' (from config file) or an empty string, depending on the state of the repository
${META_PR_PREFIX} = either the 'meta_pr_prefix' specified in the config file or an empty string, if no pre-release metadata is available for use

The list could later be expanded and improved, to cover much more
information, such as date, time, let me know your suggestion!

Previewing and compiling templates

You can preview the result of the template substitution by using the
``preview``\ command, followed by one or more template names (multiple
template names should be quoted):


$ gitver preview my_template
$ gitver preview "template1 template2 templateN"

This will process the template and print the output to the stdout
instead of writing it to a file: this can be useful for scripting
purposes, where you can filter out information messages while only
capturing the "real meat":


$ gitver preview my_template 2>/dev/null

The ``update`` command works similarly, it will just write the output to
the specified file, rather than stdout:


$ gitver update my_template
$ gitver update "template1 template2 templateN"

It's possible to define any number of templates, just put them in the
``.gitver/templates`` directory: to have ``gitver`` enumerate all the
available templates, use the ``list-templates`` command:


$ gitver list-templates
Available templates:
version (/home/manuel/dev/gitver/.gitver/templates/version)
test (/home/manuel/dev/gitver/.gitver/templates/test)

Template example

Let's take a look at ``gitver``'s own
`template <>`__:


# gitver/
#!/usr/bin/env python2
# coding=utf-8

gitver_version = '${CURRENT_VERSION}'
gitver_buildid = '${FULL_BUILD_ID}'

Now let's compile it:


$ gitver update version
Processing template "version" for /home/manuel/dev/gitver/gitver/
Done, 207 bytes written.

This will produce the following file at
``/home/manuel/dev/gitver/gitver/``, **overwriting** the
previous file, if any:


#!/usr/bin/env python2
# coding=utf-8

gitver_version = '0.3.0-RC1.47+1d170e7'
gitver_buildid = '1d170e7f42817d0f277c52ad686b24ac69b353d4'
gitver_pypi = '0.3.0-RC1.47'

Templates + git hooks

At this point is very simple to automatize even more, instead of
manually updating version information after each commit, let's create a
git hook to take care of this:


$ cat .git/hooks/post-commit
# gitver should be in your path to work!
gitver update version

There you have it!


.. figure::
:alt: bugs


Just joking, probably quite a few, please report them
`here <>`__, thanks!

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