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Mercurial Update Version Extension

Project Description

No more manual version number editing.

Whenever you issue hg tag, this extension scans your repository for files containing various kinds of VERSION = lines, updates those constants appropriately, commits the change, and only then tags the release.

Functionality can be enabled per-repository or (via ~/.hgrc) for many repositories at once (so you don’t need to remember about activating it on every created, or cloned repository).

1   Enabling the extension

Install the extension as described below. Then either enable it per-repository, or enable for many repositories at once.

1.1   Enabling per-repository

In repository .hg/hgrc write:

active = true
language = python
tagfmt = dotted

(of course using appropriate settings). Here:

  • language implies version constants syntax, and sometimes restricts list of files scanned,
  • tagfmt describes expected tag syntax (and how to extract actual version number from the tag).

For example, language = python means looking for, and files anywhere inside the repository, and updating lines looking like VERSION = "1.2.3", while tagfmt = dotted means simple dotted numbers are used as tags (hg tag 1.0.9).

Both languages and tag formats are configurable, extension brings some sane defaults but they can be overridden, and new styles can be defined. See below.

1.2   Enabling for many repositories at once

In ~/.hgrc write something like:

pydev.active_on = ~/sources/pymodules, ~/work/python
pydev.language = python
pydev.tagfmt = dotted
myperl.active_on = ~/scripts, ~/work/scripts
myperl.language = perl
myperl.tagfmt = dashed
excvs.active_on = ~/legacy
excvs.expand_keywords = 1

Key prefixes (pydev and myperl) are used only to group three settings together (use any names you like).

In both cases:

  • .active_on lists directory trees to which given rule can be applied (absolute paths, ~ and ~user are allowed),
  • .language and .tagfmt define which language settings and which tag format to use for those directories.
  • .expand_keywords enables CVS keyword expansion (replacement of $Name$ and similar constructs). Note that it works differently than keyword extension, replacements are commited (so will always be present in the checked out code).

In case multiple directives match the same repo, all are processed, for example with:

pydev.active_on = ~/sources
pydev.language = python
pydev.tagfmt = dotted
jsdev.active_on = ~/sources
jsdev.language = javascript
jsdev.tagfmt = dotted

in repo ~/sources/myweb both python, and javascript files, will be processed.

1.3   Enabling for use in TortoiseHg

The setup above is not sufficient for tags created from TortoiseHg GUI (via thg tag or tagging dialog of main TortoiseHg window). To get those working, you must manually enable the update version hook. Add to your ~/.hgrc:

pre-tag.update_version = python:mercurial_update_version.pre_tag_hook

Please, use exactly that name and value (it will be used by extension to detect that you enabled the hook, so it need not be enabled again under bare Mercurial).

The rest of the configuration remains the same.


Technical details: mercurial_update_version usually enables that hook by itself. Unfortunately under TortoiseHg dynamic hook activation does not work (THG has it’s own command processing chain different from Mercurial core, and hook list is effectively frozen before extensions are able to impact it).

2   Using

After enabling the extension:

  • ensure your code have some initial version variables (put sth. like VERSION = "0.0.0" in appropriate place(s))
  • simply hg tag «appropriate-tag».

and your version constants will be updated, the change commited, and only the resulting changeset tagged.

Version numbers are not updated when tag is placed by revision (hg tag -r «version-no» «tag»), unless specified revision matches currently checked out revision.

Tags not matching the expected pattern are ignored, just like local tags (rarely used Mercurial feature).

The extension notifies you whether and what it does, for example:

$ hg tag 2.0
update_version: Version number in src/ set to 2.0. List of changes:
    Line 2
    < VERSION = "1.0"
    > VERSION = "2.0"


$ hg tag -r 2 0.5.0
update_version: ignoring tag placed -r revision (tag is placed, but version number not updated)

3   Predefined languages

The language setting defines:

  • which files to check and patch (by filename patterns)
  • what is the appropriate constant format and name

The following languages are currently supported:

3.1   Python (language=python)

Look for files named, or (anywhere inside repository). In those files, update lines looking like:

VERSION = '1.2.3'

(at least one dot - but can be more, both single and double-quotes are supported, just like various spacing and indentation).

Inserted version number is formatted in the same way (as dot-separated list of numbers). Tag being placed should contain at least two-part version number to be used.

3.2   Perl (language=perl)

Look for files named *.pl, *.pm and *.pod around repository. If found, look for lines like:

our $VERSION = '1.00';
my $VERSION = '11.72';
use constant VERSION => '21.3374';

(exactly one dot expected, various spacing and indentation allowed, double quotes allowed) and also:

Version 1.23

(usually met in POD sections).

Also, look for dist.ini and if found, fix lines like:

version = 0.02

Two kinds of tags numbers are supported. If tag contains two-item version, it is left as is (tag 1.0 results in version 1.0, dashed tag 1-03 brings 1.03). If tag has three parts, first is left before the dot while second and third each get two digits after the dot (tag 1.7.2 is translated into version 1.0702, tag 17-0-9 into 17.0009). Other tags are invalid.

3.3   JavaScript (language=javascript)

Look for files named version.js, version.jsx, *_version.js and *_version.jsx. In any of those, look for lines like:

var VERSION = "1.2.3";
const VERSION = "1.2.3";
let VERSION = "1.2.3";

(final semicolons being optional).

Also look for package.json file(s) and if found, update line like:

"version": "1.0.0"

3.4   C++ (language=c++)

Look for files named version.hxx, version.cxx, version.hpp, version.cpp. Look for and update lines like:

const string VERSION = "1.2.3";
const char* VERSION = "1.2.3";
const char VERSION[] = "1.2.3";
string VERSION = "1.2.3";

Support for further languages is planned, feel free to suggest them.

4   Predefined tag formats

The following tag formats are supported.

4.1   Dot-separated numbers (tagfmt=dotted)

Tags like 1.0, 1.0.3, 11.17.34.

4.2   Dash-separated numbers (tagfmt=dashed)

Tags like 1-0, 1-0-3, 11-17-34.

4.3   Dotted with text prefix (tagfmt=pfx-dotted)

Tags like mylib-1.0 or sth_11.3.17: alphanumeric string, dash or underscore, then actual version as in dotted.

4.4   Dashed with text prefix (tagfmt=pfx-dashed)

Tags like mylib-1-0 or sth_11-3-17: alphanumeric string, dash or underscore, then actual version as in dashed. leading part must not end with digit.

5   Keyword expansion

Setting expand_keywords=1 enables CVS keyword expansion. Source will be scanned for CVS keywords like $Name$ (or $Name: mytag_0.7.0 $), $Revision$, etc, and those will be appropriately updated. This change will be commited, making those changes permanent (until they are replaced by newer tag).

This is an alternative to standard keyword extension, which updates those keywords on update (and causes various problems with merges, edits, extension configuration, etc). With update_version approach, proper keyword values will be simply commited just before tagging, so they will always be present in the checkout.

Note that the replacement is somewhat simplistic: the main purpose is to get proper $Name$, everything else ($Revision$, $Header$ etc) gets populated with the data of last pre-tag changeset (calculating true date or revision of last change per each file is possible, but would be fairly costly).

Example configuration (~/.hgrc):

cvsconverts.active_on = ~/devel/legacy ~/devel/libs
cvsconverts.expand_keywords = 1

6   Custom languages

Not yet supported, but planned (defining new language by configuration settings, or overriding some default language characteristics). The general idea is to have some reasonable defaults built-in, but allow reconfiguration.

7   Custom tag formats

Not yet supported, but planned (defining new tag format by configuration settings).

8   Commands

8.1   hg tag

Extension mainly work by augmenting hg tag, as described above.

8.2   hg tag_version_test

This is dry run check. The command:

hg tag_version_test 1.0

lists which files would be checked, whether version lines were found in them, and how would they be changed, but does not change anything.

9   Installation

9.1   Linux/Unix (from PyPI)

If you have working pip or easy_install:

pip install --user mercurial_update_version

or maybe:

sudo pip install mercurial_update_version

(or use easy_install instead of pip). Then activate by:

mercurial_update_version =

To upgrade, repeat the same command with --upgrade option, for example:

pip install --user --upgrade mercurial_update_version

9.2   Linux/Unix (from source)

If you don’t have pip, or wish to follow development more closely:

  • clone both this repository and mercurial_extension_utils and put them in the same directory, for example:

    cd ~/sources
    hg clone
    hg clone
  • update to newest tags,

  • activate by:

    mercurial_update_version = ~/sources/mercurial-update_version/

To upgrade, pull and update.

See mercurial_extension_utils for longer description of this kind of installation.

9.3   Windows

If you have any Python installed, you may install with pip:

pip install mercurial_update_version

Still, as Mercurial (whether taken from TortoiseHg, or own package) uses it’s own bundled Python, you must activate by specifying the path:

mercurial_update_version = C:/Python27/Lib/site-packages/
;; Or wherever pip installed it

To upgrade to new version:

pip --upgrade mercurial_update_version

If you don’t have any Python, clone repositories:

cd c:\hgplugins
hg clone
hg clone

update to tagged versions and activate by path:

mercurial_update_version = C:/hgplugins/mercurial-update_version/
;; Or wherever you cloned

See mercurial_extension_utils documentation for more details on Windows installation.

11   Development, bug reports, enhancement suggestions

Development is tracked on BitBucket, see

Use BitBucket issue tracker for bug reports and enhancement suggestions.

12   Additional notes

Information about this extension is also available on Mercurial Wiki:

Check also other Mercurial extensions I wrote.

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