Using git-submodule to handle plugins

Using git-submodule can make it very easy for you to work with plugins in your rails projects. I will try to show you this, in an easy step-by-step manner. To start, make a plugin-project, call it your_plugin, in its own folder, and push the code to git. Your standard commands apply, as for any project:

  • git status : what is changed?
  • git add . : add the newly added files to your git-repository
  • git commit -am "a meaningful message" : commit your changes in your local repository
  • git push origin master : push your local changes to the remote master (origin/master) How can you add the plugin as a submodule to your rails project? Navigate to the root of your rails project, and execute the following commands: [bash] git submodule add git://your_repository vendor/plugins/your_plugin_name git submodule init git submodule update git status # will show the difference: only the submodule is added git commit -a -m "added plugin your-plugin-name" [/bash] How do you retrieve the lastest version of a submodule/plugin. A submodule in git is coupled to the git-repository at a specific time, so it does not automatically evolve with the remote versions of your pluging. You have to manually make a few operations, to make sure you are using the latest version. In my opinion this is an advantage, as you can keep using a known working version until you really want to upgrade. To update your submodule, go to the root of your plugin/submodule (normally RAILS_ROOT/vendor/plugins/your-plugin-name), and execute the following commands: [bash] git remote update # since your submodule is actually a git repository on its own, you can do this git merge origin/master # retrieve the remote master version cd ...... # back to RAILS_ROOT git status # your submodule is updated to the latest version [/bash] Now to edit and change the plugin/submodule, it is the easiest to work inside the plugin folder itself. To do so, you have to proceed as follows. Inside the root of your plugin (e.g. @\vendor\plugins\your-plugin@) [bash] git checkout -b your_local_branch ... do some changes git commit -a -m "something changed" git checkout master git pull git checkout your_local_branch git rebase master ... solve posslble merge-conflicts ... git checkout master git merge your_local_branch git push [/bash] then cd to RAILS_ROOT [bash] git status # => your plugin will have changed git commit -a -m "improved plugin" [/bash] I used the following sources for inspiration:
  • using git-submodules to track plugins
  • git submodules in n easy steps
  • agile git and the story branch pattern

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