Friday, May 7, 2010

Grep Subversion log messages with svn-grep

Back in the days when I used branches sparingly, I used the Subversion log messages to track features I was working on. When working simultaneously on two distinct features (e.g. SITE_REDESIGN and SWITCH_LANGUAGE), I tried to commit the changes separately for each feature, so my log messages looked similar to this:
 - fixed CSS code for MSIE
 - redesign product pages

 - added language switcher to header
That way when looking at the log history, I immediately knew which commit was related to which feature. Today I needed to port some my changes to a different repository - so I had to check all the revisions related to e.g. SITE_REDESIGN feature and review them. It's an easy task in TortoiseSVN, however I'm on Linux now (and extraordinary RabbitVCS does not yet have the feature of searching in log messages). So I wrote a small tool that would do the task for me - and here I present you with


With this tool, you could easily search all your commit history for a given string and save accompanying log messages and diff files in a specified directory for review. You could use it for tracking poor-man's branches as I am, find a bugfix for a given bug etc.


$ cd my-project
This will fetch all logs & diff files for all revisions having SWITCH_LANGUAGE in log message and put it into my-project/report-SWITCH_LANGUAGE. So in one central place you have all the related files and you could, as I am right now, manually review and port the feature to a similar project.

Download and info

svn-grep is hosted at GitHub alongside with my other tools for Subversion (currently the script exporting a working copy to a zip). It's MIT-licensed, so you can freely download & use it. You're also welcome to fork the project and introduce some new features for it, right now it's just a newborn baby :)

See the project page for download and more info.

But it still looks like I'm moving slowly into git...

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