Braid is a simple tool to help track vendor branches in a Git repository.
Vendoring allows you take the source code of an external library and ensure it's version controlled along with the main project. This is in contrast to including a reference to a packaged version of an external library that is available in a binary artifact repository such as Maven Central, RubyGems or NPM.
Vendoring is useful when you need to patch or customize the external libraries or the external library is expected to co-evolve with the main project. The developer can make changes to the main project and patch the library in a single commit.
The problem arises when the external library makes changes that you want to integrate into your local vendored version or the developer makes changes to the local version that they want integrated into the external library.
A typical "implementation" of vendoring is to simply download or checkout the
source for the external library, remove the
.svn directories and
commit it to the main source tree. However this approach makes it very difficult
to update the library. When you want to update the library do you re-apply your
local changes onto a new copy of the vendored library or do you re-apply the
changes from the external library to local version? Both cases involve manual
generation and application of patch files to source trees.
This is where Braid comes into play. Braid makes it easy to vendor in remote git repositories and use an automated mechanism for updating the external library and generating patches to upgrade the external library.
Braid creates a file
.braids in the root of your repository that contains
references to external libraries or mirrors. There are two types of mirrors in
Braid: squashed and full. Mirrors are squashed by default, which is what you'll
generally want because they're faster and don't pollute your history with
commits from the mirrors.
Full mirrors are useful when you want to view imported history in your own project. You usually want this if the mirror is also a repository you have access to, for example, when using shared code across projects.
Please note that you cannot change between mirror types after the initial add. You'll have to remove the mirror and add it again.
gem install braid
Quick usage - ruby project
Let's assume we're writing the project
myproject that needs grit in lib/grit. Initialize the repo (nothing braid related here):
git init myproject cd myproject touch README git add README git commit -m "initial commit"
Now let's vendor grit:
braid add git://github.com/mojombo/grit.git lib/grit
And you're done! Braid vendored grit into lib/grit. Feel free to inspect the changes with git log or git show.
If further down the line, you want to bring new changes from grit into your repository, just update the mirror:
braid update lib/grit
If you make changes to the grit library and want to generate a patch file so that you can submit the patch file to the grit project:
braid diff lib/grit > grit.patch
Once those changes have been applied to grit you probably want to update your local version of grit again.
braid update lib/grit
Use the built in help system to find out about all commands and options:
braid help braid help add # or braid add --help
Adding a mirror
braid add git://github.com/rails/rails.git vendor/rails
Adding mirrors with revisions
braid add --revision bf1b1e0 git://github.com/rails/rails.git vendor/rails
Adding mirrors with full history
braid add --full git://github.com/mislav/will_paginate.git vendor/plugins/will_paginate
# Update a specific mirror braid update vendor/plugins/cache_fu # Update all mirrors braid update
Updating mirrors with conflicts
If a braid update creates a conflict, braid will stop execution and leave the partially committed files in your working copy, just like a normal git merge conflict would.
You will then have to resolve all conflicts and manually run
git commit. The commit message is
If you want to cancel the braid update and the merge, you'll have to reset your working copy and
git reset --hard.
Locking and unlocking mirrors
braid update --revision 6c1c16b vendor/rails braid update --head vendor/rails
Showing local changes made to mirrors
braid diff vendor/rails
We appreciate any patches, error reports and usage ideas you may have. Please submit an issue or pull request on GitHub.
While preparing to release Braid v1.0 the support for subversion repositories was removed as there was no active maintainers and inadequate test coverage. If there is anyone motivated to re-add and maintain the Subversion support, please contact the authors.
- Cristi Balan
- Norbert Crombach
- Peter Donald
- Alan Harper
- Christoph Sturm
- Dennis Muhlestein
- Ferdinand Svehla
- Michael Klishin
- Roman Heinrich
- Travis Tilley
- Tyler Rick