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Externals is a project that allows you to use the workflow normally made possible by svn:externals in an SCM independent manner. Please report bugs to either http://rubyforge.org/projects/ext or http://ext.lighthouseapp.com I was inspired to create this project because I had several projects that had a mix of plugins managed by git and by svn. Git's submodule feature is not exactly like svn:externals. Basically, I don't like how you have to manually checkout a branch, and I don't like git status not propagating through the submodules. Also, the branch tip doesn't automatically move with git-submodule. Subversion always checks out the branch tip for subprojects when performing a checkout or update. Externals is designed such that adding support for a new SCM, or new project types is easy. The externals executable is called ext. Commands come in a long form and a short form. The longer form applies the action to the main project. The short forms apply the action to all sub projects. The commands and usage are as follows (from 'ext help'): There's a tutorial available at http://nopugs.com/ext-tutorial There's a tutorial available at http://nopugs.com/ext-tutorial ext [OPTIONS] <command> [repository] [-b <branch>] [path] -g, --git same as '--scm git' Uses git to checkout/export the main project -s, --svn, --subversion same as '--scm svn' Uses subversion to checkout/export the main project -t, --type TYPE The type of project the main project is. For example, 'rails'. --scm SCM The SCM used to manage the main project. For example, '--scm svn'. -b, --branch BRANCH The branch you want the subproject to checkout when doing 'ext install' -f, --force_removal When doing an uninstall of a subproject, remove it's files and subfolders, too. -w, --workdir DIR The working directory to execute commands from. Use this if for some reason you cannot execute ext from the main project's directory (or if it's just inconvenient, such as in a script or in a Capistrano task) --help does the same as 'ext help' If you use this with a command it will ignore the command and run help instead. Commands that apply to the main project or the .externals file: freeze, help, init, install, touch_emptydirs, uninstall, update_ignore, upgrade_externals_file freeze Usage: ext freeze project [REVISION] Locks a subproject into a specific revision/branch. If no revision is supplied, the current revision/branch of the project will be used. You can specify the project by name or path. help You probably just ran this command just now. init Creates a .externals file containing only [main] It will try to determine the SCM used by the main project, as well as the project type. You don't have to specify a project type if you don't want to or if your project type isn't supported. It just means that when using 'install' that you'll want to specify the path. install Usage: ext install <repository> [-b <branch>] [path] Registers <repository> in .externals under the appropriate SCM. Checks out the project, and also adds it to the ignore feature offered by the SCM of the main project. If the SCM type is not obvious from the repository URL, use the --scm, --git, or --svn flags. touch_emptydirs Recurses through all directories from the top and adds a .emptydir file to any empty directories it comes across. Useful for dealing with SCMs that refuse to track empty directories (such as git, for example) uninstall Usage: ext uninstall [-f|--force_removal] <project> Removes a subproject from being tracked by ext. If you want the files associated with this subproject deleted as well (if, for example, you wish to reinstall it from a different repository) then you can use the -f option to remove the files. update_ignore Adds all paths to subprojects that are registered in .externals to the ignore feature of the main project. This is automatically performed by install, and so you probably only will run this if you are manually maintaining .externals upgrade_externals_fileConverts the old format that stored as [main][svn][git] to [<path1>][<path2>]... Commands that apply to the main project and all subprojects: checkout, export, status, update checkout Usage: ext checkout <repository> Checks out <repository>, and checks out any subprojects registered in <repository>'s .externals file. export Usage: ext export <repository> Like checkout except this command fetches as little history as possible. status Usage: ext status Prints out the status of the main project, followed by the status of each subproject. update Usage: ext update Brings the main project, and all subprojects, up to the latest version. Commands that only apply to the subprojects: co, ex, st, up co Like checkout, but skips the main project and only checks out subprojects. ex Like export, but skips the main project. st Like status, but skips the main project. up Like update, but skips the main project. The externals project is copyright 2008 by Miles Georgi, nopugs.com, azimux.com and is released under the MIT license. The license is available in the same directory as this README file and is named MIT_LICENSE.txt