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provides a svn:externals like workflow in an scm agnostic manner
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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 or

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
There's a tutorial available at

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,,
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
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