Create a Review Board review using git svn and checked in code

May 10, 2010

Our group is starting to use Review Board more and more to conduct our code reviews.But using it with git-svn, or with anything you’ve already checked into svn can be a real hassle. You don’t want to have uncommitted code hanging around in your computer for extended periods of time for a number of reasons, so this rendered it difficult to use for code projects that take more than a week.

Since I like to eat, and hence get paid so that I can afford food, I have to work on things that take longer than a week. But luckily, git can help get a diff for review board based only on a string in the commit comments.

This came about when one of my co-workers posted a bash scripts someone had written that would take a git diff and make it into a svn-like diff. And that worked great. My first attempt was to modify it to do multiple files at once, but it ended up making a diff for each revision for each file (if you need that functionality, you can get that here).

So I pulled out python and worked on a new script, which is at the bottom of this post, or you can get it here.

Once you download the file, you run it like this from your git repository: (some grep string) > diff.output

The script will take the argument as a string to search for in the commit comments. This is thanks to the git log --grep=foo command available in git. It outputs directly to the terminal, which you can see I’m redirecting into diff.output. Once you have the file, you can upload to Review Board as you normally would. I did it by using a search string because we use JIRA to track our work in svn. We have pre-commit hooks to ensure that we put a JIRA number on each commit. This helps out git as it has something to search through to get the change list.

Known issues:

First: It will get all the changes between the first and last revision that had the search string.


I change under JIRA-123 (now at r1).
Another change to under JIRA-321 (now at r2).
I change the file again under JIRA-123 (now r3).

This script will take all changes between 1 and 3, even if I don’t want the JIRA-321 changes to show up.

Second: it doesn’t have any context around removed/moved files. It still should pick up a renamed file as just a completely new file, but it doesn’t have any context of renaming. But I believe that’s the case with svn anyway.

Third: I am by no means a good python programmer, and might not know all the conventions that people normally follow. The code below may cause eye hemorrhaging, face hemorrhaging…pretty much any of your organs could be hemorrhaged by looking at the code. CONSIDER THIS YOUR ONLY WARNING. But I did some testing with newly created files, and removed files, and binary files, but I’m sure I missed some crazy edge cases. Let me know if you hit any snags. The script follows: