This manual (last modified Wed 8 Sep 2021 11:13:30 BST, base 21c953800f9) documents IFI Fossil Interface (IFI) version 0.1; part of its pre-alpha development phase.
|• Getting started:|
|• IFI buffers:|
|• Primary features:|
|• Design features:|
|• GNU Free Documentation License:|
Fossil is a distributed software configuration management (SCM) system with built-in HTTP server and web interface.
IFI provides two facilities for working with Fossil in Emacs; an enhanced shell buffer (see *Fossil shell* buffers) employing Fossil’s built-in shell, and a checkouts buffer (see The *Fossil checkouts* buffer) providing an overview of the current state of all Fossil checkout directories.
The enhanced shell facility may be loaded and used independently of the checkouts buffer facility, but the reverse is not possible. The checkouts buffer is dependent on one or more enhanced shells for carrying out Fossil commands. This is by design (see Design features).
IFI does not interfere with, and does not replace, Emacs’ generic version control interface VC (see (emacs)Version Control), when Venkat Iyer’s Fossil backend is installed:
|• Obtaining IFI:|
|• Staying informed:|
Not surprisingly, IFI’s development home is a Fossil repository known as ‘HEmP’:
The copy of HEmP hosted at the above URL is known as ‘canonical HEmP’. There you will find instructions on how to clone the repository as a whole, as well as a link to the latest IFI release tarball.
N.B. HEmP includes mulitiple Emacs projects. If you decide to clone the repository, pay attention to the ‘Anonymous quick start’ instructions found in file home.md at the top level of branch trunk, or at the above URL.
Installation is the same whether you clone HEmP or download and extract a release tarball (see Obtaining IFI). In either case, the directory containing IFI’s source files:
ifi-ckout.el ifi-custom.el ifi-lib.el ifi-loaddefs.el ifi-shell.el ifi-x.el
must be added to Emacs’
load-path before you issue the command:
M-x load-library RET ifi-loaddefs RET
At this point, the two IFI entry point commands:
M-x fossil-shell M-x fossil-checkouts
are available but the set of source files that define each command have not been loaded (see (elisp)Autoload). To load the source files and begin using IFI, simply issue one of the above two commands. (See *Fossil shell* buffers or see The *Fossil checkouts* buffer).
To make the two IFI entry point commands available at start-up , add the following line to your .emacs init file:
If you prefer to load all IFI source files at start-up (rather than on first use), add this line to your .emacs init file instead:
This is sufficient because, as described in the introduction (see Introduction), the checkouts buffer facility depends on the enhanced shell facility and will ensure the shell facility is loaded.
Finally, you may load only the source files required by the enhanced shell facility, and ensure the checkouts buffer facility is available when it is needed, by adding these two lines to your .emacs init file:
(require 'ifi-shell) (require 'ifi-loaddefs) ; make `M-x fossil-checkouts' available
As always, the time it takes to load Emacs Lisp source files can be
reduced by byte compiling them beforehand (see (elisp)Byte Compilation). Visit the directory containing the IFI source files in
Dired and issue command
C-u 0 M-x
byte-recompile-directory RET. The position of point is unimportant.
IFI should compile cleanly in GNU Emacs version >= 26.3 and all later
versions (see Compatibility).
This manual is included in release tarballs and is available online in the following formats:
N.B. The online editions of the manual document IFI’s development version and may differ substantially from the editions included in a release tarball, especially during its early development phases. (Current phase: pre-alpha).
The easiest way to browse the Info manual in Emacs (in the absence of
an installation script) is to load Emacs library Dired Extra.
(See (dired-x)Top). With Dired Extra loaded, simply
visit the doc/ directory in
Dired, position point on
file ifi.info and type
IFI development began in GNU Emacs 26.3 and is being continued in version 27.2. It should byte-compile cleanly, i.e. without warnings, in Emacs 26.3 and all later versions.
IFI has not been tested in earlier versions of GNU Emacs, nor on platforms other than GNU/Linux. Compilation bug reports are welcome. See Contributing.
Stay informed about IFI development by signing up for email alerts at canonical HEmP:
You may choose between announcements, checkin (commit) alerts, forum posts, forum edits, ticket and wiki page alerts.
N.B. HEmP includes multiple Emacs projects. It is not possible to subscribe to IFI alerts only.
If desired, you may sign up anonymously, i.e. without a named user account.
Contributions to IFI development should be made at canonical HEmP. There you can post to the forum and open new tickets, anonymously if you prefer, i.e. without a named user account.
The canonical HEmP forum is for general queries, feedback, policy deliberation, simple patches e.t.c.
N.B. HEmP includes multiple Emacs projects. The title of new forum posts discussing IFI development should therefore begin with IFI: . For example:
IFI: Issue with multiple *Fossil shell* buffers
Creating an ordinary patch file with Fossil is simple:
$ fossil diff > file.patch
When posting a patch to the forum, include in the title of your post the 10-digit artifact hash of the checkin/commit against which the patch was made. For example:
IFI: Bugfix patch against 632729f34f
If you have cloned HEmP, the 10-digit artifact hash may be found
either by examining the timeline (look for the *CURRENT* entry) or
by issuing Fossil’s
info command like so:
$ fossil info current | grep ^hash: | cut -b 15-24
If you downloaded and extracted an IFI release tarball, the 10-digit artifact hash may be found in the VERSION file.
Note that it is generally best to upload a patch to a pastebin and include a link to the paste in the forum post, rather than including the patch in the forum post itself.
For more substantial contributions, the
diff command may be
inadequate since it cannnot record file renamings, file deletions, tag
operations, checkin/commit messages e.t.c. In this case, it is better
to clone HEmP, create and work on a development branch,
e.g. ifi-fixes, and then send a
which you would generate like so:
$ fossil bundle export --branch ifi-fixes ifi-fixes.bundle
Internally, Fossil stores state information in SQLite database files, and a Fossil bundle is no different; it’s an SQLite database file. When attaching a Fossil bundle to an email, mime-type application/vnd.sqlite3 should therefore be used.
Enquire in the forum for an email address or use the Fossil administrator address fossil at domain sebyte.me).
N.B. For developers used to making pull or merge requests, no such facility exists in the Fossil ecosystem. Bundles are a powerful alternative.
The first step towards gaining checkin/commit access to canonical HEmP is to create a named user account and participate in IFI development using the forum.
To create a named user account, visit the canonical HEmP login page and click the button labelled ’Create A New Account’.
The canonical HEmP ticket facility is for formal bug reports and feature requests and should generally follow discussion in the forum.
N.B. HEmP includes multiple Emacs projects. The one line ticket summary should therefore begin with IFI: . For example:
IFI: Compilation error under Emacs 24.2
|• *Fossil shell* buffers:||The enhanced shell facility|
|• The *Fossil checkouts* buffer:||The checkout directories overiew facility|
|• The *Fossil timeline* buffer:||Pretty timelines|
|• The *Fossil help* buffer:||Pretty help output|
Once IFI has been installed (see Installation), you may start a
Fossil shell (and enter a *Fossil shell* buffer) by issuing
M-x fossil-shell RET. (In fact,
M-x fos-sh RET is usually
sufficient). This will start a
fossil shell process in
whichever directory is current when you issue the command.
(See (emacs)File Names for a brief explanation of
Let’s suppose that you are visiting your home directory in Dired when
you issue the command
M-x fossil-shell RET. Let’s suppose also that your
home directory is not a Fossil checkout. The *Fossil
shell* buffer will, not surprisingly, look like this:
fossil (no repo)>
The shell is waiting for you to start issuing Fossil commands. For example:
fossil (no repo)> info config-db: /home/sebyte/.fossil fossil: /home/sebyte/fossil/bin/fossil version: 2.17 [de417fb73c] 2021-08-06 07:58:18 UTC fossil (no repo)>
However, note the buffer’s header line in which a large red dot is
followed by the abbreviated form of the current directory. Note also
what happens when you type a comma immediately after the Fossil
prompt; the minibuffer prompt reads Shortcut. (See IFI shortcuts). Let’s suppose a checkout of a newly initialised Fossil
repository is found at ~/fossil/sandpit/foo and that you type
cd RET and enter this checkout directory. The *Fossil
shell* buffer would now look something like this:
fossil (no repo)> info config-db: /home/sebyte/.fossil fossil: /home/sebyte/fossil/bin/fossil version: 2.17 [de417fb73c] 2021-08-06 07:58:18 UTC fossil (no repo)> [ cd ~/fossil/sandpit/foo/ ] fossil (unnamed)>
Behind the scenes, the previous
fossil shell process has been
killed, the current directory has changed and a new
shell process has been started. The (fake) shell command
~/fossil/sandpit/foo/ (delimited by brackets) records where in the
sequence of commands the change of directory occurred.
Note also the changes to the buffer’s header line. Because the new
fossil shell process is running within a Fossil checkout, the
large red dot is now followed by the abbreviated form of the current
directory, the name of the project, the name of the current branch, a
count (in brackets) of how many checkins/commits the checkout is
behind the branch head and, finally, the default remote sync URL of
the Fossil repository to which the checkout belongs. (See IFI headlines).
Now let’s return to your home directory in Dired and issue the command
M-x fossil-shell RET again. We find ourselves in the same *Fossil
shell* buffer we were in before, but a second change of directory has
taken place, returning us to where we were:
fossil (no repo)> info config-db: /home/sebyte/.fossil fossil: /home/sebyte/fossil/bin/fossil version: 2.17 [de417fb73c] 2021-08-06 07:58:18 UTC fossil (no repo)> [ cd ~/fossil/sandpit/foo/ ] fossil (unnamed)> [ cd ~/ ] fossil (no repo)>
The *Fossil shell* buffer has been resued because
nil by default. Had you enabled use of multiple shell
buffers before issuing the
M-x fossil-shell RET command the second time,
you would have found yourself in a new shell buffer, named
There’s no limit on how many shell buffers/processes may be alive at once but a directory may only have a single *Fossil shell* buffer associated with it at any one time.
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|• IFI headlines:|
|• IFI shortcuts:|
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