[Baypiggies] Website not updated. Tonight's talk: Explore Git internals using Python | Let's write `git log` in Python

Glen Jarvis glen at glenjarvis.com
Thu Jun 23 19:21:36 EDT 2016

For those who are coming tonight, the website didn't get updated with the
talk details.

This is the write-up. The RSVP list is packed and we have a pretty big
MeetUp wait list. It may be a crowded room.

Explore Git internals using Python | Let's write `git log` in Python

Git is a powerful tool for source control. It's often misunderstood and
abused. Under the surface Git is an elegant and simple data structure. When
you don't understand that data structure, you don't really understand Git.
It is flexible enough to give you all the rope that you need to hang
yourself in Git hell. However, if you understand it, metaphorical Gordian
knots seem simple and Git hell doesn't exist.

Python is an elegant programming language heavily influenced by ABC "a
teaching language, a replacement for BASIC...." [1] It's a perfect tool
that looks like pseudo-code but executes. However, even with its
simplicity, it is one of the most powerful programming languages that
exists. It is a perfect language to document and run the Git data structure
as we explore it.

In this talk, we start with a simple explanation of the Git data structure
on disk. We then begin coding to read those data structures and reconstruct
a `git log` command for any arbitrary git repository without using the
`git` command [2]. When finished, we should have our own working command
that does the same thing as `git log` for any arbitrary repository, on any
branch. We'll simply start at `HEAD` and work our way down the data

Although it is not *useful* to have a Python version of Git, it is *fun*.
Also, this exploration helps you understand the Git tool on a much deeper
level. When you can program something, you can understand it. And,
understanding Git helps you be a better developer and collaborator.

About the Speaker
Glen Jarvis has been programming Python for over 8 years and has been
programming in different languages for over twenty years. He has been
certified in Linux/Unix administration by UC-Berkeley. Before that, he
gained the highest certification available for Informix database
administration and supported administrators. He is also certified in
MongoDB as developer and administrator. He is currently working on his AWS

He has worked for companies such as IBM, UC-Berkeley, Sprint and many
Silicon Valley Start-ups. He has worked in the fields of Databases, Data
Science, Bioinformatics and Web Technologies. He has been exclusively
working in DevOps the past year.

Glen has been working for almost three years at RepairPal, a successful
start-up that gives you free estimates for what your car repair *should*
cost [3]. He is currently putting the "Dev" in "DevOps" using Ansible (and
Ruby). He additionally owns a consulting and training company, Glen Jarvis,
LLC, that mentors budding programmers. Some of his training Videos include
How to create a free AWS instance, Ansible Hands-On Training, and An
introduction to Test Driven Development. He has also been an open source
contributor [4] and a member and co-organizer of the Bay Area Python
Interest Group (BayPIGgies) [5].

Sponsored by BayPIGgies
This is a collaboration with the Bay Area Python Interest Group
(BayPIGgies) [5].  Join their mailing list [6].
[2] With one small caveat. There is only one plumbing command used to read
a binary file `git cat-file`. The rest is ASCII text that we can
[3] http://repairpal.com/
[4] https://github.com/glenjarvis/
[5] http://baypiggies.net/
[6] https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/baypiggies

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