My Repo Pins - move between projects quickly

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Open source developers often have to jump between projects, either to read code, or to craft patches. My Repo Pins reduces the friction so that it becomes trivial to do so.

The idea of the plugin is based on this idea; if the repository URLs can be translated to a filesystem location, the local disk can be used like a cache. My Repo Pins lazily clones the repo to the filesystem location if needed, and then jumps into the project in one single command. You don’t have to remember where you put the project on the local filesystem because it’s always using the same location. Something like this:

~/code-root
├── codeberg.org
│   └── Freeyourgadget
│       └── Gadgetbridge
└── github.com
    ├── BaseAdresseNationale
    │   └── fantoir
    ├── mpv-player
    │   └── mpv
    └── NinjaTrappeur
        ├── cinny
        └── my-repo-pins

This Emacs plugin aims to help you navigate this repository tree and clone new repositories at the right place in the tree.

Show me What You’ve Got

As always, a small demo is worth a thousand words!

Jump to a local repository you already cloned:

Screen capture showcasing my-repo-pins jumping to a already checked out repository

Find a repository in a remote forge, clone it, and jump to it:

Screen capture showcasing my-repo-pins cloning a git repository from a remote forge before jumping to it

Alternatively, you can also specify a absolute git URL you want to clone:

Screen capture showcasing my-repo-pins cloning a git repository using a absolute git url before jumping to it

Installation

This package is available on MELPA. After adding MELPA to your packages-archives, run:

M-x package-install
my-repo-pins

Manually

Clone this repository, open the my-repo-pins.el file, then, install the package using M-x package-install-file.

Quick Start

The minimal configuration consists in setting the directory in which you want to clone all your git repositories via the my-repo-pins-code-root variable.

Let’s say you’d like to store all your git repositories in the ~/code-root directory. You’ll want to add the following snippet in your Emacs configuration file:

(require 'my-repo-pins)
(setq my-repo-pins-code-root "~/code-root")

You can then call the M-x my-repo-pins command to open a project living in your ~/code-root directory or clone a new project in your code root.

Binding this command to a global key binding might make things a bit more convenient. I personally like to bind it to M-h. You can add the following snippet to your Emacs configuration to set up this key binding:

(global-set-key (kbd "M-h") 'my-repo-pins)

Customization

my-repo-pins-code-root - REQUIRED

Path to the directory containing all your projects. my-repo-pins organize the git repos you’ll clone in a tree fashion.

All the code fetched using my-repo-pins will end up in this root directory. A tree of subdirectories will be created mirroring the remote clone URL.

For instance, after checking out https://git.savannah.gnu.org/git/emacs/org-mode.git, the source code will live in the my-repo-pins-code-root/git.savannah.gnu.org/git/emacs/org-mode/ local directory

my-repo-pins-max-depth

Maximum search depth starting from the my-repo-pins-code-root directory.

Set this variable to nil if you don’t want any limit.

This is a performance stop gap. It’ll prevent my repo pins from accidentally walking too deep if it fails to detect a project boundary.

By default, this limit is set to 2 to materialize the <forge>/<username> directories that are supposed to contain the projects.

We won’t search further once we reach this limit. A warning message is issued to the *Messages* buffer to warn the user the limit has been reached.

my-repo-pins-git-bin

Path pointing to the git binary. By default, it’ll look for git in the current $PATH.

my-repo-pins-forge-fetchers

Alist in the form of ("FORGE NAME" . FETCH-FUNCTION) where FETCH-FUNCTION is a function in charge of retrieving a potential remote clone URL. More about this function in the Fetchers section.

Fetchers

When a repository cannot be found in the code root directory, my-repo-pins will try to download it from different forges. By default, it’ll try to find it on github.com, gitlab.com, git.sr.ht, and codeberg.org.

Re-Using the Default Fetchers for your own Forge Instance

My-repo-pins provides some generic fetchers for Gitlab, Sourcehut, and Gitea.

You can re-use these generic fetchers for your own forge instance using the following functions:

  • GitLab: my-repo-pins--query-gitlab-owner-repo
  • SourceHut: my-repo-pins--query-sourcehut-owner-repo
  • Gitea: my-repo-pins--query-gitea-owner-repo

These functions share the same 4 input arguments:

  • instance-url: your instance FQDN. For instance: gitlab.gnome.org, git.alternativebit.fr, …
  • user-name: the user name for which we want to clone the repository.
  • repo-name: name of the repository we want to clone.
  • callback: function my-repo-pins will use to clone the repository once we retrieved the various clone URLs. The callback takes an alist as parameter. The alist being of the form of : ((ssh . SSH-CHECKOUT-URL) (https . HTTPS-CHECKOUT-URL)).

You can re-use these functions by instantiating them for a specific forge, then by appending this instantiation to the my-repo-pins-forge-fetchers variable in your Emacs configuration.

Let’s say you want to retrieve repositories from the Gnome Gitlab instance living at gitlab.gnome.org. You’ll have to add the following snippet to your Emacs configuration:

(setq my-repo-pins-forge-fetchers
      `(("gitlab.gnome.org" (lambda (owner repo cb)(my-repo-pins--query-gitlab-owner-repo "gitlab.gnome.org" owner repo cb)))
        ,my-repo-pins-forge-fetchers))

Writing your Forge Fetcher from Scratch

You may also want to support a forge for which my-repo-pins currently does not provide any generic fetcher. In that case, you’ll have to write a function in the form of:

(defun your-custom-fetcher (owner repo)
; (..) the actual implementation
)

The function needs to accept two input parameters:

  • owner: string containing the name of the owner of the query repository. IE. ninjatrappeur for the ninjatrappeur/my-repo-pins query.
  • repository: string containing the name of the query repository. IE. my-repo-pins for the ninjatrappeur/my-repo-pins query.

This function will return either nil in case the query couldn’t be found on the remote forge. An alist containing the SSH and HTTPS clone URLs in the form of:

'((ssh . SSH-CHECKOUT-URL)
  (https . HTTPS-CHECKOUT-URL))

Changelog

0.2

  • Add the my-repo-pins-max-depth customization variable. This variable prevents my repo pins from accidentally recursing too far in the code root directory. Solves a performance issue with git subtrees.
  • When cloning a project from a fullly qualified URL, we make sure the project does not exists locally first. If it does, we jump to the local clone without trying to clone it again.

0.1

Initial release

Aknowledgements

  • This plugin is heavily inspired by Zimbatm’s h. Thanks a lot for this amazing tool, it made my life easier for years!
  • Thanks a lot to Wiwi who found the terrible pun we used to name this project.