Posts tagged programming


Common Project Layout, version 0

:: programming, software engineering

By: Maciej Barć

This is a tongue-in-cheek “draft” for Common Project Layout, version 0. It will probably never become any sort of adopted standard but I think it is good to share some ideas that I had while working on this.

Definition

Common Project Layout (CPL) is a set of good practices for structuring medium-to-large monorepo-like software repositories.

Benefits

CPL helps with code organization. It can be a good “framework” (in a very loose meaning of this word) to modularize product components.

It can make large repositories easier to work with and understand.

Upfront limitations

CPL is strictly designed for “hosting” software and all the non-code assets are left up to the engineers to decide their location.

For example branding assets could be put into the Branding top-level directory, but on the other hand are we sure they will stay the same with major version?

Since we can agree that we consider documentation “producers” (not the produced artifacts) to be code we could also acknowledge that some assets could have their own versioned subproject.

Requirements

Versioning

CPL requires that the software is versioned inside directories whose names include the version. Recommended pattern is to name directories vMAJOR where MAJOR is either the current tagged major version or one that will be if no tags exist. It is also recommended to group the vMAJOR directories under one common directory, for example Source.

Subprojects

The vMAJOR could theoretically contain all the source code mixed together but it should be grouped and organized by their purpose.

Subproject is defined as a directory inside a versioned (vMAJOR) directory. “Versioned subproject” and “subproject” are synonymous to CPL.

To mark the purpose of a subproject, whether it is to be used as a helper or as a “container” for source that is actually exposed (or binaries created from it), it should be adequately named.

For helpers name does not matter but for source subproject it should be prefixed by project name.

For example we could have this layout:

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Source/
└── v1/
    ├── Makefile
    ├── VERSION
    ├── admin/
    ├── make/
    ├── my-project-app/
    └── my-project-util/

In the above example my-project-app and my-project-lib are the source subproject and admin and make are subproject that are there only to help in building, managing and deploying the actual source subprojects.

At the and it is up to the engineer to choose if something is considered a source subproject. For example: If we have a helper subproject that all it does is hold Docker / Podman files for creating a development container what should we name it? As of now I had named them PROJECT-dev-container.

Recommendations

Make and admin

I think it is a good practice for each vMAJOR to have a Makefile, or equivalent in other build system, that will call scripts inside vMAJOR/admin directory that each take care of some small / specific task.

For example the vMAJOR/Makefile recipe for build can call admin/build_my_project_app.py and admin/build_my_project_lib.py. Each those scripts would call the “real” build system specific to the subproject they act upon.

VERSION file

It is nice to have a VERSION file in the vMAJOR directory. It can be reused by build tools and also to show what was the last version worked upon inside vMAJOR, the latest git tag can either be put on different major version or simply not be there yet.

References

See those repositories for referencing the CPL layout:

Shell script setup

:: programming, python, shell

By: Maciej Barć

Good practices

Use sh

If you do not need bash features, then use sh, it is installed on every UNIX-like system.

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#!/bin/sh

Exit on failure

Shell scripts continue even if a commend returns error. To fail right away use:

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set -e

Trap C-c

Catch Control-c and exit.

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trap 'exit 128' INT

Use script directory

Assume we are executing a script from directory /Admin, where / is the root of a given project directory.

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script_path="${0}"
script_root="$(dirname "${script_path}")"

We can use ${script_root} to call other scripts form the Admin directory, but we can also use it to relate to the /.

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project_root="$(realpath "${script_root}/../")"
echo "[INFO] Entering directory: ${project_root}"
cd "${project_root}"

So with above we can run commands form / (repository root). Like for example make and other:

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make
python3 ./Admin/serve_1.py

Even better

Use Python for repository maintenance scripts.

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from os import chdir
from os import path

from subprocess import run
from sys import argv

script_path = path.realpath(__file__)
script_root = path.dirname(script_path)
project_root = path.realpath(path.join(script_root, ".."))

print(f" * Entering directory: {project_root}")
chdir(project_root)

leftover_args = argv[1::]
command_arguments = ["make"] + leftover_args

cmd_string = " ".join(command_arguments)
print(f" * Executing command: {cmd_string}")
run(command_arguments, check=True)

Debugging Frog blog with syntax macros

:: blog, language, lisp, macro, programming, racket, scheme, tutorial

By: Maciej Barć

Constructing debugging syntax

I wanted to echo parameter values when I set them in my blog’s frog.rkt config file.

Nothing simpler in Racket!

First I create this macro for echoing a single parameter value when it is set:

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(define-syntax-rule (verbose-set-parameter parameter-id parameter-value)
  (begin
    ;; Set the parameter.
    (parameter-id parameter-value)

    ;; Then call the parameter and print is's value.
    ;; The "'parameter-id" is special syntax
    ;; for turning a "parameter-id" identifier to a symbol.
    ;; We can also write it like:
    ;; > (quote parameter-id)
    ;; to be less confusing.
    (printf "[DEBUG] (~a ~v)\n" 'parameter-id (parameter-id))))

then, I create a wrapper for above macro that can take multiple parameter pairs:

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(define-syntax-rule (verbose-set-parameters (parameter-id parameter-value) ...)
  (begin
    ;; Unpack a chain of "(parameter-id parameter-value)" pairs
    ;; using the "..." syntax.
    (verbose-set-parameter parameter-id parameter-value) ...))

Using the macro

Afterwards we can call it like so:

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(verbose-set-parameters
 (current-title "XGQT's blog")
 (current-author "Maciej Barć"))

Notice that even the form of setting a parameter, that is (parameter-procedure "value"), remains the same, but in reality it is just similar to how the syntax macro pattern-matches on it.

Inspecting macro expansion

In racket-mode inside GNU Emacs we can inspect the macro expansion with racket-expand-region. Stepping through the expansion provided this result:

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(begin
  (begin
    (current-title "XGQT's blog")
    (printf "[DEBUG] (~a ~v)\n" 'current-title (current-title)))
  (begin
    (current-author "Maciej Barć")
    (printf "[DEBUG] (~a ~v)\n" 'current-author (current-author))))