Automatically updating version control!

There is no logical reason why I am THIS excited about getting my post-commit hook working. But I am! Now when I commit changes from my working copy, the post-commit hook will automatically update the working copy in the folder serving the “beta” sub-domain.
In order to get the post-commit hook working with svn, I had to create a small C program (as recommended by the official documentation). I copied it (modifying the paths), compiled it via SSH on my web host and tested it through SSH and found it to work successfully. However, when I made a commit, the post-commit hook failed with exit code 255 with no output.
I double-checked my permissions on the C program and tried again, but still the same error. I then tried commenting out the call to the C program and added a simple “whoami >> [path]/whoami.txt” to see who was executing the post-commit hook.
Post-commit hook failed with exit code (255) and no output.
Ok, NOW we’re getting somewhere. Whatever user account that’s trying to access the post-commit hook script can’t even access the script. I tried chmod-ing the repository, recursively, to 777 (read/write/execute for all) and did another commit. SUCCESS! I found a “whoami.txt” file, but surprisingly, it was my login (which had permissions to begin with).
Un-commenting the line that executes the C program to update a different working copy, I made another commit. This time, I started getting meaningful failure messages. The first message stated an authentication failure, so I modified the C program to include my username and password and recompiled it. Another error but this time it was due to requesting interaction (“are you sure you want to overwrite…”). Modified the C program one last time, adding the no-interaction flag, compiled and tested one last commit.
No error messages and the beta section of the website was updated automatically!
In short, to get the post-commit hooks working with svn I needed to:

  1. (via SSH) CHMOD -R 777 [path to repo]
  2. Create the following C program:
    #include <stddef.h>
    #include <stdlib.h>
    #include <unistd.h>
    int main(void) {
       execl("[path to svn executable]", "svn", "update", "[path to WC to update]", "--non-interactive", "--username", "[username]", "--password", "[password]",(const char *) NULL);

    Note: MUST have blank line at the end (at least my gcc compiler complained about the lack of one the first time). The code formatter above removes it.

  3. Upload the C-source to my website and compile
  4. (via SSH) CHMOD +s [compiled C-program]
  5. Since my host is a linux host, create a file in the “hooks” directory of the repo named “post-commit”
  6. Add the following two lines to the “post-commit” file:
    [path to repo]/hooks/[compiled C-program]
  7. Test the post-commit hook by performing a commit

Version control is here!

As the title suggests, version control is finally here! (somewhat)…
After doing a lot of research and fiddling with my website via SSH, I managed to set up a subversion repository hosted by my website. I previously tried experimenting by installing Git, but was unable to get it to compile successfully (probably due to permission issues in place on a shared hosting provider, although others on my hosting provider managed to get it working, it involved editing a lot of configurations in the config file, as well as messing with some lines in Makefile).
Since I’m still relatively new to subversion (but not version control as a concept), I’ve only activated it for my beta web apps that I’m working on. I didn’t want to try to set it up for my whole website, not knowing how subversion would work with wordpress and having different branches checked out and posting new updates via wordpress and having to commit them to the repository and such (or make an update with my working copy, commit it, only to have it potentially overwrite something I did in wordpress). Yeah, I could probably get around it by always doing an update before committing, but I may not always remember to do that, and frankly, wordpress is doing just fine w/ its own version control so I don’t really NEED it for my entire website.
With this version control system in place, I no longer need to (nor will I) make backups of the projects I’m working on by simply copying the directory somewhere else and appending “01”, “02”, etc… to the end of it.
Can’t wait to get back to focusing on development rather than part development, part “I better copy this in case I screw it up and can’t figure out how to get it back to the way it was”