Friday, 20 January 2012

Making Debian Changelogs from Github repositories

One of the many things that irks me is the gap between good developers who put all their code on platforms such as GitHub, and those who then actually bother to put some effort into packaging up their code for easy platform installation.

I have come to the realisation that this is mainly due to the pedantic nature of packaging formats and platform lock in. One such example is the exacting format of the debian changelog...

GitHib2Changelog is a bit of code that I knocked together to help in this situation. It takes a GitHub repository URL and builds a debian changelog from the repository commits and tags.

By looking at the tags and commits it works out which commits are related to which tags (something GitHub APIv3 doesn't do) and then outputs this directly to you already formatted.

The service is built in php, and is web based with both a pretty front end and API access.

Ironically, since i've now committed the code to GitHub here I now need to use the service on itself and build the easy to install packages. More on that soon...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

DepositMOre - The Prototype

Building on the success of DepositMO and SWORDv2, I thought it would be a good idea to put a quick HTML5 client together to save myself some pain.

The basic premise of this web-based client is to automatically search for "your stuff" in a number of ways and then allow it all to be submitted to a repository in one click.

First target for me was This service is used as an online conference submission and review system. In a nut-shell if an author wants to get accepted into a conference, easychair is one system which they WILL have to battle with in order to submit their content. As a result there is a strong potential that easychair knows about many publications which should also be present in other systems.

From the main screen in easychair it is possible to navigate and find the many conference publications which you have submitted. Each publication is tied to a conference and it can take a substantial number of clicks to navigate between each publication.


DepositMOre is a modular system which is intended to be a home for many services which locate your publications. The first module to be developed is for easychair.

By simply providing your login credentials to the DepositMOre system, it will not only list all your authored items from easychair but also check if these are present in your locally detected repository. If they are not deposited, and they should be then one click will do this for you.

A combination of HTML5 and SWORD2 make this process quick and seemless! Multiple items can be submitted at once and as each are submitted you can instantly click a link to your item and can view it in the repository.

The following video gives a demo of the prototype in action. We hope to continue development with the support of a funded project.

Technologies Used

  • HTML/Javascript/JQuery/PHP

  • SWORD2 PHP Library - Stuart Lewis -