Website Repository

The master version control repository for alpenglow.org is hosted on bitbucket.org. Bitbucket is a hosting site for the distributed version control systems Git and Mercurial. Bitbucket provides free hosting for public repositories and for private repositories with a small number of users. For private repositories with a larger number of users, Bitbucket offers paid hosting.

What Is a Version Control Repository?

Visitors to alpenglow.org are familiar with the public version of the website:
http://alpenglow.org
The website files are uploaded to the alpenglow.org webserver using FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Anyone who has built a website will be familiar with this process.

With alpenglow.org, I've gone further. First, I've placed all (or at least most) of the website files under a version control system. This enables me to track changes to the files over time. Second, I've chosen to use a distributed version control system (DVCS) called Mercurial, which means that changes can be made by several people in parallel and they can be merged into a central repository which is accessible over the web. The Mercurial repository on Bitbucket contains the master copy of all alpenglow.org files. When I want to make changes, I update my working files, push the changes to the master repository using Mercurial, then upload them to the alpenglow.org website using FTP.

A few years ago, hackers corrupted a number of web pages on alpenglow.org. I had to search for and repair these pages by hand. With the files under Mercurial version control, fixing this sort of problem is much simpler.

Where To Find It

The Mercurial repository for alpenglow.org is owned by the Alpenglow account on Bitbucket: The home page for the repository is:
https://bitbucket.org/Alpenglow/alpenglow.org/
The home page for the online book, Written in the Snows, is:
https://bitbucket.org/Alpenglow/written-in-the-snows.net/

From the Bitbucket home page, the simplest way to get a copy of the alpenglow.org sources is to use the "download" link. This link enables you to download all the sources in a ZIP file (or other bundled format). If you download this file and unzip it, you will have the latest revision of the alpenglow.org website files.

Currently all Alpenglow repositories on Bitbucket are private. Private means that only certain people have access to the repositories. The account owner sets read, write, or admin access for each user individually. Bitbucket provides free hosting for accounts with up to five private users. Above that number of private users, you have to sign up for a paid account.

Using Mercurial

To enable other contributors to work on the alpenglow.org source files, they are stored on Bitbucket in a Mercurial repository. As a distributed version control system (DVCS), Mercurial provides basic revision control and makes it easy for other contributors (when given appropriate permissions) to make changes in parallel and merge them into the master repository. I use the TortoiseHg application to run Mercurial on my Windows machine. To learn more about TortoiseHg and Mercurial, and to download the software, see:
http://tortoisehg.bitbucket.org/
There are several good references for Mercurial. They include:

A Note About Movie Files

Alpenglow.org contains movies (in a subfolder named "movies"). I have not placed the movie files into Mercurial and Bitbucket because they are quite large and, being binary files, they don't benefit much from being placed in a version control system. The movies are on the alpenglow.org webserver and are also duplicated on my personal backup disks.


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Copyright © 2012 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: Sat, Dec 01, 2012 10:49:41 PM