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My reasons for an eventual resurrection of Gitarella

You might or might not remember of gitarella, on old project of mine to write a replacement for gitweb. Some of the reasons why I started the project (like gitweb URLs being not so friendly and other things) are probably no more relevant since gitweb improved a lot. Gitarella on the other hand I didn’t work on for such a long time that now is almost certainly not working, since it’s using deprecated git commands and so on.

For a while I thought to just give up on Gitarella in favour of cgit, that is written in C and so it has to be much faster, but I didn’t look into much more because gitweb at the time was suiting my need well enough. Since lately I’ve been working on quite a lot of different projects with some simple patches or series of patches, many of which are available on git repositories which I can just republish with my patches applied as a branch, my git repositories started looking tremendously heavy for the simple gitweb.

One thing that really I can’t understand is how is it possible for gitweb not to generate any kind of cache for the pages. This is quite a mistake in my opinion; while admittedly it’s impossible to properly cache the index page, for instance, and that requires a lot of queries, the commit description pages, the patch pages and so on can easily be cached up, as they cannot really be changed (you can use the SHA1 id as index for those pages).

If I remember correctly what I was told a longish time ago, cgit does cache pages on disk, which would make it an ideal candidate, if it wasn’t that it doesn’t execute git commands at all but rather links in libgit.a; feel free to check your dev-util/git install, there is no libgit.a, that is not an officially-supported way to interface to GIT. As you can guess, I don’t like it.

So I guess I might resume my work on Gitarella, especially considering now lighttpd supports scgi, it makes it quite interesting.

Comments 2
  1. There’s a caching patch for gitweb that was one of the SoC projects, I think it’s due to merge in 1.6.1 or runs it already

  2. This might not make any difference to your decision, but FWIW: cgit uses git as a submodule and builds the needed version of libgit.a before linking statically with the result, i.e. cgit is built just like any other git command, it just isn’t a part of git proper.

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