March 18, 2013

Reinstating Class::MOP's Commit History in Moose

Ever use git blame or git log in the Class::MOP parts of the Moose repository? If so you've probably seen Dave Rolsky's mega commit 38bf2a25.

$ git blame lib/Class/MOP/

38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600   1)
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600   2) package Class::MOP::Package;
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600   3)
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600   4) use strict;
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600   5) use warnings;
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600   6)
0db1c8dc (Jesse Luehrs 2011-04-17 19:11:28 -0500   7) use Scalar::Util 'blessed', 'reftype', 'weaken';
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600   8) use Carp         'confess';
0db1c8dc (Jesse Luehrs 2011-04-17 19:11:28 -0500   9) use Devel::GlobalDestruction 'in_global_destruction';
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600  10) use Package::Stash;
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600  11)
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600  12) use base 'Class::MOP::Object';
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600  13)
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600  14) # creation ...
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600  15)
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600  16) sub initialize {
38bf2a25 (Dave Rolsky  2010-12-27 08:48:08 -0600  17)     my ( $class, @args ) = @_;

This commit is a straight up copy of all the Class::MOP code into the Moose repository. Unfortunately it was committed as a single (gigantic) changeset.

commit 38bf2a2585e26a47c919fd4c286b7716acb51c00
Author: Dave Rolsky <>
Date:   Mon Dec 27 08:48:08 2010 -0600

    Merged CMOP into Moose


diffstat says this commit changed a solid fourteen thousand lines of code across 138 files. A most productive morning for Dave!

This is problematic because there is a rich and quite important four years' worth of history before December 27th 2010, which is when Class::MOP was merged into the Moose repository. All of that is effectively lost because this commit is a copy instead of a more delicate merge. I don't blame Dave one bit for this; I certainly did not object when this merger was going down, nor did I appreciate how valuable a clean commit history is.

Why does this copy merge really matter anyway? Well, for example, we needed to know exactly when Moose started forbidding bare references in attribute default (to prove someone wrong on the Internet, that noblest of goals). I had to resort to clumsily bisecting Class::MOP releases on metacpan to find that the restriction was added in version 0.33 (August 19th 2006). I was sad that I was not able to use my usual git blame or git log tools because all Class::MOP history leads to 38bf2a25.

In an ideal world, we would be able to tweak 38bf2a25, two years later, to add a second parent commit (namely, the last commit in Class::MOP, d004c8d5). This would turn it into a merge of two commits, which is how we could inject the entire Class::MOP commit history into Moose's history. From then on git would inspect both histories to produce blame reports, commit logs, and so on. Just like any other merge commit.

Alas, we cannot just go ahead and change the public Moose repository to include the Class::MOP history like that. Adding a second parent to 38bf2a25 would change that commit's SHA. That would cause a cascade of changes to every subsequent commit (and their SHAs) in the two years' worth of commits since. This would in turn break everyone's git clone of the Moose repository, as well as any external pointers to commits (such as RT tickets, email archives, etc), and the rest of the civilized world.

However! you, my friend, can fix it for your own checkout without screwing anybody up. git has a tool for rewiring parent commits. Two, in fact. The original tool was called git graft but there is a slicker, more powerful replacement called, well, git replace. These tools allow you to tweak individual commits in your local repository without disrupting other commits and their SHAs. This means you can still freely and painlessly share your branches and commits with GitHub, other developers, and yo momma.

To do this, start by cloning up a new copy of the Moose repository for playing around. Not strictly necessary, but caution is definitely warranted here. You want to make sure this procedure works before I, through you, potentially damage your working copy.

git clone git://
cd Moose

Next, fetch Class::MOP's master so its commits also exist within the Moose repository.

git remote add cmop git://
git fetch cmop master

Finally, fix the sledgehammer-merge commit 38bf2a25 to include both its original parent commit and the last Class::MOP commit. To do that we create an entirely new commit object that is exactly like 38bf2a25 except it has that second parent commit, d004c8d5. Then we use git replace to tell git to use the new SHA (hint: it's f18fded8) in place of 38bf2a25.

      git cat-file commit 38bf2a25
    | perl -ple '/^parent / && print "parent d004c8d565f9b314da7652e9368aeb4587ffaa3d"'
    | git hash-object -t commit -w --stdin
git replace 38bf2a25 $NEW_MERGE

All done. Enjoy your new (old) history!

$ git log --grep associated_metaclass --format='format:%h %ad %an%n    %s' lib/Class/MOP

cc03c2b Sun Feb 19 12:51:48 2012 -0600 Dave Rolsky
    Weaken the associated_metaclass after cloning a method.
        -- post-merge commit
aa5bb36 Mon Apr 25 10:38:05 2011 -0500 Jesse Luehrs
    fix setting associated_metaclass and attribute on accessor objects
        -- post-merge commit
09ea7f8 Sun Aug 10 18:24:02 2008 +0000 Yuval Kogman
    package_name >= associated_metaclass->name
        -- pre-merge commit!
5e60726 Sun Aug 10 17:42:29 2008 +0000 Yuval Kogman
    add associated_metaclass to Method
        -- pre-merge commit!
$ git blame lib/Class/MOP/

2243a22b (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 18:27:47 +0000   1)
2243a22b (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 18:27:47 +0000   2) package Class::MOP::Package;
2243a22b (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 18:27:47 +0000   3)
2243a22b (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 18:27:47 +0000   4) use strict;
2243a22b (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 18:27:47 +0000   5) use warnings;
2243a22b (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 18:27:47 +0000   6)
0db1c8dc (Jesse Luehrs    2011-04-17 19:11:28 -0500   7) use Scalar::Util 'blessed', 'reftype', 'weaken';
6d5355c3 (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 23:28:32 +0000   8) use Carp         'confess';
0db1c8dc (Jesse Luehrs    2011-04-17 19:11:28 -0500   9) use Devel::GlobalDestruction 'in_global_destruction';
407a4276 (Jesse Luehrs    2010-05-10 23:20:29 -0500  10) use Package::Stash;
2243a22b (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 18:27:47 +0000  11)
f197afa6 (Jesse Luehrs    2010-05-10 21:13:19 -0500  12) use base 'Class::MOP::Object';
6e57504d (Stevan Little   2006-08-12 06:13:02 +0000  13)
6d5355c3 (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 23:28:32 +0000  14) # creation ...
6d5355c3 (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 23:28:32 +0000  15)
6d5355c3 (Stevan Little   2006-06-29 23:28:32 +0000  16) sub initialize {
3be6bc1c (Yuval Kogman    2008-08-14 18:21:45 +0000  17)     my ( $class, @args ) = @_;

In closing, to answer my original question using my normal means...

$ git log -p --reverse -S 'References are not allowed as default'

commit 148b469742669e1a506538200f624dcdaeeb510a
Author: Stevan Little <>
Date:   Wed Aug 16 21:32:05 2006 +0000

    no ref in the defaults


+    (Class::MOP::Attribute::is_default_a_coderef(\%options))
+        || confess("References are not allowed as default values, you must ".
+                   "wrap then in a CODE reference (ex: sub { [] } and not [])")
+            if exists $options{default} && ref $options{default};

Sweet, sweet history.