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News file for Stow.
* Changes in version 2.3.1
*** Remove dependencies on Hash::Merge and Clone::Choose
stow 2.3.0 added external runtime dependencies on Hash::Merge and
Clone::Choose. Historically stow hasn't had runtime dependencies
other than Perl itself, which is a useful property if you're
managing the installation of Perl using stow; the bootstrapping
instructions in stow's manual would need updating to describe how
to install these two modules (and any dependencies they have now
or in the future) as well.
However, Hash::Merge is much more general than stow actually
needs, so replace the merge() call with a few lines of equivalent
code -- this avoids the external dependencies, and is clearer than
the merge() call.
Many thanks to Adam Sampson for this patch!
*** Fix an issue with the test suite
t/cli.t was not testing with the right Perl executable, as
reported here:
Thanks to Slaven Rezic for spotting this and reporting it!
*** Various maintainer tweaks
Improved the release process and its documentation in various
minor ways.
* Changes in version 2.3.0
*** New features / changes in behaviour
***** New --dotfiles option
Enable special handling for "dotfiles" (files or folders whose name
begins with a period) in the package directory. If this option is
enabled, Stow will add a preprocessing step for each file or folder
whose name begins with "dot-", and replace the "dot-" prefix in the
name by a period ("."). This is useful when Stow is used to manage
collections of dotfiles, to avoid having a package directory full
of hidden files.
For example, suppose we have a package containing two files,
stow/dot-bashrc and stow/dot-emacs.d/init.el. With this option,
Stow will create symlinks from .bashrc to stow/dot-bashrc and from
.emacs.d/init.el to stow/dot-emacs.d/init.el. Any other files,
whose name does not begin with "dot-", will be processed as usual.
Thanks to Joris Vankerschaver for this feature!
***** Shell-like expansion in .stowrc files
For options within .stowrc files which describe file paths, "~" can
be included to expand to the current value of $HOME, and
environment variables can be referenced e.g. via "$FOO" or
"${FOO}". To prevent expansion, escape with a backslash.
Thanks a lot to Charles LeDoux for his diligent work on this
***** chkstow now honours the $STOW_DIR environment variable
The stow script already honoured the $STOW_DIR environment
variable. Now chkstow does too, for consistency.
***** Stow now has a non-zero exit code if option parsing failed
Thanks to Brice Waegeneire for reporting this.
*** License upgraded from GPL version 2 to version 3
Copyright and license notices were also added to the headers of
various files in accordance with GNU guidelines.
*** Documentation fixes and enhancements
***** Remove dependency on unmaintained texi2html
The dependency on the ancient and unmaintained texi2html for
building the single-page HTML version of the manual has been
removed, since it was difficult to get running on most distros
other than openSUSE.
Instead use the more modern "makeinfo --html --no-split" approach.
Rules have been kept for posterity in the Makefile for the old
approach and also an "in-between" approach based on texi2any;
however these are not triggered by default. Run
make manual-single-html-all
to compare the three versions.
***** Fixed naming of man page
The title of the generated man page was previously ending up as
something like:
Thanks to @Corin-EU on GitHub highlighting this and proposing a
***** Convert README and INSTALL to Markdown
They are now named and, and render nicely
when viewed via git hosting services which support Markdown.
***** Update documentation to reflect more modern use cases
The, stow(8) man page, and info manual have been updated
to de-emphasise the package management use, since these days almost
everyone prefers to use modern package managers such as rpm / dpkg
/ Nix for (system-wide) package management.
To compensate, more popular modern use cases for Stow have been
added, such as management of dotfiles and software compiled in the
user's $HOME directory.
***** Miscellaneous documentation fixes
- Various typos were fixed.
- The documentation for --verbose was updated to indicate that
verbosity levels now go up to 5.
- Erroneous glob examples in the --ignore documentation were fixed.
- The abbreviation "regex" was removed from the info manual for
- now also documents how to build directly from git.
*** Fixes for bugs, tests, and other technical debt
***** Add Docker files for convenient testing across multiple Perl versions
This is the first release which has been tested across 5 different
versions of Perl prior to release! The versions are:
Thanks to Charles LeDoux for this!
***** Set up continuous testing via Travis CI
This means that the test suite will be automatically run on any
pull requests submitted to GitHub, as well as "make distcheck"
and "./Build distcheck".
***** Add Coveralls integration with GitHub
This means that test coverage analysis will be automatically be run
on any pull requests submitted to GitHub.
***** Miscellaneous improvements to the test suite
These include proper testing of the distinct impact of ~/.stowrc
and .stowrc in the directory from which Stow is invoked.
***** Fix for test suite on Cygwin
Thanks to Lucas Theisen for this fix!
***** aclocal.m4 was updated using aclocal 1.15.1.
***** Miscellaneous fixes to the build and distribution process
***** Improve handling of directories with unusual names
Various fixes for corner cases where directories are named "0"
or begin with a space character, or where STOW_DIR is empty.
Thanks to Cuong Manh Le for highlighting some of the issues and
proposing fixes!
* Changes in version 2.2.2
*** @VERSION@ substitution was set up for the Stow::Util module.
* Changes in version 2.2.1
Version 2.2.1 was not released since it was rejected by
due to Stow::Util missing $VERSION.
*** Small improvements to documentation
***** The README has been revamped.
***** Some index points have been added to the manual.
***** Some typos were fixed.
***** @VERSION@ substitution was fixed in the stow(8) man page.
*** Fix Perl warnings
Stow no longer emits "v-string in use/require non-portable" and
"Possible precedence issue with control flow operator" warnings
with newer Perl versions. See
for full details.
*** Fix "Undefined subroutine &main::error" error
See for details.
*** Failed system calls now include error description
This should make errors easier to understand.
*** Default ignore list now ignores top-level README.*, LICENSE.*, and COPYING
These files are by definition specific to a given package, so if
they exist in the top-level directory, they should not be stowed.
*** Correctly handle the stow/target directories as non-canonical paths
Fix the case discovered by Hiroyuki Iwatsuki where stowing fails if
the stow / target directories are non-canonical paths. For
example, on FreeBSD /home is a symlink pointing to 'usr/home', so
running with the stow directory as /home/user/local/stow and the
target directory as /home/user/local previously resulted in the
stow directory path being calculated as
../../../usr/home/user/local/stow relative to the target.
See for details.
*** Fix stowing of relative links when --no-folding is used.
With a tree like this:
|-- stow
| `-- pkg
| `-- lib
| |-- itk-current -> itk4.0.0
| `-- itk4.0.0
| `--
`-- target
`-- lib
|-- itk4.0.0 -> ../../stow/pkg/lib/itk4.0.0
stowing pkg with the --no-folding option resulted in itk-current
being "unpacked":
`-- target
`-- lib
|-- itk-current
| `-- -> ../../../stow/pkg/lib/itk-current/
|-- itk4.0.0
| `-- -> ../../../stow/pkg/lib/itk4.0.0/
This commit fixes it so that it gets stowed as a symlink:
`-- target
`-- lib
|-- itk-current -> ../../stow/pkg/lib/itk-current
Thanks to Gabriele Balducci for reporting this problem:
*** Internal code cleanups
***** aclocal was updated.
***** automake files were removed.
***** Trailing whitespace was removed.
***** Comments were added.
***** Debug messages were improved.
* Changes in version 2.2.0
*** New --no-folding option
Disables folding of newly stowed directories when stowing, and
refolding of newly foldable directories when unstowing.
*** Remove -a option (--adopt still available)
As --adopt is the only option which allows stow to modify files, it
is considered potentially dangerous (especially for stow package
directories which are not managed by a version control system).
Therefore it seems prudent to require a bit more effort from the
user to enable this option, minimising the change of enabling it
via a typo.
*** Improve error message when stow package is not found.
The error message displayed a path to the missing stow package
which was relative to the target directory rather than the cwd,
which was confusing for the user.
*** Test suite improvements
The test suite has been tightened up slightly.
*** Documentation improvements
Various fixes and cosmetic improvements have been made in the manual.
*** Remove "There are no outstanding operations to perform" warning.
* Changes in version 2.1.3
*** New --adopt / -a option
This allows plain files in the target to be "adopted" into the
package being stowed. See the manual has more details.
*** ./configure now checks for Perl modules required by the test suite.
* Changes in version 2.1.2
Many thanks to Stefano Lattarini for help with numerous autoconf and
automake issues which are addressed in this release.
*** Significantly improve the handling of --with-pmdir.
***** Calculation of the default value for --with-pmdir is now done safely in Perl.
Previously non-POSIX-compliant shells could cause issues.
***** The output of ./configure and make are now much more helpful.
***** The Makefile will now check whether pmdir is in Perl's built-in @INC.
If not, it will insert a
use lib "...";
line into the generated stow script to ensure that it can always
locate the Perl modules without needing to manually set PERL5LIB.
***** Updated INSTALL and HOWTO-RELEASE accordingly.
*** ./configure now aborts if Perl isn't found.
*** Ensured the ChangeLog is up-to-date when making a new distribution.
*** Fixed bug with `make clean' removing files which the user may not be able to rebuild.
* Changes in version 2.1.1
*** Fixed bug where ./configure --with-pmdir=X was ineffectual.
*** Calculated the correct default value for pmdir based on the local Perl installation.
*** Fixed some automake issues (thanks to Stefano Lattarini for spotting these!)
*** Improved various bits of documentation.
* Changes in version 2.1.0
*** Major refactoring of code into separate Stow and Stow::Util Perl modules.
*** Added support for ignore list files.
*** Added support for CPAN-style installation and distribution via Module::Build.
*** Introduced `make test' target and significantly tightened up test suite.
*** Very large number of code and documentation fixes (over 80 commits since version 2.0.1).
*** The '--conflicts' option has been removed.
Stow will always show conflicts if they are found during the scanning
*** Improved debugging output.
*** Converted man page to POD format.
*** Include PDF, and both split- and single-page HTML versions of manual in the distribution.
*** Fixed code style consistency issues.
*** Running configure from outside the source tree now works.
*** `make distcheck' now works.
* Changes in version 2.0.1
*** Defer operations until all potential conflicts have been assessed.
We do this by traversing the installation image(s) and recording the
actions that need to be performed. Redundant actions are factored out,
e.g., we don't want to create a link that we will later remove in order to
create a directory. Benefits of this approach:
1. Get to see _all_ the conflicts that are blocking an installation:
you don't have to deal with them one at a time.
2. No operations are be performed if _any_ conflicts are detected:
a failed stow will not leave you with a partially installed
3. Minimises the set of operations that need to be performed.
4. Operations are executed as a batch which is much faster
This can be an advantage when upgrading packages on a live system
where you want to minimise the amount of time when the package is
*** The above fixes the false conflict problem mentioned in the info file.
*** It also fixes the two bugs mentioned in the man page.
*** Multiple stow directories will now cooperate in folding/unfolding.
*** Conflict messages are more uniform and informative.
*** Verbosity and tracing is more extensive and uniform.
*** Implemented option parsing via Getopt::Long.
*** Default command line arguments set via '.stowrc' and '~/.stowrc' files.
Contents of these files are parsed as though they occurred first on
the command line.
*** Support multiple actions per invocation.
In order for this to work, we had to add a new (optional) command line arg
(-S) to specify packages to stow. For example, to update an installation
of emacs you can now do
stow -D emacs-21.3 -S emacs-21.4a
which will replace emacs-21.3 with emacs-21.4a.
You can mix and match any number of actions, e.g.,
stow -S p1 p2 -D p3 p4 -S p5 -R p6
will unstow p3, p4 and p6, then stow p1, p2, p5 and p6.
*** New (repeatable) command line arg: --ignore='<regex>'
This suppresses operating on a file matching the regex (suffix),
--ignore='~' --ignore='\.#.*'
will ignore emacs and CVS backup files (suitable for ~/.stowrc file).
(I opted for Perl regular expressions because they are more
powerful and easier to implement).
*** New (repeatable) command line arg: --defer='<regex>'
This defers stowing a file matching the regex (prefix) if that file
is already stowed to a different package, e.g.,
--defer='man' --defer='info'
will cause stow to skip over pre-existing man and info pages.
Equivalently, you could use --defer='man|info' since the argument
is just a Perl regex.
*** New (repeatable) command line arg: --override='<regex>'
This forces a file matching the regex (prefix) to be stowed even if
the file is already stowed to a different package, e.g.
--override='man' --override='info'
will unstow any pre-existing man and info pages that would conflict
with the file we are trying to stow.
Equivalently, you could use --override='man|info' since the
argument is just a Perl regex.
*** The above gives the ability to manage packages with common content.
For example, man pages that are shared by a number of CPAN
packages. Using multiple stow directories and .stowrc files can
also simplify things. In our setup we use the standard
/usr/local/stow directory for packages to be installed in
/usr/local. Since we install a large number of extra Perl packages
(currently about 300) we use an additional stow directory:
/usr/local/stow/perl-5.8.8-extras. Both stow directories contain a
'.stow' file so that they collaborate appropriately. I then use
the following .stowrc file in /usr/local/stow/perl-5.8.8-extras
When I stow packages from there, they automatically override any
man pages and binaries that may already have been stowed by another
package or by the core perl-5.8.8 installation. For example, if
you want to upgrade the Test-Simple package, you need to override
all the man pages that would have been installed by the core
package. If you are upgrading CPAN, you will also have to override
the pre-existing cpan executable.
*** By default, search less aggressively for invalid symlinks when unstowing.
That is, we only search for bad symlinks in the directories
explicitly mentioned in the installation image, and do not dig down
into other subdirs. Digging down into other directories can be
very time consuming if you have a really big tree (like with a
couple of Oracle installations lying around). In general the old
behaviour is only necessary when you have really stuffed up your
installation by deleting a directory that has already been stowed.
Doing that on a live system is somewhat crazy and hopefully rare.
We provide an option '-p|--compat' to enable the old behaviour for
those needing to patch up mistakes.
*** New chkstow utility for checking the integrity of the target directory.
*** Implement a test suite and support code.
This was built before implementing any of the extra features so I
could more easily check for equivalent functionality. The initial
code base had to be refactored substantially to allow for testing.
The test suite is not exhaustive, but it should provide enough to
check for regressions.
* Changes in version 1.3.3
*** Now requires Perl 5.005 or later
*** Initially empty directories are not removed anymore
*** Removed buggy fastcwd (we use POSIX::getcwd instead)
*** Fixed bug when the common Parent of Target dir and Stow dir was "/"
*** Fixed bug when handling directories named "0"
*** Stow now only warns the user if a directory is unreadable during unstowing.
* Changes in version 1.3:
*** Added --restow option.
*** Fixed handling of slashes in package names.
*** Expanded configure-time search for Perl binary.
* Changes in version 1.2:
*** Dependency on `pwd' removed.
*** Perl 4 compatibility fixes.
*** Manual expanded even more.
* Changes in version 1.1:
*** Long and short options now accepted.
*** Manual expanded.
*** `make clean' removes stow (which is generated from
* Initial public release (v1.0) of Stow.
* emacs local variables
Local Variables:
mode: org
org-export-with-toc: nil
org-export-with-author: nil
org-toc-odd-levels-only: t