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Boar / CodeGuide


This document will describe the boar source code from a high level perspective. The goal is to make it a little bit easier for developers to get started with the Boar code base. This is not the place to start if you simply want to use Boar (for that, go to Quickstart).

Boar structure

Boar is roughly divided into two parts: a front end and a back end. The front end is the client side with command line parser and workdir handling, and the back end is the repository / server side.

Front end

The front end includes these files:

Filename Purpose
boar The command line tool. Parses the given options and performs the desired operations.
boar.bat A help script to make boar executable on Windows Code for connecting to a local boar repo or a boar network server Handles anything involving the local file system, normal checkins/checkouts, imports, and so on. Code for comparing file trees and finding out what has changed.

Back end

The back end is the part that actually writes to the repository.

Filename Purpose This is the repository "front" or interface towards the client. Because this interface should be easy to implement over a network protocol, all method calls must pass and return only primitive values. Boar network protocol. Based on json-rpc but heavily modified. Code for running a Boar network server
blobrepo/ The core. Contains logic for creating, verifying, and modifying repositories.
blobrepo/ Classes for creating sessions and reading data from sessions. Works intimately with

Common files

These are files that are used by both the front- and back end.

Filename Purpose Lots of useful functions and classes that are not specific to the Boar project. Useful functions and classes that are specific to the Boar project. Exceptions defined and used by Boar


Unit tests and command line tests.

Filename Purpose
tests/ Tests operations on the Workdir class
blobrepo/tests/ Tests operations on the Repository and SessionReader/SessionWriter classes unix script that executes all existing tests, both macro tests and unit tests.
macrotests/ This directory contains everything related to testing the Boar command line executable on unix.
macrotests/ A number of successive tests for the Boar command line tool.
macrotests/test_*.sh_ Tests for the command line client
macrotests/test_regression_*.sh_ Tests that old repository formats are still handled ok.
macrotests/test_issue*.sh Regression tests for specific issues (see the bug tracker for details on each issue)

Reading the code


This table explains some terms you may come upon in the code. All terms should ideally only have a single meaning, but unfortunately, there are some legacy uses of some terms that may confuse a reader.

Word Meaning
session The word session means a series of successive snapshots with a common session_name. Sometimes unfortunately used as a synonym to "snapshot".
session_id, revision, revision_id, snapshot, snapshot_id, All of these will indicate the id number of a snapshot (the numbers found under sessions/ in the repo)
blob A file stripped of its name, identified by their 128-bit md5 checksum expressed as a hexadecimal string. Stored under blobs/ in the repository
bloblist The list of filenames mapped to blobs making up a snapshot.
front The back end of Boar (the "front" of the back-end... maybe not the best name)

Writing the code

Keeping it simple?

Writing code that is safe and easy to understand is a difficult balancing act. But I have tried to follow these rules:

  • Minimize inheritance. Inheritance makes it less obvious what code is being executed.
  • Avoid call-backs, event listeners and other types of "come-from" flow control.
  • Don't define and use classes unless there is a good reason. Primitives are underrated.
  • Reduce the number of user options to a minimum. Every added option makes code a little bit more complicated to test.