[Glass] Class renames and migrations: practices?

Dale Henrichs via Glass glass at lists.gemtalksystems.com
Mon May 16 13:52:38 PDT 2016


I noticed that you mentioned that you don't use GsDeployer --- and that 
makes perfect sense.

With that said, I've created a subclass of GsDeployer called 
GsNonmigratingDeployer[1] that can be used to make GsDeployer a little 
more friendly for folks who want to manage their own migrations by 
unconditionally bypassing the standard GsDeployer migration logic ...

The main rationale is to allow you (and others) to "disable" GsDeployer 
so that accidental invocation in scripts or tools won't undo any 
carefully laid migration plans.

One "permanently disable GsDeployer" with the following:

   GsNonmigratingDeployer select;
   System commit.

or temporarily disable migrations by using GsDeployer 


[1] https://github.com/GsDevKit/GsDevKit/issues/91

On 04/27/2016 07:16 AM, Otto Behrens via Glass wrote:
> Hi,
> I attach a package with all our migration code if you want to dig.
> You're welcome to use it or copy some bits.
>> Perhaps there are better ways of handling class renames than what we do? How do other people on the mailinglist handle these?
> Not sure if what we do is really better; perhaps we can come up with
> something better after some discussion.
>> What we do to handle a class rename in a upgrade of our application code:
>> 1) We keep both the ‘old' class (with the old name) and the ‘new' class (with the new name) in our code base.
> We do not keep the old class name in our code base. Essentially we use
> Metaclass3 allInstances
> to find all the classes in the system and work from there.
>> 2) We load the application code upgrade in our database using Metacello and GsDeployer bulkmigrate.
> Also load using Metacello, but do not use GsDeployer. We load all the
> code first and then do migrations with the attached code. Here's how
> we call it:
> Migrator new
> packageNames: BaselineOfWonkaProjects allPackageNames;
> "all our packages / the ones we're interested in migrating"
> migrateAll;            "the main entry point"
> nilFields.                "To help GC"
>> 3) We handle the class rename and migrate all instances as follows:
>>      SomeOldClass addNewVersion: TheNewClass.
>>      SomeOldClass migrateInstancesTo: TheNewClass.
> The attached code does this kind of thing automatically if you
> implement a hook (class) method:
> TheNewClass class >> classNamesToRenameFrom
>    ^ #(#SomeOldClass)
> You can have multiple old names if you're consolidating more than one
> class into a new one
>> 4) We remove the old class from the system:
>>      SomeOldClass removeFromSystem
> Have never used this. We have old classes in our systems. Some time
> ago, I tried hard to figure out how to get a class garbage collected.
> Never could. Perhaps this will work.
> We do checks at the end of the migration process that detached classes
> should not have instances.
>> When we do not do step 4 and we keep SomeOldClass in our code base, subsequent class changes on TheNewClass could trigger the GsDeployer bulk migration to migrate instances of TheNewClass back to SomeOldClass before migrating to the last version of TheNewClass. When we inspect the classHistory of both classes, we notice they are shared and can look like this: SomeOldClass -> TheNewClass -> SomeOldClass -> TheNewClass -> SomeOldClass. It all depends on the changes to SomeOldClass and TheNewClass, package load order, etc… wether or not this would eventually end up in a good state (but most probably not). So, we avoid this issue by explicitly removing the class now in step 4.
> We are a bit more pedantic about cleaning up the classHistory (see
> tearDownClassHistoryForMigratingFromClass:). After a migration run,
> all classes should have only itself in its own classHistory.
>> So, we only figured this out because we had not done step 4 in migrations in early years and we kept the old classes for ‘legacy’ in our code base. The main question is: is this a good way to deal with class renames in application upgrades?
> Our way of working is to remove the legacy class from the code base asap
> Otto
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