Automatic updates using violinist.io

Submitted on Mon, 11/27/2017 - 15:31

Violinist.io is a new service that is continuously trying to update your composer dependencies. When a new update is found, a pull request is created on the github repo for the project in question, for example your Drupal site. If you have a good testing setup, this will trigger your tests, and hopefully pass. Now, if you have continuous deployment set up, you can basically merge and deploy updates while sitting in a coffee shop on your phone. Which is now something I have done several times!

I am planning to write a longer blog post about a more complete continuous deployment setup, but just wanted to share a couple of quick fun animated gifs about how Violinist.io works

A couple of weeks ago a new version of Drupal console came out. After it was tagged on Github, an update was available through composer. Since Violinist picked this up, it opened up a new pull request on all of my projects that depend on this. That looks something like this:

I captured this animation because I was fascinated about the short time window between the release and the pull request. As you can see in the animation, it was only around 10 minutes! Now all left for me was to see that the tests passed, read through the changelog (including links to all commits) and merge in the update. Minutes after it was automatically deployed to the production server. About as easy as it gets!

But it's not only other Github hosted projects, or generic php packages that gets updated. For a typical Drupal project I also depend on modules from Drupal.org, and I download these modules with composer. Violinist.io supports those as well. Here is one example (from this very site you are reading) where a new pull request with a full changelog was posted only 8 minutes after it was released on Drupal.org.

Since admin_toolbar is a module I use on many projects, I now could just navigate from pull request to pull request, and update all of my sites within minutes, while still on my phone. A real time saver!

Full disclosure: As you probably understand from the enthusiastic description, I am also the creator of the service. It is completely free for open source projects, and up to one private project. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments! To finish it off, here is an animated gif about enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm