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Development workflow management using Tomtit

Alexey Melezhik
Sparrow6 - Raku Automation Framework
・4 min read

Every developer deals with the same tasks on daily basis. For instance working with git, linting yaml files, build and releasing modules, calling http APIs and so on.

So, welcome Tomtit - a task and workflow
manager built on Sparrow engine that allows one to easily develop harness scripts and run them though a high-level Raku scenarios.

If you're terminal and automation lover - welcome to this post, I'll show how the use of Tomtit could increase your productivity tremendously.

Install Tomtit

Tomtit is a Raku module - so it's installed through a Raku package manager:

$ zef install --/test Tomtit


Once Tomtit is installed one can use tom - command line api to make an initial setup:

$ tom --completion
$ source  ~/
$ s6 --repo-init ~/repo 

Once commands are executed you'll setup a local Sparrow repository (in case you want to use plugins, see further) and install bash completion for a tom client.

In our post we're going to use an example Raku project to show typical Tomtit workflow:

$ git clone

Before we get started we need to initialize our project with some technical directory required by Tomtit:

$ cd rakudist-teddy-bear
$ tom --init

Create some tasks

Now, let's give it a run and create some script that automate our work.

Consider a simple example from Raku world of testing and building of Raku source code:

$ tom --edit build-app
/home/ubuntu/projects/rakudist-teddy-bear/.tom/build-app.pl6 does not exit, do you want to create it? (type Y to confirm): Y

Once we confirm a creation of new scenario tom will run editor defined at $EDITOR so we can create a raku script:

task-run ".tom/tasks/build";

So far it just a function task-run that is exported by Tomtit, and that run a script located at .tom/tasks/build folder, now we need to implement the underlying script:

$ mkdir -p .tom/tasks/build
$ nano .tom/tasks/build/task.bash
prove6 --lib t/
zef install --force-install .

As we one can see we choose here Bash for an underlying script, as it fits best for this simple tasks. One could also choose between other languages, that are supported by Sparrow - underlying Tomtit engine.

Now we can run a build application task by using a tom command line:

$ tom build-app
17:05:12 10/04/2020 [repository] index updated from index updated from file:///home/ubuntu/repo/api/v1/index
17:05:13 10/04/2020 [.tom/tasks/build] t/00-load.t .. ok
17:05:13 10/04/2020 [.tom/tasks/build] All tests successful.
17:05:13 10/04/2020 [.tom/tasks/build] Files=1, Tests=1,  0 wallclock secs
17:05:13 10/04/2020 [.tom/tasks/build] Result: PASS
17:05:17 10/04/2020 [.tom/tasks/build] ===> Installing: Teddy Bear:ver<0.0.1>

To edit a task, run:

$ tom --edit build-app

And you'll get your $EDITOR opening task source code ...

More examples

Tomtit allow more then that. We've just seen a simple example.
Let me bring some more ones.

Creating a task that return a value back to Raku scenario

Say one have a http endpoint (it could be any internal API) that return some output in JSON format to be proceeded. These type of tasks are quite frequent in my daily $job. It's dead easy to create a Tomtit helper for that:

$ mkdir -p .tom/tasks/trigger-api/tasks/http-call
$ nano .tom/tasks/trigger-api/tasks/http-call/task.bash
curl -f -o $cache_root_dir/out.json  $(config url)
$ nano .tom/tasks/trigger-api/hook.pl6
run_task "http-call"; 
$ nano .tom/tasks/trigger-api/task.pl6
use JSON::Tiny;
update_state from-json("{cache_root_dir()}/out.json".IO.slurp) 
$ tom --edit trigger-api
my %state = task-run ".tom/tasks/trigger-api", %(
   url => ""

say "data received", %state.perl;

And run the task as:

$ tom trigger-api

Sharing your tasks with others

Very soon, as I develop my scripts I see that some of them repeatable and solve the same tasks. To reduce code duplication and allow team members to use my scripts I can package them and distribute as Sparrow plugins. Remember that Tomtit built on the top of Sparrow?

So for the last example I can move a trigger-api script into separate git repository and convert in into a plugin:

$ mkdir ~/plugins/
$ mv .tom/tasks/trigger-api/ ~/plugins
$ cd ~/plugins/trigger-api
$ nano sparrow.json
  "name" : "trigger-api",
  "description" : "call http API",
  "version" : "0.0.1"

And finally upload it to a repository:

$ s6 --upload
02:31:46 10/05/2020 [repository] upload plugin
02:31:46 10/05/2020 [repository] upload trigger-api@0.0.1

Once a plugin uploaded to repository you can make it public by just running a web server with document root at repository root:

$ cd ~/repo && python -m http.server 8000

So my team would pick it up as:

$ export SP6_REPO=http://$my_host:8000 

Now the last bit - let's refactor trigger-api Raku task so that it uses a plugin:

my %state = task-run "http call", "trigger-api", %(
   url => ""

say "data received", %state.perl;

That is it. I hope you've enjoyed the post. As usual I'd appreciate any feedback and comments.

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