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DrawDag provides an intuitive way to create commit graph for tests.


When creating tests, we often need to create a repo with a particular layout. For example, to create a linear graph with three commits, we could use the following sequence of commands:

$ sl commit -m A
$ sl commit -m B
$ sl commit -m C

If the graph is nonlinear, extra commands such as merge and goto are needed:

$ sl commit -m A
$ sl commit -m B
$ sl goto -q '.^'
$ sl commit -m C
$ sl merge -q 'desc(B)'
$ sl commit -m D

As you can see, creating the desired graph shape via writing out a sequence of commands is tedious, potentially error prone, and not immediately obvious what the resulting graph looks like.

To help aid people in writing tests (and those reviewing the tests!), we've created DrawDag to simply and intuitively create repos with the desired shape.

DrawDag language

DrawDag is a domain specific language to describe a DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph).


In this example, the DrawDag code looks like a hexagon and generates the graph to the right:

The DrawDag code forms a 2D matrix of characters. There are three types of characters:

  • Space characters.
  • Connect characters: -, \, and /.
  • Name characters: alpha, numeric, and some other characters.

Names define vertexes in the graph. Connect characters define edges in the graph.

If two vertexes are directly connected, the one to the left becomes a parent of the other vertex. For a commit graph, this behaves like making commits from left to right.

If a vertex has multiple parents, those parents are sorted in lexicographical order.

Name at multiple locations

A single name can be used in multiple locations and will represent the same vertex in the graph.

For example, the code below uses C in two locations to create criss-cross merges.

Range generation

You can use .. (or more dots) to generate a range of vertexes and connect them. This works for simple alphabet names like A..Z or numbers like A01..A99:

The range expansion under the hood works similarly to Ruby's Range.

Vertical layout

By default, DrawDag assumes a horizontal layout. You can opt-in the alternative vertical layout by using |, or :. It has a few differences:

  • | is a valid connect character. - becomes invalid.
  • : is used for range generation. . becomes a valid name character.

Commits are created from bottom to top. This is similar to sl log -G output order.

Try DrawDag

Try editing the DrawDag code above. We draw the output live in the browser.

DrawDag in tests

.t integration tests

You can use the drawdag shell function in .t tests to create commits and change the repo.

$ drawdag << 'EOS'
> C
> |
> B1 B2 # amend: B1 -> B2
> \|
> A

# starts a comment till the end of the line. Comments won't be parsed as DrawDag code but might have other meanings:

  • # A/dir/file = 1: In commit A, update path dir/file to content 1.
  • # amend: X -> Y -> Z: Mark Y as amended from X, Z as amended from Y.
  • # bookmark FOO = A: Create bookmark FOO that points to commit A.

You can also use revset expressions to refer to existing commits. For example, . in vertical layout refers to the working parent.

Check test-drawdag.t for more examples.

Rust unit tests

You can use the drawdag crate to parse DrawDag code into graph vertexes and edges.

The dag crate might also be useful to run complex queries on a graph, and render it as ASCII.