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Upgrading Spree with the help of Git

Lately, I've upgraded a few Spree projects with the recent Spree releases. Spree is a Ruby on Rails ecommerce platform that End Point previously sponsored and continues to support. In all cases, my Spree project was running from the Spree gem (version 0.10.2) and I was upgrading to Spree 0.11.0. I wanted to go through a brief explanation on how I went about upgrading my projects.


First, I made sure my application was running and committed all recent changes to have a clean branch. I follow the development principles outlined here that describe methodology for developing custom functionality on top of the Spree framework core. All of my custom functionality lives in the RAILS_ROOT/vendor/extensions/site/ directory, so that directory probably won't be touched during the upgrade.

steph@The-Laptop:/var/www/ep/myproject$ git status
# On branch master
nothing to commit (working directory clean)

Then, I tried the rake spree:upgrade task with the following results. I haven't upgraded Spree recently, and I vaguely remembered there being an upgrade task.

steph@The-Laptop:/var/www/ep/myproject$ rake spree:upgrade
(in /var/www/ep/myproject)
[find_by_param error] database not available?
This task has been deprecated.  Run 'spree --update' command using the newest gem instead.

OK. The upgrade task has been removed. So, I try spree --update:

Updating to Spree 0.11.0 ...

That was easy! I run 'git status' and saw that there were several modified config/ files, and a few new config/ files:

# On branch master
# Changed but not updated:
#   (use "git add ..." to update what will be committed)
#   (use "git checkout -- ..." to discard changes in working directory)
#       modified:   config/boot.rb
#       modified:   config/environment.rb
#       modified:   config/environments/production.rb
#       modified:   config/environments/staging.rb
#       modified:   config/environments/test.rb
#       modified:   config/initializers/locales.rb
#       modified:   config/initializers/new_rails_defaults.rb
#       modified:   config/initializers/spree.rb
# Untracked files:
#   (use "git add ..." to include in what will be committed)
#       config/boot.rb~
#       config/environment.rb~
#       config/environments/cucumber.rb
#       config/environments/production.rb~
#       config/environments/staging.rb~
#       config/environments/test.rb~
#       config/initializers/cookie_verification_secret.rb
#       config/initializers/locales.rb~
#       config/initializers/new_rails_defaults.rb~
#       config/initializers/spree.rb~
#       config/initializers/touch.rb
#       config/initializers/workarounds_for_ruby19.rb

Because I had a clean master branch before the upgrade, I can easily examine the code changes for this upgrade from Spree 0.10.2 to Spree 0.11.0:


-      load_rails("2.3.5")  # note: spree requires this specific version of rails (change at your own risk)
+      load_rails("2.3.8")  # note: spree requires this specific version of rails (change at your own risk)


-  config.gem 'authlogic', :version => '>=2.1.2'
+  config.gem 'authlogic', :version => '2.1.3'
-  config.gem 'will_paginate', :lib => 'will_paginate', :version => '2.3.11'
+  config.gem 'will_paginate', :lib => 'will_paginate', :version => '2.3.14'
-  config.i18n.default_locale = :'en-US'
+  config.i18n.default_locale = :'en'


-config.gem 'test-unit', :lib => 'test/unit', :version => '~>2.0.5' if RUBY_VERSION.to_f >= 1.9
+config.gem 'test-unit', :lib => 'test/unit', :version => '~>2.0.9' if RUBY_VERSION.to_f >= 1.9

Most of the changes were not surprising, except that the locale changes here are significant because they may require extension locales to be updated. After I reviewed these changes, I installed newer gem dependencies and bootstrapped the data since all my application data was stored in sample data files and restarted the server to test the upgrade. Then, I added the config/ and public/ files in a single git commit. I removed the old temporary configuration files that were left around from the upgrade.

For this particular upgrade, my git log shows changes in the files below. The config/ files were made when I ran the update, and the public/ files were modified when I restarted the server as gem public/ files are copied over during a restart.

commit 96a68e86064aa29f51c5052631f896845c11c266
Author: Steph Powell 
Date:   Mon Jun 28 13:44:50 2010 -0600

    Spree upgrade.

diff --git a/config/boot.rb b/config/boot.rb
diff --git a/config/environment.rb b/config/environment.rb
diff --git a/config/environments/cucumber.rb b/config/environments/cucumber.rb
diff --git a/config/environments/production.rb b/config/environments/production.rb
diff --git a/config/environments/staging.rb b/config/environments/staging.rb
diff --git a/config/environments/test.rb b/config/environments/test.rb
diff --git a/config/initializers/cookie_verification_secret.rb b/config/initializers/cookie_verification_secret.rb
diff --git a/config/initializers/locales.rb b/config/initializers/locales.rb
diff --git a/config/initializers/new_rails_defaults.rb b/config/initializers/new_rails_defaults.rb
diff --git a/config/initializers/spree.rb b/config/initializers/spree.rb
diff --git a/config/initializers/touch.rb b/config/initializers/touch.rb
diff --git a/config/initializers/workarounds_for_ruby19.rb b/config/initializers/workarounds_for_ruby19.rb
diff --git a/public/images/admin/bg/spree_50.png b/public/images/admin/bg/spree_50.png
Binary files a/public/images/admin/bg/spree_50.png and b/public/images/admin/bg/spree_50.png differ
diff --git a/public/images/tile-header.png b/public/images/tile-header.png
Binary files /dev/null and b/public/images/tile-header.png differ
diff --git a/public/images/tile-slider.png b/public/images/tile-slider.png
Binary files /dev/null and b/public/images/tile-slider.png differ
diff --git a/public/javascripts/admin/checkouts/edit.js b/public/javascripts/admin/checkouts/edit.js
diff --git a/public/javascripts/taxonomy.js b/public/javascripts/taxonomy.js
diff --git a/public/stylesheets/admin/admin-tables.css b/public/stylesheets/admin/admin-tables.css
diff --git a/public/stylesheets/admin/admin.css b/public/stylesheets/admin/admin.css
diff --git a/public/stylesheets/screen.css b/public/stylesheets/screen.css

From my experience, the config/ and public/ files are typically modified with a small release. If your project has custom JavaScript, or overrides the Spree core JavaScript, you may have to review the upgrade changes more carefully. Version control goes a long way in highlighting changes and problem areas. Additionally, having custom code abstracted from the Spree core should allow for easier maintenance of your project.

Learn more about End Point's Ecommerce Development or Ruby on Rails Ecommerce Services.

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