Ramblings of General Geekery

New PieCrust debug window

There’s a new experimental feature (meaning: only in the new default branch) that makes the debug window more useful. The debug window is a little known PieCrust feature that used to only show you some caching and performance information on the bottom right corner of your website. But now you’ll notice a second line about “template engine data”:

If you click on it, you will see all the template variables exposed for the page you’re currently viewing.

Not only is it useful for troubleshooting things, but it’s also a great learning tool. Tell me what you think!

PieCrust code changes

There’s been some big changes in the PieCrust codebase recently: some refactoring to make unit-testing easier, the creation of a second branch, and the creation of a satellite repository for the application’s code alone.

You won’t care much about the first one (the refactoring) although you may have to expect a whole bunch of new bugs, which will hopefully be easy to test and fix since the whole point of this refactoring is to make testing easier. The other changes are important, however:

  • There’s a new stable branch which will, well, be kept as stable as possible. This means that new features introduced in the default branch will stay there for a little while until they’re merged into stable. This branching policy is simple yet quite common, as explained by Steve Losh.

  • The "PieCrust Sample" repository now contains the partial history of the main repository. Yeah, I’ve decided to read the Mercurial documentation and found that the hg convert command is pretty useful in this case.

  • The new "PieCrust App" repository contains only the PieCrust app’s code in the root directory. This is useful if you want to include it as a sub-repository of your website’s repository – e.g. in a _piecrust directory. This way, you don’t need mix the PieCrust files with your own, and you can easily update by pulling the sub-repo. This one is also mirrored on GitHub in case you don’t want a Mercurial sub-repo for some reason.