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Integrating Compass with a Git / Capistrano deployment workflow

When we added the Compass CSS authoring framework to our projects, new wrinkles appeared in the deployment process (which is based on Capistrano. Several workflow options were considered:

  • Committing the artifacts to Git
  • Generating the artifacts on the server
  • Using the Drupal Compass or Sassy module
  • Generating the artifacts on the workstation running Capistrano

Committing the artifacts to Git was used for our first prototypes, but is unsuitable for team projects because it's a sure-fire way to introduce merge conflicts. Running compass on the server (either with Cap or the Drupal module) is appealing, but a minority of our projects deploy to hosts without the ability to install Compass. Rather than support multiple strategies, we decided on the last option - executing Compass on the workstation running Capistrano.

Changes are needed to several files:



config.rb (Compass)

http_path = "/sites/all/themes/metaltoad/"
css_dir = "compass_generated_stylesheets"
sass_dir = "sass"
images_dir = "images"
javascripts_dir = "compass_javascripts"
fonts_dir = "fonts"

stylesheets[all][] = compass_generated_stylesheets/screen.css
stylesheets[all][] = compass_generated_stylesheets/media.css
stylesheets[all][] = compass_generated_stylesheets/print.css

config/deploy.rb (Capistrano)

# build Compass artifacts
set :theme_path, "#{app_root}/sites/all/themes/metaltoad"
after "deploy:update_code" do
  run_locally("cd #{theme_path}; compass clean")
  run_locally("cd #{theme_path}; compass compile --output-style compressed")
  # Glob is nasty, but the generated_images directory
  # option isn't supported until Compass 0.12.
  Dir.glob("#{theme_path}/images/*-s[0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f].png").each do|f|
    upload(f, "#{release_path}/#{f}")

Long-term, we'll probably migrate after "deploy:update_code" to a proper Capfile task.

Date posted: January 27, 2012


Thanks for your article. I'm not sure if regexes are different in Ruby but I can't you rewrite this
"#{theme_path}/images/*-s[0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f][0-9a-f].png" with this "#{theme_path}/images/*-s[0-9a-f]{10}.png"?

The glob was written for the .gitignore file first. Unfortunately .gitignore doesn't allow regexes, so we can't use a quantifier there. Only globs are supported as interpreted by fnmatch.

I suppose there's no need to inflict this glob on the Ruby portion though. Hopefully Compass 0.12 will be out soon: with the generated images in their own folder, we can get rid of pattern matching altogether.

Whe do you have placed the capistrano workastation? Is the same with you ci server? Are you able to deploy automatically from ci server?

Yes, a CI server can do this if you wish. At our company the deploy is usually run from a senior developer's personal workstation / laptop.

It's clear it works. :) I tested. My problem now is:
- where is defined: release_path
- how can I make to run "after "deploy:update_code" do" when I cap deploy

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