SVN commit hooks - Kore Nordmann

SVN commit hooks

Thomas moderated a discussion during the PHP-Unconference-Hamburg on SVN commit hooks. It showed that there is interest in my commit message parser, so that I make it available now under New-BSD-license.

I created a SVN repository which contains the commit message parser, a lint checker and the basic infrastructure for more commit hooks, with the discussed reporting facilities.

The basic idea

The basic idea is to ensure that all developers in your team follow certain standards, when contributing code to your project. In some cases some developers continue to write code which does not follow your coding standards, sometimes even accidentally commit code, which does not compile, or do not pay enough attention to their commit messages.

One way to keep your developers thinking about this are commit hooks, for example in SVN, which reject commits which do not follow the defined standards, or inform the developer itself, the project manager, or some public list about violations in a recent commit.

The checks

There are several possible checks, which have been developed and proved valuable in different projects:

The implementation

After the discussion on the unconf I quickly hacked together the basic infrastructure for such checks, so that it fulfills the following goals:

  1. Checks should be pluggable and easily configurable

  2. The checks should be possible to configure for pre-commit and post-commit hooks.

  3. For proper reporting on post- and pre-commit-hooks it should be possible to configure the reporting accordingly to either send mails, or echo the errors to STDOUT for pre-commit-hooks – with future possible custom reporters, of course.

The code is available in the following SVN repository, including tests:


I also configured a mailing list for the discussion and future deveopment of those standards – you can subscribe at (the ML itself resides under

Please test the yet available stuff and join a discussion on the mailing list. This is at a very early stage of publishing, but I am sure you can deal with that. :)