[PATCH v2 1/4] doc: propose hooks managed by the config
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Emily Shaffer
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Emily Shaffer
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Date
2020-05-21 18:54:11 UTC
Begin a design document for config-based hooks, managed via git-hook.
Focus on an overview of the implementation and motivation for design
decisions. Briefly discuss the alternatives considered before this
point. Also, attempt to redefine terms to fit into a multihook world.

Signed-off-by: Emily Shaffer <emilyshaffer@google.com>
---
 Documentation/Makefile                        |   1 +
 .../technical/config-based-hooks.txt          | 320 ++++++++++++++++++
 2 files changed, 321 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 Documentation/technical/config-based-hooks.txt

diff --git a/Documentation/Makefile b/Documentation/Makefile
index 15d9d04f31..5b21f31d31 100644
--- a/Documentation/Makefile
+++ b/Documentation/Makefile
@@ -80,6 +80,7 @@ SP_ARTICLES += $(API_DOCS)
 TECH_DOCS += MyFirstContribution
 TECH_DOCS += MyFirstObjectWalk
 TECH_DOCS += SubmittingPatches
+TECH_DOCS += technical/config-based-hooks
 TECH_DOCS += technical/hash-function-transition
 TECH_DOCS += technical/http-protocol
 TECH_DOCS += technical/index-format
diff --git a/Documentation/technical/config-based-hooks.txt b/Documentation/technical/config-based-hooks.txt
new file mode 100644
index 0000000000..59cdc25a47
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/technical/config-based-hooks.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,320 @@
+Configuration-based hook management
+===================================
+
+== Motivation
+
+Treat hooks as a first-class citizen by replacing the .git/hook/hookname path as
+the only source of hooks to execute, in a way which is friendly to users with
+multiple repos which have similar needs.
+
+Redefine "hook" as an event rather than a single script, allowing users to
+perform unrelated actions on a single event.
+
+Take a step closer to safety when copying zipped Git repositories from untrusted
+users.
+
+Make it easier for users to discover Git's hook feature and automate their
+workflows.
+
+== User interfaces
+
+=== Config schema
+
+Hooks can be introduced by editing the configuration manually. There are two new
+sections added, `hook` and `hookcmd`.
+
+==== `hook`
+
+Primarily contains subsections for each hook event. These subsections define
+hook command execution order; hook commands can be specified by passing the
+command directly if no additional configuration is needed, or by passing the
+name of a `hookcmd`. If Git does not find a `hookcmd` whose subsection matches
+the value of the given command string, Git will try to execute the string
+directly. Hooks are executed by passing the resolved command string to the
+shell. Hook event subsections can also contain per-hook-event settings.
+
+Also contains top-level hook execution settings, for example,
+`hook.warnHookDir`, `hook.runHookDir`, or `hook.disableAll`.
+
+----
+[hook "pre-commit"]
+  command = perl-linter
+  command = /usr/bin/git-secrets --pre-commit
+
+[hook "pre-applypatch"]
+  command = perl-linter
+  error = ignore
+
+[hook]
+  runHookDir = interactive
+----
+
+==== `hookcmd`
+
+Defines a hook command and its attributes, which will be used when a hook event
+occurs. Unqualified attributes are assumed to apply to this hook during all hook
+events, but event-specific attributes can also be supplied. The example runs
+`/usr/bin/lint-it --language=perl <args passed by Git>`, but for repos which
+include this config, the hook command will be skipped for all events to which
+it's normally subscribed _except_ `pre-commit`.
+
+----
+[hookcmd "perl-linter"]
+  command = /usr/bin/lint-it --language=perl
+  skip = true
+  pre-commit-skip = false
+----
+
+=== Command-line API
+
+Users should be able to view, reorder, and create hook commands via the command
+line. External tools should be able to view a list of hooks in the correct order
+to run.
+
+*`git hook list <hook-event>`*
+
+*`git hook list (--system|--global|--local|--worktree)`*
+
+*`git hook edit <hook-event>`*
+
+*`git hook add <hook-command> <hook-event> <options...>`*
+
+=== Hook editor
+
+The tool which is presented by `git hook edit <hook-command>`. Ideally, this
+tool should be easier to use than manually editing the config, and then produce
+a concise config afterwards. It may take a form similar to `git rebase
+--interactive`.
+
+== Implementation
+
+=== Library
+
+`hook.c` and `hook.h` are responsible for interacting with the config files. In
+the case when the code generating a hook event doesn't have special concerns
+about how to run the hooks, the hook library will provide a basic API to call
+all hooks in config order with an `argv_array` provided by the code which
+generates the hook event:
+
+*`int run_hooks(const char *hookname, struct argv_array *args)`*
+
+This call includes the hook command provided by `run-command.h:find_hook()`;
+eventually, this legacy hook will be gated by a config `hook.runHookDir`. The
+config is checked against a number of cases:
+
+- "no": the legacy hook will not be run
+- "interactive": Git will prompt the user before running the legacy hook
+- "warn": Git will print a warning to stderr before running the legacy hook
+- "yes" (default): Git will silently run the legacy hook
+
+In case this list is expanded in the future, if a value for `hook.runHookDir` is
+given which Git does not recognize, Git should discard that config entry. For
+example, if "warn" was specified at system level and "junk" was specified at
+global level, Git would resolve the value to "warn"; if the only time the config
+was set was to "junk", Git would use the default value of "yes".
+
+If the caller wants to do something more complicated, the hook library can also
+provide a callback API:
+
+*`int for_each_hookcmd(const char *hookname, hookcmd_function *cb)`*
+
+Finally, to facilitate the builtin, the library will also provide the following
+APIs to interact with the config:
+
+----
+int set_hook_commands(const char *hookname, struct string_list *commands,
+	enum config_scope scope);
+int set_hookcmd(const char *hookcmd, struct hookcmd options);
+
+int list_hook_commands(const char *hookname, struct string_list *commands);
+int list_hooks_in_scope(enum config_scope scope, struct string_list *commands);
+----
+
+`struct hookcmd` is expected to grow in size over time as more functionality is
+added to hooks; so that other parts of the code don't need to understand the
+config schema, `struct hookcmd` should contain logical values instead of string
+pairs.
+
+----
+struct hookcmd {
+  const char *name;
+  const char *command;
+
+  /* for illustration only; not planned at present */
+  int parallelizable;
+  const char *hookcmd_before;
+  const char *hookcmd_after;
+  enum recovery_action on_fail;
+}
+----
+
+=== Builtin
+
+`builtin/hook.c` is responsible for providing the frontend. It's responsible for
+formatting user-provided data and then calling the library API to set the
+configs as appropriate. The builtin frontend is not responsible for calling the
+config directly, so that other areas of Git can rely on the hook library to
+understand the most recent config schema for hooks.
+
+=== Migration path
+
+==== Stage 0
+
+Hooks are called by running `run-command.h:find_hook()` with the hookname and
+executing the result. The hook library and builtin do not exist. Hooks only
+exist as specially named scripts within `.git/hooks/`.
+
+==== Stage 1
+
+`git hook list --porcelain <hook-event>` is implemented. Users can replace their
+`.git/hooks/<hook-event>` scripts with a trampoline based on `git hook list`'s
+output. Modifier commands like `git hook add` and `git hook edit` can be
+implemented around this time as well.
+
+==== Stage 2
+
+`hook.h:run_hooks()` is taught to include `run-command.h:find_hook()` at the
+end; calls to `find_hook()` are replaced with calls to `run_hooks()`. Users can
+opt-in to config-based hooks simply by creating some in their config; otherwise
+users should remain unaffected by the change.
+
+==== Stage 3
+
+The call to `find_hook()` inside of `run_hooks()` learns to check for a config,
+`hook.runHookDir`. Users can opt into managing their hooks completely via the
+config this way.
+
+==== Stage 4
+
+`.git/hooks` is removed from the template and the hook directory is considered
+deprecated. To avoid breaking older repos, the default of `hook.runHookDir` is
+not changed, and `find_hook()` is not removed.
+
+== Caveats
+
+=== Security and repo config
+
+Part of the motivation behind this refactor is to mitigate hooks as an attack
+vector;footnote:[https://lore.kernel.org/git/20171002234517.GV19555@aiede.mtv.corp.google.com/]
+however, as the design stands, users can still provide hooks in the repo-level
+config, which is included when a repo is zipped and sent elsewhere.  The
+security of the repo-level config is still under discussion; this design
+generally assumes the repo-level config is secure, which is not true yet. The
+goal is to avoid an overcomplicated design to work around a problem which has
+ceased to exist.
+
+=== Ease of use
+
+The config schema is nontrivial; that's why it's important for the `git hook`
+modifier commands to be usable. Contributors with UX expertise are encouraged to
+share their suggestions.
+
+== Alternative approaches
+
+A previous summary of alternatives exists in the
+archives.footnote:[https://lore.kernel.org/git/20191116011125.GG22855@google.com]
+
+=== Status quo
+
+Today users can implement multihooks themselves by using a "trampoline script"
+as their hook, and pointing that script to a directory or list of other scripts
+they wish to run.
+
+=== Hook directories
+
+Other contributors have suggested Git learn about the existence of a directory
+such as `.git/hooks/<hookname>.d` and execute those hooks in alphabetical order.
+
+=== Comparison table
+
+.Comparison of alternatives
+|===
+|Feature |Config-based hooks |Hook directories |Status quo
+
+|Supports multiple hooks
+|Natively
+|Natively
+|With user effort
+
+|Safer for zipped repos
+|A little
+|No
+|No
+
+|Previous hooks just work
+|If configured
+|Yes
+|Yes
+
+|Can install one hook to many repos
+|Yes
+|No
+|No
+
+|Discoverability
+|Better (in `git help git`)
+|Same as before
+|Same as before
+
+|Hard to run unexpected hook
+|If configured
+|No
+|No
+|===
+
+== Future work
+
+=== Execution ordering
+
+We may find that config order is insufficient for some users; for example,
+config order makes it difficult to add a new hook to the system or global config
+which runs at the end of the hook list. A new ordering schema should be:
+
+1) Specified by a `hook.order` config, so that users will not unexpectedly see
+their order change;
+
+2) Either dependency or numerically based.
+
+Dependency-based ordering is prone to classic linked-list problems, like a
+cycles and handling of missing dependencies. But, it paves the way for enabling
+parallelization if some tasks truly depend on others.
+
+Numerical ordering makes it tricky for Git to generate suggested ordering
+numbers for each command, but is easy to determine a definitive order.
+
+=== Parallelization
+
+Users with many hooks might want to run them simultaneously, if the hooks don't
+modify state; if one hook depends on another's output, then users will want to
+specify those dependencies. If we decide to solve this problem, we may want to
+look to modern build systems for inspiration on how to manage dependencies and
+parallel tasks.
+
+=== Securing hookdir hooks
+
+With the design as written in this doc, it's still possible for a malicious user
+to modify `.git/config` to include `hook.pre-receive.command = rm -rf /`, then
+zip their repo and send it to another user. It may be necessary to teach Git to
+only allow one-line hooks like this if they were configured outside of the local
+scope; or another approach, like a list of safe projects, might be useful. It
+may also be sufficient (or at least useful) to teach a `hook.disableAll` config
+or similar flag to the Git executable.
+
+=== Submodule inheritance
+
+It's possible some submodules may want to run the identical set of hooks that
+their superrepo runs. While a globally-configured hook set is helpful, it's not
+a great solution for users who have multiple repos-with-submodules under the
+same user. It would be useful for submodules to learn how to run hooks from
+their superrepo's config, or inherit that hook setting.
+
+== Glossary
+
+*hook event*
+
+A point during Git's execution where user scripts may be run, for example,
+_prepare-commit-msg_ or _pre-push_.
+
+*hook command*
+
+A user script or executable which will be run on one or more hook events.
-- 
2.27.0.rc0.183.gde8f92d652-goog