Force a Git branch to remain merged with master

At my workplace, we decided we should have two branches that are automatically rolled out on development and production servers respectively, and so I set out to ascertain that developers first make sure the master branch works; I thought the end-result would be useful to others so here it is:

#!/usr/bin/env python2.6

# assert that updating refs/heads/dev or refs/heads/prod is not possible
# without first putting that commit into the ancestry of refs/heads/master.

import sys
import subprocess

master_ref = "refs/heads/master"
checked_refs = ("refs/heads/dev", "refs/heads/prod")

def git_merge_base(a, b):
    "find the earliest common ancestor of a, b"
    args = ["git", "merge-base", a, b]
    p = subprocess.Popen(args, stdout=subprocess.PIPE, stderr=sys.stderr)
    if p.wait() != 0:
        sys.stderr.write("git-merge-base exited %d\n" % p.returncode)

def check(cid):
    base = git_merge_base(cid, master_ref)
    if base != new:
        sys.stderr.write("%s is not an ancestor of %s\n"
                         "%s diverges at %s\n"
                         % (cid, master_ref, new, base))
    return True

if __name__ == "__main__":
    for line in sys.stdin:
        (old, new, refname) = line.strip().split(" ", 2)
        if refname in checked_refs:

Warts of Python: Ternary Expressions

The problem with Python's ternary operator is that it breaks up the two contrasting values on two opposite sides of the expression.

To break it up into how I myself work with it, let's look at an example that made me opt for a hack.["type"] = "business" if request.form.get("business") else "private"

And the hack,["type"] = ("private", "business")[bool(request.form.get("business"))]

The reason is obvious: the above consolidates the literal data to one side of the expression, making it easier to follow the code. (Apart from the occasional guy who doesn't know about the perverted powers of indexing by boolean values!)

The only time the Python ternary works is with very simple conditions, no strike that -- with very short conditions. Complexity has nothing to do with it.

business = bool(request.form.get("business"))["type"] = "business" if business else "private"
get = request.form.get["type"] = "business" if get("business") else "private"

So I submit that the BDFL made a mistake. The ternary expression in Python sucks.

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