Perforce to BitBucket Git migration – rename $File$ RCS keywords in source files

After migrating from Perforce to Git (BitBucket, in our case) at work, I learned that Git does not support any embedded source code keywords for replacement on check in. In our case, we use things like:

 *      File Name: $File$
 *  Creation Date: $DateTime$
 *         Author: $Author$
 *       Revision: $Revision$
 *    Change List: $Change$

…and at the end of the files…

// End of $File$

On Submit, Perforce will replace those keywords with useful information, such as the username ($Author$) that did the submit, the data and time of the submit ($DateTime$) and the filename ($File$). I find this very useful when looking at source code outside of Perforce, since it tells me how new or old the code is. (Anyone who’s ever had to print out a ton of code for a group code review knows how easy it is to end up looking at the wrong version of the file… Usually not discovered until someone finds a bug you know you already fixed ;-)

Since Git does not support this, I wanted to at least search/replace “$File$” to be the actual filename of the source file. I am sure there are many ways to do this, but I ended up using a PowerShell script, based on code I found some web searches (probably on Stack Exchange or similar):

Get-ChildItem "*.h" -Recurse | ForEach-Object {
echo Processing: $_.FullName
$content = Get-Content $_.FullName
$newtext = ((Get-Content -path $_.FullName -Raw) -replace '\$File\$',$_.Name)

In this case, this code specifically targets “.h” files at or below the directory you run the script in. I expect you can make a multi-filter that does .c and .h at one time, but I only needed to do this once so I ran it like this, then edited the “*.h” to be “*.c” and ran it again. (You’d change it to whatever your source file extensions are, like .cs or whatever.)

The [] tip came from someone who noticed the other output would always add a blank line at the end of the file. This method re-writes the file as-is.

WARNING: I did notice that some files get messed up if they contain special characters. It would put some garbage (when viewing in a text editor) in place of things like weird apostrophes and such, so if you use this, make sure to diff your files before checking them back in and revert any goofs that “-replace” causes. I had to revert about one dozen blocks in my code.

I also had to run a command to grant my Windows 11 machine permission to even execute a PowerShell script.

Hope this helps someone else, and saves them a few hours of research…

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