Maintainer workflow

This page is for maintainers — those of us who merge our own or other peoples’ changes into the upstream repository.

As a maintainer, you are completely on top of the basic stuff in Development workflow, of course.

The instructions in Linking your repository to the upstream repo add a remote that has read-only access to the upstream repo. Being a maintainer, you’ve got read-write access.

It’s good to have your upstream remote under a scary name, to remind you that it’s a read-write remote:

$ git remote add upstream-rw
$ git fetch upstream-rw

Integrating changes

Let’s say you have some changes that need to go into trunk (upstream-rw/master).

The changes are in some branch that you are currently on. For example, you are looking at someone’s changes like this:

$ git remote add someone
$ git fetch someone
$ git branch cool-feature --track someone/cool-feature
$ git checkout cool-feature

So now you are on the branch with the changes to be incorporated upstream. The rest of this section assumes you are on this branch.

A few commits

If there are only a few commits, consider rebasing to upstream:

  # Fetch upstream changes
$ git fetch upstream-rw
  # rebase
$ git rebase upstream-rw/master

A long series of commits

If there are a longer series of related commits, consider a merge instead:

$ git fetch upstream-rw
$ git merge --no-ff upstream-rw/master

The merge will be detected by GitHub, and should close any related pull requests automatically.

Note the --no-ff above. This forces Git to make a merge commit, rather than doing a fast-forward, so that this set of commits branch off trunk and then rejoin the main history with a merge, rather than appearing to have been made directly on top of trunk.

Check the history

Now, in either case, you should check that the history is sensible and you have the right commits:

$ git log --oneline --graph
$ git log -p upstream-rw/master..

The first line above just shows the history in a compact way, with a text representation of the history graph. The second line shows the log of commits excluding those that can be reached from trunk (upstream-rw/master), and including those that can be reached from current HEAD (implied with the .. at the end). So, it shows the commits unique to this branch compared to trunk. The -p option shows the diff for these commits in patch form.

Push to trunk

$ git push upstream-rw my-new-feature:master

This pushes the my-new-feature branch in this repository to the master branch in the upstream-rw repository.