[PATCH] doc: Make changes to the handling of branches.

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6 participants
  • Andreas Enge
  • Efraim Flashner
  • Ludovic Courtès
  • Christopher Baines
  • Steve George
  • Simon Tournier
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unassigned
Submitted by
Christopher Baines
Severity
normal
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Christopher Baines wrote on 24 Apr 15:08 +0200
(address . guix-patches@gnu.org)
94192a7b7eb8d2dc5008c20abcc3940b4474d800.1713964129.git.mail@cbaines.net
Require that you create a "Request to merge" issue when you create a branch,
rather than when you wish to merge it. This should help avoid this step being
missed.

Also, add information on how to manage these branches:

1. Suggest creating the branch from patches, rather than having a stateful
branch, since this should help to reduce complexity and avoid merges.

2. Require that branches don't have unnecessary changes, since this increases
the risks of conflicts with other branches.

3. Suggest avoiding merges since these create a more complicated Git history.

4. Suggest that the branch be up to date before merging, as this helps avoid
the combination of master plus the branch differing significantly from the
branch alone.

Finally, require that the branch be deleted once they're merged. This
prepares for the branch being created again.

* doc/contributing.texi (Managing Patches and Branches): Make changes to the
handling of branches.

Change-Id: Ib9419c6df94f485475bd6f147e82ea254e76cec2
---
doc/contributing.texi | 59 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-------------
1 file changed, 42 insertions(+), 17 deletions(-)

Toggle diff (88 lines)
diff --git a/doc/contributing.texi b/doc/contributing.texi
index ad0f5a8ecd..038ed7d040 100644
--- a/doc/contributing.texi
+++ b/doc/contributing.texi
@@ -2290,9 +2290,9 @@ Managing Patches and Branches
@cindex feature branches, coordination
To help coordinate the merging of branches, you must create a new
-guix-patches issue each time you wish to merge a branch (@pxref{The
-Issue Tracker}). The title of the issue requesting to merge a branch
-should have the following format:
+guix-patches issue each time you create a branch (@pxref{The Issue
+Tracker}). The title of the issue requesting to merge a branch should
+have the following format:
@cindex merge requests, template
@example
@@ -2300,20 +2300,42 @@ Managing Patches and Branches
@end example
The @url{https://qa.guix.gnu.org/, QA infrastructure} recognizes such
-issues and lists the merge requests on its main page. Normally branches
-will be merged in a ``first come, first merged'' manner, tracked through
-the guix-patches issues.
-
-If you agree on a different order with those involved, you can track
-this by updating which issues block@footnote{You can mark an issue as
-blocked by another by emailing @email{control@@debbugs.gnu.org} with the
-following line in the body of the email: @code{block XXXXX by YYYYY}.
-Where @code{XXXXX} is the number for the blocked issue, and @code{YYYYY}
-is the number for the issue blocking it.} which other issues.
-Therefore, to know which branch is at the front of the queue, look for
-the oldest issue, or the issue that isn't @dfn{blocked} by any other
-branch merges. An ordered list of branches with the open issues is
-available at @url{https://qa.guix.gnu.org}.
+issues and lists the merge requests on its main page. The following
+points apply to managing these branches:
+
+@enumerate
+@item
+The commits on the branch should be a combination of the patches
+relevant to the branch. It should be possible to re-create the branch
+by starting from master and applying the relevant patches.
+
+@item
+Any changes that can be made on the master branch, should be made on the
+master branch. If a commit can be split to apply part of the changes on
+master, this is good to do.
+
+@item
+Avoid merging master in to the branch. Prefer rebasing or re-creating
+the branch on top of an updated master revision.
+
+@item
+Minimise the changes on master that are missing on the branch prior to
+merging the branch in to master. Merging master in to the branch can be
+appropriate for this purpose.
+@end enumerate
+
+Normally branches will be merged in a ``first come, first merged''
+manner, tracked through the guix-patches issues. If you agree on a
+different order with those involved, you can track this by updating
+which issues block@footnote{You can mark an issue as blocked by another
+by emailing @email{control@@debbugs.gnu.org} with the following line in
+the body of the email: @code{block XXXXX by YYYYY}. Where @code{XXXXX}
+is the number for the blocked issue, and @code{YYYYY} is the number for
+the issue blocking it.} which other issues. Therefore, to know which
+branch is at the front of the queue, look for the oldest issue, or the
+issue that isn't @dfn{blocked} by any other branch merges. An ordered
+list of branches with the open issues is available at
+@url{https://qa.guix.gnu.org}.
Once a branch is at the front of the queue, wait until sufficient time
has passed for the build farms to have processed the changes, and for
@@ -2321,6 +2343,9 @@ Managing Patches and Branches
@indicateurl{https://qa.guix.gnu.org/branch/@var{branch}} to see
information on some builds and substitute availability.
+Once the branch has been merged, the issue should be closed and the
+branch deleted.
+
@node Debbugs User Interfaces
@subsection Debbugs User Interfaces

base-commit: e2ba93373a29ddf5d5754368957e89f3b426bb0a
--
2.41.0
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Christopher Baines wrote on 24 Apr 15:21 +0200
Managing patches and branches, retrospective and futher changes?
87o79yvqtn.fsf@cbaines.net
Hey!

Almost a year ago, the branching strategy was changed [1][2].


I think these changes have gone OK, we've had ~27 [3] branches merged in
this manor and I think looking back these changes have been
helpful. Coordination and visibility has improved, and we've been able
to build and test more prior to merging.


There's still room for more improvement though. The current guidance is
here [4], and I've sent a patch for improvements here [5].


Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!

Thanks,

Chris
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Steve George wrote on 25 Apr 09:29 +0200
(name . Christopher Baines)(address . mail@cbaines.net)
tunyb6mbzarwk4nvliv6ruqumftkyaprgsa37ndpjkb3e4ct26@iat5utrstgrl
Hi,

I think we should strongly recommend against long-running unmerged branches.

Perhaps there could be a recommendation to merge every 3 months.

Could we add any automation to remind people if:

1. a branch has been unmerged for more than 3 months
2. an odd merge takes places (e.g. the core-updates merges)

Thanks,

Steve

On 24 Apr, Christopher Baines wrote:
Toggle quote (25 lines)
> Hey!
>
> Almost a year ago, the branching strategy was changed [1][2].
>
> 1: https://issues.guix.gnu.org/63459
> 2: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/guix-devel/2023-06/msg00024.html
>
> I think these changes have gone OK, we've had ~27 [3] branches merged in
> this manor and I think looking back these changes have been
> helpful. Coordination and visibility has improved, and we've been able
> to build and test more prior to merging.
>
> 3: https://issues.guix.gnu.org/search?query=%22Request+for+merging%22
>
> There's still room for more improvement though. The current guidance is
> here [4], and I've sent a patch for improvements here [5].
>
> 4: https://guix.gnu.org/en/manual/devel/en/html_node/Managing-Patches-and-Branches.html
> 5: https://issues.guix.gnu.org/70549
>
> Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!
>
> Thanks,
>
> Chris
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Christopher Baines wrote on 25 Apr 20:28 +0200
(name . Steve George)(address . steve@futurile.net)
87il05uwiu.fsf@cbaines.net
Steve George <steve@futurile.net> writes:

Toggle quote (4 lines)
> I think we should strongly recommend against long-running unmerged branches.
>
> Perhaps there could be a recommendation to merge every 3 months.

My hope is that with these process changes, we won't end up with
long-running branches.

Maybe we could add a recommendation, but I'm not really sure if that
would help. We still want to merge these changes when they and related
things are ready, so it's not really something that can be willed or
commanded to happen.

Toggle quote (4 lines)
> Could we add any automation to remind people if:
>
> 1. a branch has been unmerged for more than 3 months

We can have QA highlight how long the issues have been open for, that's
quite easy to do.

Toggle quote (2 lines)
> 2. an odd merge takes places (e.g. the core-updates merges)

I'm not quite sure what you mean here?

Thanks,

Chris
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Efraim Flashner wrote on 26 Apr 18:03 +0200
(name . Christopher Baines)(address . mail@cbaines.net)
ZivQbNjJvVKtGAzE@pbp
On Wed, Apr 24, 2024 at 02:21:56PM +0100, Christopher Baines wrote:
Toggle quote (12 lines)
> Hey!
>
> Almost a year ago, the branching strategy was changed [1][2].
>
> 1: https://issues.guix.gnu.org/63459
> 2: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/guix-devel/2023-06/msg00024.html
>
> I think these changes have gone OK, we've had ~27 [3] branches merged in
> this manor and I think looking back these changes have been
> helpful. Coordination and visibility has improved, and we've been able
> to build and test more prior to merging.

I'd like to just say that this (without checking the numbers) is almost
10x the number of merges we had previously with just the
core-updates/staging branch strategy.

Toggle quote (16 lines)
>
> There's still room for more improvement though. The current guidance is
> here [4], and I've sent a patch for improvements here [5].
>
> 4: https://guix.gnu.org/en/manual/devel/en/html_node/Managing-Patches-and-Branches.html
> 5: https://issues.guix.gnu.org/70549
>
> Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!
>
> Thanks,
>
> Chris



--
Efraim Flashner <efraim@flashner.co.il> ????? ?????
GPG key = A28B F40C 3E55 1372 662D 14F7 41AA E7DC CA3D 8351
Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed on emails sent or received unencrypted
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Andreas Enge wrote on 29 Apr 15:24 +0200
(name . Christopher Baines)(address . mail@cbaines.net)
Zi-ff4xC0teYgXsf@jurong
Hello,

Am Wed, Apr 24, 2024 at 02:21:56PM +0100 schrieb Christopher Baines:
Toggle quote (2 lines)
> Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!

in this part:
+@item
+Minimise the changes on master that are missing on the branch prior to
+merging the branch in to master. Merging master in to the branch can be
+appropriate for this purpose.

I would drop the second sentence. It mildly contradicts the previous
"avoid merging master into the branch". Writing "avoid merging" instead
of "never merge" already allows for some leeway, I would prefer not to
insist on it.

Andreas
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Christopher Baines wrote on 29 Apr 16:42 +0200
(name . Andreas Enge)(address . andreas@enge.fr)
87a5lcz0vp.fsf@cbaines.net
Andreas Enge <andreas@enge.fr> writes:

Toggle quote (16 lines)
> Hello,
>
> Am Wed, Apr 24, 2024 at 02:21:56PM +0100 schrieb Christopher Baines:
>> Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!
>
> in this part:
> +@item
> +Minimise the changes on master that are missing on the branch prior to
> +merging the branch in to master. Merging master in to the branch can be
> +appropriate for this purpose.
>
> I would drop the second sentence. It mildly contradicts the previous
> "avoid merging master into the branch". Writing "avoid merging" instead
> of "never merge" already allows for some leeway, I would prefer not to
> insist on it.

Yeah, maybe it's redundant. I think what I was trying to say is that
minimising the changes against master is a priority, so do this even if
you resort to merging master in to the branch.
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Ludovic Courtès wrote on 1 May 18:20 +0200
Re: [bug#70549] [PATCH] doc: Make changes to the handling of branches.
(name . Christopher Baines)(address . mail@cbaines.net)(address . 70549@debbugs.gnu.org)
874jbh5wra.fsf@gnu.org
Hi,

Christopher Baines <mail@cbaines.net> skribis:

Toggle quote (4 lines)
> Require that you create a "Request to merge" issue when you create a branch,
> rather than when you wish to merge it. This should help avoid this step being
> missed.

Excellent, I fully support this change!

A couple of questions/comments:

Toggle quote (5 lines)
> Also, add information on how to manage these branches:
>
> 1. Suggest creating the branch from patches, rather than having a stateful
> branch, since this should help to reduce complexity and avoid merges.

[...]

Toggle quote (8 lines)
> To help coordinate the merging of branches, you must create a new
> -guix-patches issue each time you wish to merge a branch (@pxref{The
> -Issue Tracker}). The title of the issue requesting to merge a branch
> -should have the following format:
> +guix-patches issue each time you create a branch (@pxref{The Issue
> +Tracker}). The title of the issue requesting to merge a branch should
> +have the following format:

This means someone on the team with commit access explicitly commits the
branch at the time they send the merge request email, right?

Toggle quote (4 lines)
> +@item
> +The commits on the branch should be a combination of the patches
> +relevant to the branch.

Perhaps add: “; patches not related to the topic of the branch should go
elsewhere.”

Toggle quote (9 lines)
> +@item
> +Avoid merging master in to the branch. Prefer rebasing or re-creating
> +the branch on top of an updated master revision.
> +
> +@item
> +Minimise the changes on master that are missing on the branch prior to
> +merging the branch in to master. Merging master in to the branch can be
> +appropriate for this purpose.

s/in to/into/

Thank you!

Ludo’.
C
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Christopher Baines wrote on 1 May 19:07 +0200
(name . Ludovic Courtès)(address . ludo@gnu.org)(address . 70549@debbugs.gnu.org)
87jzkdv4t9.fsf@cbaines.net
Ludovic Courtès <ludo@gnu.org> writes:

Toggle quote (11 lines)
>> To help coordinate the merging of branches, you must create a new
>> -guix-patches issue each time you wish to merge a branch (@pxref{The
>> -Issue Tracker}). The title of the issue requesting to merge a branch
>> -should have the following format:
>> +guix-patches issue each time you create a branch (@pxref{The Issue
>> +Tracker}). The title of the issue requesting to merge a branch should
>> +have the following format:
>
> This means someone on the team with commit access explicitly commits the
> branch at the time they send the merge request email, right?

There's intentionally no mention of teams here, but that's pretty much
it. I'm not intending this to be super strict, like forgetting the issue
then creating it a day or two later is fine.

You mention commit access, and that does make me think that maybe we
should include something saying that if you don't have commit access,
please go ahead and create the issue, and in it ask for the branch to be
created. With the expectation that they'll be someone with commit access
to help with creating and managing the branch.

Toggle quote (7 lines)
>> +@item
>> +The commits on the branch should be a combination of the patches
>> +relevant to the branch.
>
> Perhaps add: “; patches not related to the topic of the branch should go
> elsewhere.”

Good idea.

Toggle quote (11 lines)
>> +@item
>> +Avoid merging master in to the branch. Prefer rebasing or re-creating
>> +the branch on top of an updated master revision.
>> +
>> +@item
>> +Minimise the changes on master that are missing on the branch prior to
>> +merging the branch in to master. Merging master in to the branch can be
>> +appropriate for this purpose.
>
> s/in to/into/

Good spot.

Thanks,

Chris
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C
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Christopher Baines wrote on 8 May 13:29 +0200
[PATCH v2] doc: Make changes to the handling of branches.
(address . 70549@debbugs.gnu.org)
112222932424e4b346500995cbfd5866ef30b732.1715167799.git.mail@cbaines.net
Require that you create a "Request to merge" issue when you create a branch,
rather than when you wish to merge it. This should help avoid this step being
missed.

Also, add information on how to manage these branches:

1. Suggest creating the branch from patches, rather than having a stateful
branch, since this should help to reduce complexity and avoid merges.

2. Require that branches don't have unnecessary changes, since this increases
the risks of conflicts with other branches.

3. Suggest that the branch not be stateful, and it's just a combination of
patches.

4. Suggest avoiding merges since these create a more complicated Git history.

5. Suggest that the branch be up to date before merging, as this helps avoid
the combination of master plus the branch differing significantly from the
branch alone.

Finally, require that the branch be deleted once they're merged. This
prepares for the branch being created again.

* doc/contributing.texi (Managing Patches and Branches): Make changes to the
handling of branches.

Change-Id: Ib9419c6df94f485475bd6f147e82ea254e76cec2
---
doc/contributing.texi | 68 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-----------
1 file changed, 51 insertions(+), 17 deletions(-)

Toggle diff (97 lines)
diff --git a/doc/contributing.texi b/doc/contributing.texi
index 66f4e86d0a..ecff6300bf 100644
--- a/doc/contributing.texi
+++ b/doc/contributing.texi
@@ -2298,9 +2298,9 @@ Managing Patches and Branches
@cindex feature branches, coordination
To help coordinate the merging of branches, you must create a new
-guix-patches issue each time you wish to merge a branch (@pxref{The
-Issue Tracker}). The title of the issue requesting to merge a branch
-should have the following format:
+guix-patches issue each time you create a branch (@pxref{The Issue
+Tracker}). The title of the issue requesting to merge a branch should
+have the following format:
@cindex merge requests, template
@example
@@ -2308,20 +2308,51 @@ Managing Patches and Branches
@end example
The @url{https://qa.guix.gnu.org/, QA infrastructure} recognizes such
-issues and lists the merge requests on its main page. Normally branches
-will be merged in a ``first come, first merged'' manner, tracked through
-the guix-patches issues.
-
-If you agree on a different order with those involved, you can track
-this by updating which issues block@footnote{You can mark an issue as
-blocked by another by emailing @email{control@@debbugs.gnu.org} with the
-following line in the body of the email: @code{block XXXXX by YYYYY}.
-Where @code{XXXXX} is the number for the blocked issue, and @code{YYYYY}
-is the number for the issue blocking it.} which other issues.
-Therefore, to know which branch is at the front of the queue, look for
-the oldest issue, or the issue that isn't @dfn{blocked} by any other
-branch merges. An ordered list of branches with the open issues is
-available at @url{https://qa.guix.gnu.org}.
+issues and lists the merge requests on its main page. The following
+points apply to managing these branches:
+
+@enumerate
+@item
+The commits on the branch should be a combination of the patches
+relevant to the branch. Patches not related to the topic of the branch
+should go elsewhere.
+
+@item
+Any changes that can be made on the master branch, should be made on the
+master branch. If a commit can be split to apply part of the changes on
+master, this is good to do.
+
+@item
+It should be possible to re-create the branch by starting from master
+and applying the relevant patches.
+
+@item
+Avoid merging master in to the branch. Prefer rebasing or re-creating
+the branch on top of an updated master revision.
+
+@item
+Minimise the changes on master that are missing on the branch prior to
+merging the branch in to master. This means that the state of the
+branch better reflects the state of master should the branch be merged.
+
+@item
+If you don't have commit access, create the ``Request for merging''
+issue and request that someone creates the branch. Include a list of
+issues/patches to include on the branch.
+@end enumerate
+
+Normally branches will be merged in a ``first come, first merged''
+manner, tracked through the guix-patches issues. If you agree on a
+different order with those involved, you can track this by updating
+which issues block@footnote{You can mark an issue as blocked by another
+by emailing @email{control@@debbugs.gnu.org} with the following line in
+the body of the email: @code{block XXXXX by YYYYY}. Where @code{XXXXX}
+is the number for the blocked issue, and @code{YYYYY} is the number for
+the issue blocking it.} which other issues. Therefore, to know which
+branch is at the front of the queue, look for the oldest issue, or the
+issue that isn't @dfn{blocked} by any other branch merges. An ordered
+list of branches with the open issues is available at
+@url{https://qa.guix.gnu.org}.
Once a branch is at the front of the queue, wait until sufficient time
has passed for the build farms to have processed the changes, and for
@@ -2329,6 +2360,9 @@ Managing Patches and Branches
@indicateurl{https://qa.guix.gnu.org/branch/@var{branch}} to see
information on some builds and substitute availability.
+Once the branch has been merged, the issue should be closed and the
+branch deleted.
+
@node Debbugs User Interfaces
@subsection Debbugs User Interfaces

base-commit: 2bea3f256209c4f92a2ace28b45d1f452a2b51ba
--
2.41.0
S
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Simon Tournier wrote on 22 May 16:33 +0200
87o78x3oh6.fsf@gmail.com
Hi,

On mer., 08 mai 2024 at 12:29, Christopher Baines <mail@cbaines.net> wrote:

Toggle quote (8 lines)
> doc/contributing.texi | 68 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-----------
> 1 file changed, 51 insertions(+), 17 deletions(-)
>
> diff --git a/doc/contributing.texi b/doc/contributing.texi
> index 66f4e86d0a..ecff6300bf 100644
> --- a/doc/contributing.texi
> +++ b/doc/contributing.texi

I am probably a bit late. All this LGTM! :-)

Thank you for this work.

Cheers,
simon
C
C
Christopher Baines wrote on 22 May 18:04 +0200
(address . 70549-done@debbugs.gnu.org)
874japsuia.fsf@cbaines.net
These changes have now been pushed to master as
4955589f2f343e1862dfae7831d1fc548811d59b.
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