Draft: Github development process

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Revision as of 10:48, 19 September 2012 by Jeshyr (Talk | contribs)

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This page is a draft page to document how development with Github works.

Starting a new branch

Before starting a new branch, wrap up any changes you are making by either stashing them or committing them (see later sections) to the current branch you are on.

To start working on a new branch immediately, use the checkout command. You will want a descriptive name you can keep track of--for instance, the bug number you are working on. Make sure you're starting from develop. Examples:

[email protected]:~/dw$ git checkout -b Bug4335/admintt develop

Managing changes

Before doing any changes to a branch, make sure you have that branch checked out. You can check this with:

git branch

It will list the branches and put an asterisk next to the one you currently have checked out. If it's not, run:

git checkout BRANCHNAME

Viewing changes

To get an overview of which files have changed, which files are included in your next commit, and what new files exist, use:

git status

To get a line by line description of all of the changes, use:

git diff

When you want the changes you've made to a file you have to be included in your next commit, use git add:

git add FILE

If you make more changes to that file, you will have to add it again to have the new changes included.

Stashing and unstashing

Sometimes you may have changes you are not ready to commit yet, but need to stow away while doing tasks like merging. git stash can be useful for this.

To save a bunch of changes:

git stash

To put the changes back:

git stash pop

Undoing changes

If you have a file with changes and want to revert it to what's currently committed to the branch of the repository you are on, use:

git checkout -- FILENAME

If you accidentally added a file to the staging area you are going to be committing, you can unadd it using:


If you want to reset ALL files to what's currently committed to the branch of the repository you are on and discard all changes (DO NOT USE IF YOU WANT TO SAVE ANYTHING), use:

git reset --hard

Committing changes

When committing, it's a good idea to make sure your develop branch is up to date with the Dreamwidth's version, and that your current branch is merged with those changes. See [Dev Maintenance] for instructions on that. Then review your changes with git status and git diff, using git add to add the changes you want to commit. Once you are satisfied that these changes are the ones you want to make, you can use:

git commit

This will open up the command line editor specified in your config. (You can change this with instructions in Git settings.) Write up a good description of the changes included in this commit.

Expand: Writing commit messages: best practices.

If you are making a commit that only needs a short explanation, you can use the -m option:

git commit -m "(Bug 3492) This describes the change that I just made."

Pushing your changes to your repository on Github

After committing your changes, you need to push them to your repository on Github. You can do this with:

git push origin BRANCHNAME

Making a pull request

Before making a pull request, make sure that the develop branch is up to date and you have merged the branch you are developing with it. (See Dev Maintenance for help with this.)

Then, once everything is all up to date, go to your version of the repository (dw-free or dw-nonfree) that you want to send upstream. By default they should be at:

These repositories are separate, so if you have made changes to both of them, you will have to submit pull requests for both of them.

Find the "Pull Request" button (by "Unwatch") under the top toolbar. Click it and you will be brought to the pull request page.

Ideally, the initial page should say something like "Oops! dreamwidth:develop is already up-to-date with USERNAME:develop Try a different branch?" That's good--that means that your develop branch is up to date with Dreamwidth's!

Find the "head branch" drop down and select the branch you want to submit a pull request for.

Expand: What do we want people to include in the pull request description? Bugzilla URL?

When this is done, press the "Send pull request" button.

Expand: Describe making a pull request to another repository other than the DW one!

Deleting branches

Warning: This command WILL destroy data, be careful when using it. Only delete things you are sure you want deleted.

You might create a branch by mistake, or have your changes pulled into the main develop branch on Dreamwidth. To delete the branch locally, use the command:

git branch -d BRANCHNAME

If it's a branch that hasn't been merged yet, the above command will give you an error. If you are SURE you still want to delete that branch, use:

git branch -D BRANCHNAME

If the branch is also on your Github, you can delete it like this:

git push origin --delete <branchName>