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Committer Workflow

One-time Steps

Congratulations! You've gained the confidence of your fellow Cordova committers and have been granted the ability to commit code directly, and to apply pull requests from others. You should receive an email from our Apache mentor with the details of how to setup your account.

For example workflows of working on iOS or Android platforms & plugins,

see slides from ApacheCon 2015 talk on Committer Tools.

Configure your git repos

It's convenient to have the origin of your git repos to point to Apache's repos (as opposed to your clone of them on github). The easiest way to do this is to delete them and re-clone them using coho:

git clone
cd cordova-coho
npm install
cd ..
cordova-coho/coho repo-clone -r plugins -r mobile-spec -r ...

Test out your credentials with the following:

git pull
git push

If all goes well, git push should have asked you for your username and password, and an "Everything up-to-date" message should have been printed.

Join the private mailing-list

This is a list that only committers can join.

Send an email to

Note that this is a moderated list, so your request to join must be manually accepted.

Do Your Homework

Understanding how Apache works goes a long way:

Commit Workflow

Step 1: Mail the Mailing-list (optional)

This is required if any of the following apply:

  • Your change will add/remove/change a public Cordova API
  • You suspect that your change has a chance of being controversial
  • You would like feedback before you begin

When possible, try to phrase things in the form of a proposal. If no one objects (within a workday or two), then consider yourself to have lazy consensus.

Step 2: Ensure there is a JIRA issue

  • They are not necessary for all changes, (e.g. style nits, refactoring)
  • They should always be used for new features and bugs

Step 3: Create a topic branch (optional)

  • Using a public topic branch is necessary only when you would like to collaborate on the feature.
  • For small changes, private topic branches are preferred.
  • Note: You should never rebase a public topic branch!

Step 4: Make your changes

  • Thank you for making the world a better place.
  • Please beign your commit with the issue. Ex. CB-XXXX **PLATFORM** Fixed broken scrolling

Step 5: Test your changes

  • You are responsible for testing the commits you push.
  • Tests vary by repo, but in general:
    • Plugins: Automated tests in mobile-spec and/or manual tests in mobile spec
    • Tools: run npm test from the project root
    • Platforms: Native unit tests (i.e., cordova-android/test, cordova-ios/CordovaLibTests)
    • Cordova JS: Run grunt test
  • If there is no existing test that exercises your code, consider adding one
  • If you are writing documentation (i.e., cordova-docs), be aware of the style guidelines.

Step 6: Ask for a code review (optional)

  • Do this if you want a second pair of eyes to look at your code before it goes in.
  • Use GitHub pull request.

Step 7: Push your change

  • When possible, rebase & squash your commits
    • Make sure you can figure out what your commit does by the first line of your commit discription.
  • If it fixes a regression, then also cherry-pick it into the appropriate release branch.

Here is an example workflow for committing a change when you've made it on a topic branch

git pull
git checkout topic_branch
git rebase master -i
git checkout master
git merge --ff-only topic_branch
git push
git branch -d topic_branch

Here is an example workflow for committing a change when you've made it on master:

git pull --rebase
git rebase origin/master -i # Squash & reword commit messages
git push

If you ever end up with a merge commit on master that you don't want:

git rebase origin/master

If you need to add your change to a release branch:

git checkout 2.9.x
git cherry-pick -x COMMIT_HASH  # the -x flag adds "cherry-picked from <commit>" to the commit messages
git push origin 2.9.x

The git rebase -i step is your chance to clean up the commit messages and to combine small commits when appropriate. For example:

Commit A: CB-1234 Implemented RockOn feature
Commit B: CB-1234 Added tests for RockOn
Commit C: Fixed RockOn not working with empty strings
Commit D: Renamed RockOn to JustRock
Commit E: Refactor MainFeature to make use of JustRock.
  • In this case, it would be appropriate to combine commits A-D into a single commit, or at least commits A & C.
  • Fewer commits are better because:
    • Easier to comprehend the diff
    • Makes changelog more concise
    • Easier to roll-back commits should the need arise
  • For all commits:
    • Prefix with JIRA IDs: CB-1234
  • For commits to cordova-js or to plugins:
    • Prefix the message with the affected_platform so that it's clear who should take interest in the commit
    • e.g.: CB-1234 android: Improved exec bridge by using strings instead of JSON
    • e.g.: CB-1234 all: Fixed plugin loading paths that start with /

Step 8: Update JIRA

  • An Apache bot should have already added a comment to the issue with your commit ID (based on the CB-1234 being in the commit message).
  • Click the "Resolve Issue" button
    • Add a comment saying what version the commit is in (e.g. Fixed in 0.1.3-dev).

Step 9: Delete your topic branch

If you created a topic branch above, and you've merged your work to master, delete your topic branch. This is because we don't want to accumulate a bunch of topic branches which don't have anything that hasn't already been merged to master.

If your topic branch doesn't get merged to master and sits around for a long time to the point of becoming stale or abandoned, also please consider deleting those topic branches. No sense in letting cruft accumulate.

Which Branch to Commit To

Platforms, mobile-spec, cordova-js, cordova-docs:

  • Commit all changes to branch: master
  • If it fixes a regression, cherry-pick into the release branch (see CuttingReleases)
    • e.g. To cherry pick the last commit from master: git cherry-pick -x master

All other Repos:

  • Commit all changes to branch: master

Processing Pull Requests