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Git & GitHub Conventions

These conventions apply to our open-source, internal and client projects.

Basic Setup


For applications, the master branch should be in production at all times. A develop branch may be used for staging purposes.

For libraries (e.g. a Ruby gem), the master branch is deemed unstable.

Write grammatically correct (i.e. start with a capital) commit messages in imperative, present tense.

Prefer concise commits over gigantic ones. When writing a concise commit message is difficult, it may indicate too many unrelated changes.

Commit summaries shouldn't end with a period. Descriptions should.



Branches are awesome. We usually prefix them with feature, fix, improve and refactor, like this:


Use --no-ff when you merge to master or develop.


It's okay to just push to develop or master if it's a quick fix and you really need it out the door. But in most cases making a pull request is preferred.

Pull request descriptions should be concise and well written. The merger should be able to copy this description straight into the release notes instead of figuring out what changed or was fixed.

Who merges the pull request?

Core contributors have the final say on what gets merged into their codebase, so they get to click the button. That could be you, but if you're working with someone else it should probably be them. The important thing is that someone else gets to look it over so we can learn from you, point out your silly mistakes and/or post the sufficient amount of GIFs.

Once the pull request is accepted, the person who merged it should also delete the branch.

Reviewing pull requests

As a reviewer, you should ideally be a core team member and have enough context to make a thorough review of the committed code, just by reading it. However, there are times when pull requests are quite large, or it is referencing existing code not found in the PR, or you for some other reason do not have a good enough context to review anything else than code style and typos. In these cases, we encourage you to go through the pull request together with the submitter, either physically or virtually.

Be warned, though: By doing this, you will both need to explain your thoughts and discuss other alternatives. Of course, this means you are putting yourself at risk of sharing your knowledge and/or learning some new stuff, so please be careful not to end up being even more awesome than you are.

My pull request depends on another pending pull request. What do I do?

If your next pull request is really that intimately related to your last, consider to continue working on it instead of opening another.

If it really makes sense to open another, it's okay to base your next pull request on your unmerged branch. Request that it be merged to the main branch, though, and be sure to merge any changes you've made to its parent during its review.

Then what?

If you're working on an application and you merged to develop or master, you push it to the staging or production server, respectively. The staging server should always be on the tip of develop and the production server should always be on the tip of master.

If you're working on a library (e.g. a Ruby gem) and you merged to master, you may want to push a new version. Or not.

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