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Ideas for things to do


  • Find some bugs and fix them :-)
  • Check that the capstone merge in a block outline is merged correctly.
    • Since the ancestry of its two parents is incomplete, Git would probably try to do a recursive merge. See if we can somehow do better without filling in the whole diagram.
    • Compare the merges that would come from continuing each side of the outline, and verify that they are identical.

Convenience features

  • Add a two-argument form of the start and init commands to specify both branches in one go. (Or maybe not, if we want to leave the way open to supporting octipus merges!) Maybe --onto=X like rebase?
  • Improve the handling of log messages. Incorporate log messages from manual merge conflicts into suggested log messages for the simplified commits.
  • Allow the user to specify which conflict he would like to resolve next, and set it up for him.
  • Allow the user to block certain merges, meaning that they should never be skipped over or merged automatically.
  • Add a git imerge pause that puts an imerge on hold and resets the working copy to a reasonable state.
  • Allow the user to specify a test that is run automatically after each automatic merge, (à la git bisect run).

New merge goals and styles

  • Add a --goal=sparse option that retains all of the conflicted merges and enough intermediate history to connect them.
  • Add an option that allows the user to resolve conflicts in larger chunks; for example, add a rebase-with-history-type merge where each branch commit is merged directly to its final location on the last master commit. (Perhaps --conflicts={pairwise|fewest}.)
  • Permit switching between goal/conflict choices when they are meaningful while prohibiting nonsensical ones.


  • Add git imerge push REMOTE to push the status of an in-progress merge to REMOTE.
  • Add git imerge pull REMOTE to pull the current state of an incremental merge from REMOTE.
  • Add some kind of fetch-like functionality that stores the result into a remote namespace.
  • The analogue of "non-fast-forward" for incremental merges is different than for other references. A push/pull should be prohibited if:
    • Any of the branches is updated in a non-fast-forward fashion.
    • Any commit I1-I2 is updated (at all!) when there is an existing commit I1'-I2' with I1' >= I1 and I2' >= I2.
    • As a safety precaution, the DAG of the retrieved merges should probably be checked for self-consistency (see git imerge fsck below).
  • Add smarter ways to reconcile two versions of an in-progress merge that are not fast-forwards of each other. Probably this should work with two arbitrary local merges (one of which is probably from a remote).


  • Allow commits to be skipped over when merging if, for example, they are broken (analogous to git bisect skip). This should be allowed when an imerge is being initialized and also after an imerge is in progress.
  • Allow arbitrary manual merge commits to be recorded, and be smarter about how such commits are integrated.
  • Allow recorded merges to be retroactively rejected, adjusting subsequent merges accordingly.
    • In first version, just discard all commits that depended on it.
    • In later versions, salvage parts of the subsequent merges when possible.

Relax --first-parent limitation

  • Allow recursive merges: if one of the --first-parent merges is itself a merge, maybe it can be "exploded" into individual commits and these commits merged with the second branch as part of the first merge or as a subsidiary merge.
  • Allow more complicated topologies in the two branches to be merged, and somehow form the appropriate Cartesian product of their commits with the correct ancestry.


  • git imerge info -- show a detailed, human-readable summary of all intermediate commits related to this imerge.
  • git imerge parse M-N -- show SHA-1 of the specified merge if it has been done. Maybe also git imerge parse NAME/M-N.
  • git imerge show M-N -- show more, human-readable info about the specified imerge.
  • git imerge list -v -- add more information to the display; for example, the goals, status, etc. of each imerge.
  • git imerge status -- show the current imerge status (issue #22). If the user has been asked to do a merge, show the log messages for the two original commits again.


  • Add a command git imerge fsck (for lack of a better name) that checks the consistency of the intermediate commits (especially their DAG).
  • Maybe expand diagram to 2x2 characters per merge, to make room for more information (e.g., block boundaries could go in the interstices).
  • Add commit numbers along the axes of merge diagrams. For the top axis, maybe display the numbers vertically or maybe only show every fifth number.
  • Maybe fix PPM output.
  • Maybe keep a record of all merge attempts, successful and failed.
  • When running subprocesses, set a more specific value to environment variable GIT_IMERGE reflecting exactly what git-imerge is doing at the time (e.g., 'autofill', 'automerge', etc.). See issue #17.
  • Add better tools and hints for getting out of a screwed-up merge attempt (see, e.g., issue #29).


  • Add a tool that can create two branches with conflicts at arbitrary places. (This is pretty easy--if commit I1-I2 should conflict, then make commits I1 and I2 both create a file conflict-i1-i2 with differing contents.
  • Test various conflict topologies:
    • conflict at (1,1)
    • conflict at (i1,1) or (1,i2)
    • conflict at (1,-1) or (-1,1)
    • conflict at (i1,-1) or (-1,i2)
    • conflict at (-1,-1)
    • adjacent conflicts in various places
  • Cook up some way to make conflicts that unexpectedly appear and disappear when merged as part of a block vs. pairwise. (Maybe this can be done using commits involving file renames followed by the addition of replacements.) Test such scenarios.


  • Maybe add a web interface (implementing using Python's built-in webserver) would be easiest.