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Git Commit Rules
This is the first file you should be reading when contributing code via Git.
We'll assume you're basically familiar with Git, but feel free to post
your questions on the mailing list. Please have a look at for more detailed information on Git.
PHP is developed through the efforts of a large number of people.
Collaboration is a Good Thing(tm), and Git lets us do this. Thus, following
some basic rules with regards to Git usage will::
a. Make everybody happier, especially those responsible for maintaining
PHP itself.
b. Keep the changes consistently well documented and easily trackable.
c. Prevent some of those 'Oops' moments.
d. Increase the general level of good will on planet Earth.
Having said that, here are the organizational rules::
1. Respect other people working on the project.
2. Discuss any significant changes on the list before committing and get
confirmation from the release manager for the given branch.
3. Look at EXTENSIONS file to see who is the primary maintainer of
the code you want to contribute to.
4. If you "strongly disagree" about something another person did, don't
start fighting publicly - take it up in private email.
5. If you don't know how to do something, ask first!
6. Test your changes before committing them. We mean it. Really.
To do so use "make test".
7. For development use the --enable-debug switch to avoid memory leaks
and the --enable-maintainer-zts switch to ensure your code handles
TSRM correctly and doesn't break for those who need that.
Currently we have the following branches in use::
master The active development branch.
PHP-7.2 Is used to release the PHP 7.2.x series. This is a current
stable version and is open for bugfixes only.
PHP-7.1 Is used to release the PHP 7.1.x series. This is a current
stable version and is open for bugfixes only.
PHP-7.0 Is used to release the PHP 7.0.x series. This is an old
stable version and is open for security fixes only.
PHP-5.6 Is used to release the PHP 5.6.x series. This is an old
stable version and is open for security fixes only.
PHP-5.5 This branch is closed.
PHP-5.4 This branch is closed.
PHP-5.3 This branch is closed.
PHP-5.2 This branch is closed.
PHP-5.1 This branch is closed.
PHP-4.4 This branch is closed.
PHP-X.Y.Z These branches are used for the release managers for tagging
the releases, hence they are closed to the general public.
The next few rules are more of a technical nature::
1. All changes should first go to the lowest branch (i.e. 5.6) and then
get merged up to all other branches. If a change is not needed for
later branches (i.e. fixes for features which were dropped from later
branches) an empty merge should be done.
2. All news updates intended for public viewing, such as new features,
bug fixes, improvements, etc., should go into the NEWS file of *any
stable release* version with the given change. In other words,
news about a bug fix which went into PHP-5.4, PHP-5.5 and master
should be noted in both PHP-5.4/NEWS and PHP-5.5/NEWS but
not master, which is not a public released version yet.
3. Do not commit multiple files and dump all messages in one commit. If you
modified several unrelated files, commit each group separately and
provide a nice commit message for each one. See example below.
4. Do write your commit message in such a way that it makes sense even
without the corresponding diff. One should be able to look at it, and
immediately know what was modified. Definitely include the function name
in the message as shown below.
5. In your commit messages, keep each line shorter than 80 characters. And
try to align your lines vertically, if they wrap. It looks bad otherwise.
6. If you modified a function that is callable from PHP, prepend PHP to
the function name as shown below.
The format of the commit messages is pretty simple.
<max 79 characters short description>\n
<long description, 79 chars per line>
An Example from the git project (commit 2b34e486bc):
pack-objects: Fix compilation with NO_PTHREDS
It looks like commit 99fb6e04 (pack-objects: convert to use
parse_options(), 2012-02-01) moved the #ifdef NO_PTHREDS around but
hasn't noticed that the 'arg' variable no longer is available.
If you fix some bugs, you should note the bug ID numbers in your
commit message. Bug ID should be prefixed by "#" for easier access to
bug report when developers are browsing CVS via LXR or Bonsai.
Fixed bug #14016 (pgsql notice handler double free crash bug.)
When you change the NEWS file for a bug fix, then please keep the bugs
sorted in decreasing order under the fixed version.
You can use OpenGrok ( and gitweb (
to look at PHP Git repository in various ways.
For further information on the process and further details please refer to and
Happy hacking,
PHP Team