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A git module to manage open source forks
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README.md

git-patch

An iterative rebase to manage open source forks.

Open Source project forks contain custom changes. Git Patch command helps manage the commits made on a fork in a structured manner. git-patch support the following development model:

  • OSS project has a master branch and tracks releases with tags or branches.
  • Forked project's development branch is a copy of a release branch or tag.

The requirements of a patch management system are:

  1. Apply and test patches on HEAD of upstream/master.
    Similar to CI, the patch system should facilitate detection of conflicts and unit test failures at regular intervals. Such a setup will help developers react to failures quickly and regularly.
  2. Allow skipping of some patches.
    If conflicts or test failures are detected, developers should be able to skip or comment out some patches instead being forced to fix it. This requirement enables beta releases with some features missing.
  3. Patch management functions.
    Provide functions to edit, combine and remove patches.

For e.g. developers at Qubole, use the following model to develop on Apache Calcite.

Apache Calcite has a master branch and tags (as well as branches) for each release.

  • Qubole developers create a branch from tag calcite-1.12.0 - q-calcite-12 which is the development branch. All feature branches are merged to q-calcite-12.
  • Qubole developers want to continously test custom features on the master branch to ensure compatibility in future releases.
  • They created oss-master which is a mirror of master in apache/calcite`.

git-patch is used to manage patches and apply them on oss-master to test compatibility. Check qubole/calcite for an example.

Install

pip install git-patch

Setup Local Repository

git remote add upstream <git url for upstream project>
git fetch upstream

Initialize Repository for patches

git checkout upstream/master
git checkout -b oss-master
git patch init -b <development branch>
git add .patch
git commit -m "Add patch configuration"
git push -u origin oss-master

Generate patches

git checkout oss-master
git patch generate

Create a development branch

# Creates a branch `git_patch` and rebases it upstream/master
git patch create-branch

Apply patches

git checkout oss-master
git patch apply

Fix Conflicts

If a patch has conflicts, apply command will fail. The conflicts have to be resolved and the patch has to be regenerated using the following commands:

# Fix conflicts
# IMPORTANT: All changes should be cached. 
# IMPORTANT Do not commit any changes. 
git patch fix-patch
    
# If all steps are successful, a modified patch is available. 
# Copy the patch to oss-master and commit it. 
git checkout oss-master
git add .patch/<patch file name>
git commit

Edit Patches

To edit a patch, use apply command will fail. Make edits and regenerate the patch.

git patch apply --patch <patch filename | path to patch>

# Make edits
# IMPORTANT: All changes should be cached. 
# IMPORTANT Do not commit any changes. 
git patch fix-patch
    
# If all steps are successful, a modified patch is available. 
# Copy the patch to oss-master and commit it. 
git checkout oss-master
git add .patch/<patch file name>
git commit

Squash commits in a section

Commits in a section can be squashed to a single commit. This is useful when there is no advantage in maintaining separate patches for a single feature or section. For e.g. lets say a feature has the following patches:

  • 0001-new-Add-new-feature.patch
  • 0001-fix-Fix-a-bug-in-new-feature.patch
  • 0001-new-redesign-internal-data-structures

Once this feature has stabilized, these patches can be squashed to a single one.

# Create a development branch
git patch create-branch

# Squash commits in a section.
# Commit message from the specified patch file is copied.
git patch <section> squash --patch <patch file>
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