[webkit-dev] Patch process - let's make it better

Mark Rowe mrowe at apple.com
Fri Jul 10 16:20:14 PDT 2009

On 2009-07-10, at 16:17, Chris Marrin wrote:

> On Jul 10, 2009, at 3:55 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> One common topic for discussion has been how to make our process  
>> around patch submission better. As the project grows, it's becoming  
>> more important for this process to work really smoothly, and we are  
>> seeing some breakdowns. I've been doing a lot of thinking about  
>> this, and discussion with some project old hands. I think the right  
>> way to tackle this is to identify the process problems, and make  
>> sure we address each one. I'd also like to start by fixing the  
>> problems that can be addressed without making major wholesale tools  
>> changes first, then look at the bigger changes. Here are my  
>> thoughts on the steps in the lifecycle of a patch:
>> === 1) Submitting the patch ===
>> Steps:
>> 1.1) File a bug if there isn't one already.
>> 1.2) Put the bug number in your ChangeLog entry.
> Maybe it's because I'm a noob and there is a better way, but one of  
> the most annoying things about the patch process is the need to add  
> Changelog entries. It's not hard to create a Changelog entry (given  
> the existance of prepareChangelog). The annoying part is the fact  
> that I ALWAYS get conflicts in at least one Changelog file when I  
> try to check in. I have to fix these by hand, do svn resolved, and  
> try to check in again. Assuming someone hasn't checked something in  
> under me in the 2 minutes it took me to fix the changelogs, (which  
> has happened a couple of times), I can successfully commit.
> This isn't THAT big of a deal, but it is annoying. And I'm not sure  
> why we need changelogs when we have a complete log of every checkin  
> from svn anyway? Maybe it would be better to do away with Changelogs  
> and just put stricter controls on what's in a commit message.

We just had a large thread where we rehashed this exact topic, so lets  
try not to derail this thread in the same way.

In short, many people find ChangeLogs to be very useful, and SCM logs  
aren't a replacement due to the network requirements and performance  
issues.  We also have the resolve-ChangeLogs script in WebKitTools/ 
Scripts to make dealing with ChangeLog conflicts trivial.

- Mark

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