[TYPO3-core] Gerrit submission process for multiple branches

Xavier Perseguers xavier at typo3.org
Sun Oct 30 12:19:29 CET 2011

Hi Francois,

> Did we ever define what the correct process should be when we want to
> submit patches to multiple branches? I recently submitted a patch for
> 4.5, 4.6 and 4.7 and now Xavier remarked that I shouldn't have done so,
> as it complicates the review process.
> I can agree with that, but OTOH I think submitting to only one branch
> entails a real risk of forgetting other branches later on. For example,
> I'm pretty sure that - in the rush of fixing stuff for releasing 4.6 -
> quite a few backports to 4.5 were forgotten.

Ernesto has a special script that shows the patches that were not yet 
merged to older branches. This is a matter of time to get it officially 
somewhere on typo3.org.

> As far as I can remember we had floated the idea of using topics, so
> that all related patch submissions could be found. Then one in
> particular can be reviewed and changes requested in that one can be
> ported to the others.

My argument is that if a patch is ready to be merged, having it pushed 
to all branches is not a problem at all but more often that expected, a 
single patch set cannot make it to gather the proper reviews to allow a 
merge and as soon as the patch has been pushed to multiple branches, 
this involves pushing it again and again multiple times.

Another problem I faced this morning is that for some reason the patch 
was sent to 3 branches but I only saw it once (at first), I reviewed it 
and then noticed that it was for 4-5, not for master. Having it on 
multiple branches may easily make reviews hard to follow because 
someones may review it and give their +1's on different branches...

What I find the best way is to push to master only with the topic branch 
set to the bug id and the appropriate "Releases:" tag in the commit 
message. Once it is ready to be merged, push it to the other branches 
and merge it right away.

The only condition I see where it makes sense to push it to older 
branches as well is when the patch is not the same (aka slightly 
different). This is and will be typically the case when modifying 
localization files as backporting to 4.5 involves rewriting the .XLF 
patch into an ll-XML one. This is not complicated but could make sense 
to provide the corresponding patch as well.

Just my 2¢

Xavier Perseguers
Release Manager TYPO3 4.6

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