Version 4 (modified by simonmar, 7 years ago) (diff)


Guidelines for using git with GHC

GHC uses git for revision control. This page describes various GHC-specific conventions for using git, together with some suggestions and tips for using git effectively.

General Guidelines

  • Try to make small patches (i.e. work in consistent increments).
  • Separate changes that affect functionality from those that just affect code layout, indendation, whitespace, filenames etc. This means that when looking at patches later, we don't have to wade through loads of non-functional changes to get to the important parts of the patch.
  • If possible, commit often. This helps to avoid conflicts.
  • Discuss anything you think might be controversial before pushing it.

Patch naming

We have a simple naming convention for certain kinds of patches:

  • If your patch fixes breakage in the build, then begin the patch name with "FIX BUILD". e.g.
      FIX BUILD Use the right find on Windows systems; fixes bindist creation
  • If your patch fixes a bug, then include the ticket number in the form #NNNN in the patch name, e.g.
      withMVar family have a bug (fixes #767)
    Trac will then create a link from the commit to the ticket, making navigation easier.

Normal workflow

Typical workflow for developing GHC is to have two trees, one called ghc-working and one called ghc-validate. The idea is that you develop in the ghc-working tree, and when you're ready to push, test the changes in the ghc-validate tree before pushing up to the main GHC repo (or submitting patches, or sending a pull request).

Set up your repos like this:

$ git clone ghc-working
$ cd ghc-working
$ ./sync-all --testsuite get
$ cd ..
$ git clone ghc-working ghc-validate
$ cd ghc-validate
$ ./sync-all --testsuite get
$ ./sync-all -r remote set-url origin
$ ./sync-all -r `pwd`/../ghc-working remote add working
$ ./sync-all -r <account> remote set-url --push origin

(where <account> is your account on; omit this step if you don't have one, you can still submit patches via the mailing list or send a pull request to get your changes in GHC).

Now you have ghc-working and ghc-validate repos, and additionally the ghc-validate repo tree is set up with a remote working pointing to the ghc-working tree, and pushing from ghc-validate will push changes via SSH to

To pull from working into the ghc-valdate tree:

cd ghc-validate
./sync-all fetch working

Then merge changes from working into the master branch of ghc-validate as appropriate. Then:

./sync-all pull

To get changes from upstream, merging if necessary. At this point you can check what changes are new in your tree relative to upstream:

./sync-all new

Then run sh validate, and if all is well:

./sync-all push

to push.

The stable branch