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Re: Rebasing vs. merging

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Rebasing vs. merging
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2020 09:09:26 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 8/19/20 7:51 AM, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
If you have time and motivation, please read the thread starting at


I wasn't involved in that thread (though perhaps I should have been, as one of its topics was a botched rebase+merge that lost of one of my commits :-), so I just now read it. A few remarks:

* The botched rebase+merge there was due to our old practice of putting ChangeLog patches into each commit. We've stopped doing that (thank goodness), so that particular botch wouldn't happen under our current development practice. Of course similar problems could still occur in other files, though they're less likely.

* The thread's key bit of advice was David Engster's "Never rebase commits that are upstream." <https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2014-12/msg01468.html> This is indeed good advice. The git-rebase man page has more details on this for those interested.

* Rebasing local commits works just fine with a merge-based workflow, and I do it all the time in Emacs development. It's OK even if you have local branches and merges, so long as you consistently follow David's advice.

* That being said, I don't use local merges, as a primary role of merges is to support collaboration and I collaborate very poorly with myself (because I always get into arguments :-).

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