Besides my RTL work on Libreoffice, every once in a while I just go over the regular commit log to see what have changed. I don’t necessary understand each line in the commit, but do get the general idea from the commit message. Being more dependent on the commit messages makes me review them more thoroughly (hence the topic of this post).
As many projects, Libreoffice has notifications of commits related to bugs reports when the bug number is properly mentioned in the commit message. This is very useful for other developers and also for QA people. After verification of a bug is fixed, I often use the commits listed on the bug report to cherry pick them to an older branch. Going to search for an unreferenced commit isn’t much fun.
One of the things I notice is different ways people reference bugs – from not referencing them at all to referencing them in various ways like linking to the bugs system, just writing the number (without the fdo# prefix) and other creative ways… This is also true for first time contributors, which might not know the standards or the “rules”. When I see such a case I usually put a manual notification in the bug report, and mail the author of doing so. For new or sporadic contributors this is also an opportunity to welcome and thank them for the commit and even encourage future contributions.
I have been asked why aren’t that info on the wiki, so I went looking and found out the info is in the right place under the “Development/GetInvolved” page. The relevant part is:
When you type a commit message:
- start the first line with a bug reference like fdo#12345, if you have one for your commit (see details below)
- use the rest of the first line as a concise summary of your changes
- the 2nd line remains empty
- and starting on the 3rd line you can explain how and what changes have been made for what reasons.
Thanks in advance and happy coding (: