[Git] How to maintain a huge and long-lived branch

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Story

Currently I am maintaing a god damn long-lived and huge branch on my local and for me, this is xxxx annoying -_-. Here comes a tip first, please make sure to break down your patch as much as you can. For me, this patch looks kinda independent and tiny enough, but I am wrong in the end.

As you can see, this branch has changed almost 60 files in the codebase and change of LOC has increasing to 5000 ! So, you can definitely guess that there must be so many conflicts happened especially Mozilla/Gaia is such a huge open source project and is contributed by lots of hackers from different timezones in this world. Based on my observations, it can hit more than 5000 LOC changes like features, bugfix … etc per day !

But, this case helps me to get familiar with how to keep your branch up-to-date with main trunk and I already came up with a small SOP to help me on this. In order not to forget this important experience (I don’t think I will forget xD), I would write them down about how I made it.

SOP

  • git checkout -b bug-973466-backup-20140619
    • Make sure to backup one copy of your current branch in case of something broken when rebasing. In my case, because I have to keep it up to date with main trunk all the time, it would be better for me to use Date format to make it readable and easy to identify.
  • git checkout bug-973466
    • Jump back to current branch
  • git rebase master
    • Rebase your code onto master to keep updated with it
  • Solve conflicts
    • You will find so many conflicts in this stage, and please don’t be afraid, use github / git diff / vimdiff or anything whatever to make sure there is nothing broken in this stage and both of theirs and ours changes are still there.
    • If you got lost in this stage, just did git rebase --abort to exit the process and there is nothing influenced ! Yeah.
  • If you successfully solve conflicts and nothing is wrong, it’s great ! You are free now !
  • If you found something wrong later after rebasing, it’s too late to recover, that’s why we need a backup ! Just remove your current branch and replace it with backup one, nothing is broken now ! Nice !

Some thoughts

  1. Don’t make your branch huge and try to break it down to smaller parts.
  2. If your current move is danger and hard to recover, always remember to make a backup.

Hope these information helps ! Any idea or feedback is welcome !

2 thoughts on “[Git] How to maintain a huge and long-lived branch

  1. it’s not too late to recover, you could always get the origin one from github if you have not overwriten it yet 🙂

    $ # change to other branch
    $ git checkout master
    $ # delete wrong one
    $ git branch -D bug-973466
    $ # get it back from github

    $ git checkout bug-973466 origin/bug-973466

    按讚數

    1. Yeah Gasolin, you are right ! But the situation you mentioned really happened to m before, so for me, the safer way is really to backup a new one haha. Thanks for reminding me of checking the original branch from Github it is not polluted.

      按讚數

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