[swift-dev] Cleaning up stale branches?

Ted kremenek kremenek at apple.com
Fri Oct 21 23:19:00 CDT 2016

> On Oct 21, 2016, at 12:49 PM, John McCall via swift-dev <swift-dev at swift.org> wrote:
>>> On Oct 21, 2016, at 12:23 PM, Daniel Dunbar <daniel_dunbar at apple.com> wrote:
>>> On Oct 21, 2016, at 12:14 PM, Dave Abrahams via swift-dev <swift-dev at swift.org> wrote:
>>> on Fri Oct 21 2016, John McCall <rjmccall-AT-apple.com> wrote:
>>>>> On Oct 21, 2016, at 10:39 AM, Dave Abrahams via swift-dev <swift-dev at swift.org> wrote:
>>>>>> on Fri Oct 21 2016, Daniel Dunbar <swift-dev-AT-swift.org> wrote:
>>>>>> While on this topic...
>>>>>> GitHub's support for doing cross-repo pull requests is
>>>>>> excellent. Anyone can easily fork the main repo, and push to their
>>>>>> side repo (for example, with: `git push ddunbar
>>>>>> HEAD:name-of-my-new-branch`) and the GitHub web UI on the main repo
>>>>>> will automatically show you a handy button for creating the PR.
>>>>>> With this level of support, IMHO branches usually should be pushed to
>>>>>> individual's own repos, not the main repo.
>>>>> IMO it depends whether you think Swift development should be
>>>>> discoverable.  When the Swift project formally engages in developing
>>>>> something like the new integer and floating point models, there's an
>>>>> advantage to having it in the main repository.
>>>> I don't understand this argument.  Looking at a list of branches is not a useful
>>>> way of discovering development history — you don't know which branches are
>>>> still active, which branches were merged, or which branches were completely
>>>> abandoned.  
>>> True.  Maybe discoverability isn't the word I was looking for.  When
>>> three people want to collaborate on development of a feature branch,
>>> where should it live?
>> I agree... longer lived high profile branches make sense to me personally, just not short lived "push for purpose of PRing immediately" ones.
> Yeah, I agree.  Any sort of *collaborative* branch is 100% okay to live in the main repository.  If you weren't expecting a branch to be a collaboration and it starts turning into one, it's easy to just move it over from your personal fork at that point.

These arguments all resonate with me as well.  I'd prefer we keep branches in the main repository for release management or high-profile collaborative branches only.  That said, your argument that a list of branches doesn't provide a good axis of discoverability is still relevant.  For that I still think pull requests are better suited.  Still, branches provide all sorts of things like access control, etc., but I personally have no problems with collaborative development work happening on forks, even if it involves more than one person.

> John.
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