Create a pull request
When you’re ready for feedback, submit a pull request. Pull requests are a feature specific to GitHub. They provide a simple, web-based way to submit your work (often called “patches”) to a project. It’s called a pull request because you’re asking the project to pull changes from your fork.
If you’re unfamiliar with how to create a pull request, you can check out GitHub’s documentation on creating a pull request from a fork. You might also find GitHub’s article about pull requests helpful. That all said, the tutorial below will walk you through the process.
Draft pull requests
In the Zulip project, we encourage submitting draft pull requests early and often. This allows you to share your code to make it easier to get feedback and help with your changes, even if you don’t think your pull request is ready to be merged (e.g. it might not work or pass tests). This sets expectations correctly for any feedback from other developers, and prevents your work from being merged before you’re confident in it.
Create a pull request
Step 0: Make sure you’re on a feature branch (not
It is important to work on a feature branch when creating a pull request. Your new pull request will be inextricably linked with your branch while it is open, so you will need to reserve your branch only for changes related to your issue, and avoid introducing extraneous changes for other issues or from upstream.
If you are working on a branch named
main, you need to create and
switch to a feature branch before proceeding.
Step 1: Update your branch with git rebase
The best way to update your branch is with
git fetch and
git rebase. Do not
git pull or
git merge as this will create merge commits. See keep your
fork up to date for details.
Here’s an example (you would replace issue-123 with the name of your feature branch):
$ git checkout issue-123 Switched to branch 'issue-123' $ git fetch upstream remote: Counting objects: 69, done. remote: Compressing objects: 100% (23/23), done. remote: Total 69 (delta 49), reused 39 (delta 39), pack-reused 7 Unpacking objects: 100% (69/69), done. From https://github.com/zulip/zulip 69fa600..43e21f6 main -> upstream/main $ git rebase upstream/main First, rewinding head to replay your work on top of it... Applying: troubleshooting tip about provisioning
Step 2: Push your updated branch to your remote fork
Once you’ve updated your local feature branch, push the changes to GitHub:
$ git push origin issue-123 Counting objects: 6, done. Delta compression using up to 4 threads. Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done. Writing objects: 100% (6/6), 658 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done. Total 6 (delta 3), reused 0 (delta 0) remote: Resolving deltas: 100% (3/3), completed with 1 local objects. To email@example.com:christi3k/zulip.git + 2d49e2d...bfb2433 issue-123 -> issue-123
If your push is rejected with error failed to push some refs then you need
to prefix the name of your branch with a
$ git push origin +issue-123 Counting objects: 6, done. Delta compression using up to 4 threads. Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done. Writing objects: 100% (6/6), 658 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done. Total 6 (delta 3), reused 0 (delta 0) remote: Resolving deltas: 100% (3/3), completed with 1 local objects. To firstname.lastname@example.org:christi3k/zulip.git + 2d49e2d...bfb2433 issue-123 -> issue-123 (forced update)
This is perfectly okay to do on your own feature branches, especially if you’re the only one making changes to the branch. If others are working along with you, they might run into complications when they retrieve your changes because anyone who has based their changes off a branch you rebase will have to do a complicated rebase.
Step 3: Open the pull request
If you’ve never created a pull request or need a refresher, take a look at GitHub’s article on creating a pull request from a fork. We’ll briefly review the process here.
First, sign in to GitHub on your web browser and navigate to your fork of Zulip.
Next, navigate to the branch you’ve been working on. Do this by clicking on the Branch button and selecting the relevant branch. Finally, click the New pull request button. Alternatively, if you’ve recently pushed the relevant branch to your fork, you will see a Compare & pull request button.
A pull request template will open with some information pre-filled in. Provide (or update) the title for your pull request and write a first comment.
If your pull request makes UI changes, always include one or more still screenshots to demonstrate your changes. If it seems helpful, add a screen capture of the new functionality as well. You can find a list of tools you can use for this here.
See the documentation for creating reviewable pull requests for more guidance and tips when writing pull request comments. If the repository has a self-review checklist in the pull request template, make sure that all the relevant points have been addressed before submitting it.
When ready, click the Create pull request button to submit the pull request. Remember to mark your pull request as a draft if it is a work-in-progress.
Note: Pull request titles are different from commit messages. Commit
messages can be edited with
git commit --amend,
git rebase -i, etc., while
the title of a pull request can only be edited via GitHub.
Update a pull request
As you get make progress on your feature or bugfix, your pull request, once submitted, will be updated each time you push commits to your remote branch. This means you can keep your pull request open as long as you need, rather than closing and opening new ones for the same feature or bugfix.
It’s a good idea to keep your pull request mergeable with Zulip upstream by frequently fetching, rebasing, and pushing changes. See keep your fork up to date for details. You might also find this excellent article How to Rebase a Pull Request helpful.
And, as you address review comments others have made, we recommend posting a follow-up comment in which you: a) ask for any clarifications you need, b) explain to the reviewer how you solved any problems they mentioned, and c) ask for another review.