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.

Work in progress pull requests

In the Zulip project, we encourage submitting work-in-progress pull requests early and often. This allows you to share your code to make it easier to get feedback and help with your changes. Prefix the titles of work-in-progress pull requests with [WIP], which in our project means that 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 1: Update your branch with git rebase

The best way to update your branch is with git fetch and git rebase. Do not use 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  master     -> upstream/master

$ git rebase upstream/master

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 git@github.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 git@github.com: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 creating a pull request from a fork. We'll briefly review the process here.

The first step in creating a pull request is to use your web browser to navigate to your fork of Zulip. Sign in to GitHub if you haven't already.

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 to your fork, you will see a green Compare & pull request button.

You'll see the Open a pull request page:

images-create-pr

Provide a title and first comment for your pull request. Remember to prefix your pull request title with [WIP] if it is a work-in-progress.

If your pull request has an effect on the visuals of a component, you might want to include a screenshot of this change or a GIF of the interaction in your first comment. This will allow reviewers to comment on your changes without having to checkout your branch; you can find a list of tools you can use for this over here.

When ready, click the green Create pull request to submit the pull request.

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][self-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.