RevBayes Git Workflow

Last modified on March 11, 2020

Branch organization

The main branches of the RevBayes repo exist are

The master branch should always reflect the state of the current release of RevBayes. The development branch contains the working additions/changes to the code that are to be included in the next release.

You should not work on either of these branches directly. Rather, to make changes or work on a new feature, you should create a separate branch off of development. While working on your branch, frequently merge changes from development to stay up to date. Once your work is ready, and before you merge your branch into development, make sure to merge any changes from development and verify the code is compiling and tests are passing. Once these checks have been done, create a pull request to merge your branch into development. You can request reviewers for your pull request directly via GitHub, or by asking on Slack. After your pull request is approved, or if it has not been reviewed within 30 days, it will be merged into development.

The branch hotfix-development exists for small (one commit only) changes that are not worth creating a new branch for (for instance, small bugfixes, readme or help files edits, etc.). A pull request can then be created to merge those changes into development.

New features should never be merged directly into master. Only hotfixes to the current release may be merged into master. For hotfixes, create a separate branch from master, make the fix and verify it, and then merge the hotfix branch into master and development. Similarly to above, the hotfix-master branch exists for small (one commit only) bugfixes to the current release. A pull request can then be created to merge those changes into master and development.

For more information, please follow this illustrated guide.

Forking the RevBayes repo

Forking the RevBayes repository is not mandatory as long as the workflow outlined above is respected. However, occasional developers or people who are considering contributing may fork their own copy of the repository on GitHub in order to keep the total number of branches reasonable. They can then contribute their changes via pull request.