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From: Jeff King <>
To: Junio C Hamano <>
Cc: Wang Yugui <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH] docs/format-patch: mention handling of merges
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2021 18:40:25 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <xmqqv9aj65na.fsf@gitster.g>

On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 03:31:53PM -0800, Junio C Hamano wrote:

> Jeff King <> writes:
> > Subject: [PATCH] docs/format-patch: mention handling of merges
> >
> > Format-patch doesn't have a way to format merges in a way that can be
> > applied by git-am (or any other tool), and so it just omits them.
> > However, this may be a surprising implication for users who are not well
> > versed in how the tool works. Let's add a note to the documentation
> > making this more clear.
> > ...
> > +-------
> > +
> > +Note that `format-patch` cannot represent commits with more than one
> > +parent (i.e., merges) and will silently omit them entirely from its
> > +output, even if they are part of the requested range.
> I think "cannot represent" is a little bit misleading, unless we
> expect the readers already know what we are trying to say (in which
> case there is no point in documenting this).  Perhaps something like
> this might clarify a bit, though.
>     Note that `format-patch` omits merge commits from the output,
>     because it is impossible to turn a merge commit into a simple
>     "patch" in such a way that allows receiving end to reproduce the
>     same merge commit.

That seems worse to me, because "it is impossible" implies that this
can never be changed. But I don't think that's true. We might one day
output something useful for merges.

I think one could argue that any merge information (including conflict
resolution) works against the root notion of format-patch, which is a
set of changes that can be applied on a range of basesa. But even that I
would be hesitant to commit to (since --base exists now). And certainly
it's more subtlety than I'd want to get in to for this note. :)

I almost softened it to "cannot yet represent". Does that read better to
your (or worse)? Likewise, I considered adding a note at the end along
the lines of "this may change in the future", though I suspect we'd only
do so in combination with a command-line option.


  reply	other threads:[~2021-02-22 23:42 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 10+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-02-22 13:16 git format-patch lost the last part when branch merge Wang Yugui
2021-02-22 22:57 ` Jeff King
2021-02-22 23:08   ` [PATCH] docs/format-patch: mention handling of merges Jeff King
2021-02-22 23:31     ` Junio C Hamano
2021-02-22 23:40       ` Jeff King [this message]
2021-02-23  1:24         ` Junio C Hamano
2021-02-23  1:48           ` Jeff King
2021-02-22 23:25   ` git format-patch lost the last part when branch merge Junio C Hamano
2021-02-24  4:24   ` Elijah Newren
2021-02-24  4:50     ` Jeff King

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