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GitHub is a service to host repositories and provides a lot of features/utilities around this task. There are many others but GitHub is the oldest and probably most used. GitHub provides extensive documentation and (video) guides, so in order to honor the DRY principle, only little text is found here but instead a list of deep links to chapters and other learning resources is provided here:

GitHub flow

While there are many git workflows out there, having your repository on GitHub make the GitHub Flow your first choice. As explained on the git workflows page, it's simple even for bigger teams. The documentation on the Github flow primarily explains it from technical point of view. The follow section workflow embeds these steps in an example change.

Complete Workflow

My philosophy is that every change should be documented from the beginning to the end when it's implemented. A change could be a bug and its fix or a new feature that is required and gets implemented. The order of action then is:

    participant L as LocalRepo
    participant G as GitHub (GH)
    L->>G: Create an issue (bug, feature, ...)
    activate L
    L->>L: Create a feature branch (FB)
    loop work_on_issue
        L->>L: Change code and create a commit
        L-->>G: (optionally) Push FB to GH
    Note right of L: When work is finally done
    L->>L: Cleanup your FB
    L->>G: Push FB to GH
    deactivate L
    activate G
    G->>G: Create a pull request (PR)
    G->>G: (ideally): Let somebody review your PR
    G->>G: Merge PR
    deactivate G
    activate L
    G->>L: Pull latest changes on main
    L->>L: Delete local FB
    L->>G: Delete remote FB
    deactivate L

Comments on above diagram

1) Describe the bug/feature in several dimensions to make it possible to understand the need to change something. Key questions are:

  • What is broken?
  • How does the error present itself?
  • What are error messages that occur?
  • What feature is missing?
  • Which are the requirements that make the changes necessary?

2) Name the branch accordingly i.e. issue31, featureXY, ...
5) Cleanup the branch if needed by rewording, squashing, rearranging commits using git rebase --interactive in order to have a history that makes sense.
12) Get yourself a 🍺 or move to the next ticket

GitHub Actions

Except for the following deep links into the official documentation, no other information is available here as of yet.

GitHub on the CLI

There is a wonderful, official tool written in Go that let's you do all the GitHub related work on your CLI without the need to go to the browser. No need to switch app, enter URLs, click through to the destination page you need, just to open a new PR. All can be done in your Bash. See it in action.

The above illustrated workflow done using the tool gh might look as follos:

gh issue create --title "Thing X fails to compile" --assignee "@me" --label "bug" \
                --body "some longer text to sufficiently describe the bug"
gh checkout main
gh checkout -b bug_compile_error_in_X
# work on file
git add fileX
git ci -m "Fix compilation error"
git push origin bug_compile_error_in_X
gh pr create -t "The bug is fixed" -b "Everything works again"
gh pr merge
git checkout main
git pull origin main
git branch -d bug_compile_error_in_X

gh comes with an excellent documentation and local help, see gh --help.

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Last update: October 9, 2023