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Comment: Axed!

Short version

We The developers at OP5 are very happy to accept and maintain patches, as long as the code change fits with the general concepts of the project. To make things as smooth as possible for all parties, please check this list before submitting patches.

In general, we prefer patches to be in the form of pull requests on github Github if the project is available there, otherwise you can email patches to OP5 at op5-users@lists.



Once you have submitted your pull request or email, the pull request will enter our internal verification process, where we might check the format of the code, the amount of testing needed, etc. After this process is done, you will be notified in the same place that you sent your patches.

Hints when writing commits

  • make commits of logical units


  • check for unnecessary whitespace with "git diff --check"


  •  before committing


  • do not check in commented out code or unneeded files


  • provide a meaningful commit message


  • the first line of the commit message should be a


  • short description and should skip the full stop


  • if you want your work included upstream, add


  • "Signed-off-by: Your Name <>" line to


  • the commit message (or just use the option "-s"


  • when committing) to confirm that you agree to the Developer'


  • s Certificate of Origin


  • make sure that you have tests for the bug you are fixing


  • make sure that the test suite passes after your commit


- use "git format-patch -M" to create the patch
- do not PGP sign your patch
- do not attach your patch, but read in the mail
body, unless you cannot teach your mailer to
leave the formatting of the patch alone.
- be careful doing cut & paste into your mailer, not to
corrupt whitespaces.
- provide additional information (which is unsuitable for
the commit message) between the "---" and the diffstat
- if you change, add, or remove a command line option or
make some other user interface change, the associated
documentation should be updated as well.
- if your name is not writable in ASCII, make sure that
you send off a message in the correct encoding.
- send the patch to the appropriate list and the
maintainer if (and only if) the patch is ready for
inclusion. If you use git-send-email(1), please test
it first by sending email to yourself.
Maintainer and project list addresses can be found on
- If you use the 'diff' program to create the patch,
make sure it is in unified diff format (-u switch) and
as minimal as possible. It is very difficult to review
patches with many nonsensical changes.

Long version

(1) Make separate commits for logically separate changes.

Unless your patch is really trivial, you should not be sending
out a patch that was generated between your working tree and
your commit head. Instead, always make a commit with complete
commit message and generate a series of patches from your
repository. It is a good discipline.

Describe the technical detail of the change(s).

If your description starts to get too long, that's a sign that you
probably need to split up your commit to finer grained pieces.

Oh, another thing. We are picky about whitespaces. Make sure your
changes do not trigger errors with the sample pre-commit hook shipped
in templates/hooks--pre-commit. To help ensure this does not happen,
run git diff --check on your changes before you commit.


We try to support as wide a range of C compilers to compile
our software with as possible. That means that you should not
use C99 initializers, even if a lot of compilers grok it.

Also, variables have to be declared at the beginning of the block
(you can check this with gcc, using the -Wdeclaration-after-statement

Another thing: NULL pointers shall be written as NULL, not as 0.


git based diff tools (git and StGIT included) generate unidiff
which is the preferred format.

You do not have to be afraid to use -M option to "git diff" or
"git format-patch", if your patch involves file renames. The
receiving end can handle them just fine.

Please make sure your patch does not include any extra files
which do not belong in a patch submission. Make sure to review
your patch after generating it, to ensure accuracy. Before
sending out, please make sure it cleanly applies to the "master"
branch head. If you are preparing a work based on "next" branch,
that is fine, but please mark it as such.

(3) Sending your patches.

The maintainer and people on the mailing list need to be able
to read and comment on the changes you are submitting. It is
important for a developer to be able to "quote" your changes,
using standard e-mail tools, so that they may comment on specific
portions of your code. For this reason, all patches should be
submitted "inline".
WARNING: Be wary of your MUAs word-wrap corrupting your patch.
Do not cut-n-paste your patch; you can lose tabs that way if
you are not careful.

It is a common convention to prefix your subject line with
[PATCH]. This lets people easily distinguish patches from other
e-mail discussions. Use of additional markers after PATCH and
the closing bracket to mark the nature of the patch is also
encouraged. E.g. [PATCH/RFC] is often used when the patch is
not ready to be applied but it is for discussion, [PATCH v2],
[PATCH v3] etc. are often seen when you are sending an update to
what you have previously sent.

"git format-patch" command follows the best current practice to
format the body of an e-mail message. At the beginning of the
patch should come your commit message, ending with the
Signed-off-by: lines, and a line that consists of three dashes,
followed by the diffstat information and the patch itself. If
you are forwarding a patch from somebody else, optionally, at
the beginning of the e-mail message just before the commit
message starts, you can put a "From: " line to name that person.

You often want to add additional explanation about the patch,
other than the commit message itself. Place such "cover letter"
material between the three dash lines and the diffstat.

Do not attach the patch as a MIME attachment, compressed or not.
Do not let your e-mail client send quoted-printable. Do not let
your e-mail client send format=flowed which would destroy
whitespaces in your patches. Many
popular e-mail applications will not always transmit a MIME
attachment as plain text, making it impossible to comment on
your code. A MIME attachment also takes a bit more time to
process. This does not decrease the likelihood of your
MIME-attached change being accepted, but it makes it more likely
that it will be postponed.

Exception: If your mailer is mangling patches then someone may ask
you to re-send them using MIME, that is OK.

Do not PGP sign your patch, at least for now. Most likely, your
maintainer or other people on the list would not have your PGP
key and would not bother obtaining it anyway. Your patch is not
judged by who you are; a good patch from an unknown origin has a
far better chance of being accepted than a patch from a known,
respected origin that is done poorly or does incorrect things.

(4) Sign your work

To improve tracking of who did what, we've borrowed the
"sign-off" procedure from the Linux kernel project on patches
that are being emailed around. Although our projects are a lot
smaller it is a good discipline to follow it.

The sign-off is a simple line at the end of the explanation for
the patch, which certifies that you wrote it or otherwise have
the right to pass it on as a open-source patch. The rules are
pretty simple: if you can certify the below:

Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1

By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:

(a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I
have the right to submit it under the open source license
indicated in the file; or

(b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best
of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source
license and I have the right under that license to submit that
work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part
by me, under the same open source license (unless I am
permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated
in the file; or

(c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other
person who certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified

(d) I understand and agree that this project and the contribution
are public and that a record of the contribution (including all
personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is
maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with
this project or the open source license(s) involved.

then you just add a line saying

Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <>

This line can be automatically added by git if you run the git-commit
command with the -s option.

Notice that you can place your own Signed-off-by: line when
forwarding somebody else's patch with the above rules for
D-C-O. Indeed you are encouraged to do so. Do not forget to
place an in-body "From: " line at the beginning to properly attribute
the change to its true author (see (2) above).

Some people also put extra tags at the end.

"Acked-by:" says that the patch was reviewed by the person who
is more familiar with the issues and the area the patch attempts
to modify. "Tested-by:" says the patch was tested by the person
and found to have the desired effect.

An ideal patch flow

Here is an ideal patch flow for this project the current maintainer
suggests to the contributors:

(0) You come up with an itch. You code it up.

(1) Send it to the list and cc people who may need to know about
the change.

The people who may need to know are the ones whose code you
are butchering. These people happen to be the ones who are
most likely to be knowledgeable enough to help you, but
they have no obligation to help you (i.e. you ask for help,
don't demand). "git log -p -- $area_you_are_modifying" would
help you find out who they are.

(2) You get comments and suggestions for improvements. You may
even get them in a "on top of your change" patch form.

(3) Polish, refine, and re-send to the list and the people who
spend their time to improve your patch. Go back to step (2).

(4) The list forms consensus that the last round of your patch is
good. Send it to the list and cc the maintainer.

(5) The patch (series) is applied to the source repository,
possibly in a branch of its own for further (and wider)

In any time between the (2)-(3) cycle, the maintainer may pick it up
from the list and queue it to a tracking branch in order to make it
easier for people to play with it without having to pick up and apply
the patch to their trees themselves.

MUA specific hints

Some of patches I receive or pick up from the list share common
patterns of breakage. Please make sure your MUA is set up
properly not to corrupt whitespaces. Here are two common ones
I have seen:

* Empty context lines that do not have _any_ whitespace.

* Non empty context lines that have one extra whitespace at the

One test you could do yourself if your MUA is set up correctly is:

* Send the patch to yourself, exactly the way you would, except
To: and Cc: lines, which would not contain the list and
maintainer address.

* Save that patch to a file in UNIX mailbox format. Call it say

* Try to apply to wherever you started your work from (most likely
'master' or 'origin/master'):

$ git checkout -b test-apply origin/master
$ git reset --hard
$ git am a.patch

If it does not apply correctly, there can be various reasons.

* Your patch itself does not apply cleanly. That is _bad_ but
does not have much to do with your MUA. Please rebase the
patch appropriately.

* Your MUA corrupted your patch; "am" would complain that
the patch does not apply. Look at .dotest/ subdirectory and
see what 'patch' file contains and check for the common
corruption patterns mentioned above.

* While you are at it, check what are in 'info' and
'final-commit' files as well. If what is in 'final-commit' is
not exactly what you would want to see in the commit log
message, it is very likely that your maintainer would end up
hand editing the log message when he applies your patch.
Things like "Hi, this is my first patch.\n", if you really
want to put in the patch e-mail, should come after the
three-dash line that signals the end of the commit message.


(Johannes Schindelin)

I don't know how many people still use pine, but for those poor
souls it may be good to mention that the quell-flowed-text is
needed for recent versions.

... the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option, too. AFAIK it
was introduced in 4.60.

(Linus Torvalds)

And 4.58 needs at least this.

diff-tree 8326dd8350be64ac7fc805f6563a1d61ad10d32c (from e886a61f76edf5410573e92e38ce22974f9c40f1)
Author: Linus Torvalds <>
Date: Mon Aug 15 17:23:51 2005 -0700

Fix pine whitespace-corruption bug

There's no excuse for unconditionally removing whitespace from
the pico buffers on close.

diff --git a/pico/pico.c b/pico/pico.c
--- a/pico/pico.c
+++ b/pico/pico.c
@@ -219,7 +219,9 @@ PICO *pm;
switch(pico_all_done){ /* prepare for/handle final events */
case COMP_EXIT : /* already confirmed */
+#if 0


> A patch to SubmittingPatches, MUA specific help section for
> users of Pine 4.63 would be very much appreciated.

Ah, it looks like a recent version changed the default behavior to do the
right thing, and inverted the sense of the configuration option. (Either
that or Gentoo did it.) So you need to set the
"no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option, unless the option you have is
"strip-whitespace-before-send", in which case you should avoid checking


(A Large Angry SCM)

Here are some hints on how to successfully submit patches inline using

This recipe appears to work with the current [*1*] Thunderbird from Suse.

The following Thunderbird extensions are needed:
AboutConfig 0.5
External Editor 0.7.2

1) Prepare the patch as a text file using your method of choice.

2) Before opening a compose window, use Edit->Account Settings to
uncheck the "Compose messages in HTML format" setting in the
"Composition & Addressing" panel of the account to be used to send the
patch. [*2*]

3) In the main Thunderbird window, _before_ you open the compose window
for the patch, use Tools->about:config to set the following to the
indicated values:
mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed => false
mailnews.wraplength => 0

4) Open a compose window and click the external editor icon.

5) In the external editor window, read in the patch file and exit the
editor normally.

6) Back in the compose window: Add whatever other text you wish to the
message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.

7) Optionally, undo the about:config/account settings changes made in
steps 2 & 3.


*2* It may be possible to do this with about:config and the following
settings but I haven't tried, yet.
mail.html_compose => false
mail.identity.default.compose_html => false => false


'|' in the *Summary* buffer can be used to pipe the current
message to an external program, and this is a handy way to drive
"git am". However, if the message is MIME encoded, what is
piped into the program is the representation you see in your
*Article* buffer after unwrapping MIME. This is often not what
you would want for two reasons. It tends to screw up non ASCII
characters (most notably in people's names), and also
whitespaces (fatal in patches). Running 'C-u g' to display the
message in raw form before using '|' to run the pipe can work
this problem around.


This should help you to submit patches inline using KMail.

1) Prepare the patch as a text file.

2) Click on New Mail.

3) Go under "Options" in the Composer window and be sure that
"Word wrap" is not set.

4) Use Message -> Insert file... and insert the patch.

5) Back in the compose window: add whatever other text you wish to the
message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.