Upstreaming Process

Contributing codes and materials to Bissetii is quite straight forward: abide to its upstream process. This section covers specifically on the important steps for upstreaming your codes into Bissetii code repository.

Ground Rules

The only 1 strict requirement we impose here is your git commit message. You MUST comply to our message pattern in order not to break our build system. Here are the critical reasons.

1. Automation

We use git log --oneline to generate our for every releases automatically.

2. We read Git Log Very Often

From our day-to-day operations, we work with terminal based interface locally over a straight 12~20+ hours (highest record) per day. We simply do not have the time to visit a website just to view past commits list.

3. Remove Dependency

The git log system was initially designed without these version control cloud system such as Github or GitLab. Hence, we want to maintain such historical tracking in our repository rather than storing the data in an external system.

This is a single source repository, let’s not introduce unnecessary dependency.

GnuPG Enhanced Commit

To ensure you are you (integrity checking), the commit should be signed using the GnuPG system. Please ensure your local git system is using GnuPG signing system before proceeding and have the public key available at:

You can send your key to the designated keyserver:

$ gpg --keyserver hkps:// --send-keys <key-id>

You can check your key’s availability via:

$ gpg --keyserver hkps:// --search-keys <email>`

or you can perform the following:

$ gpg --keyserver hkps:// --recv-keys <key-id>

Commit Signature

There should be a Signed-off-by: Full Name <email> in every of your commit. A proper signed-off commit with GnuPG message is something as such when viewed using git log --show-signatures:

commit 01b2208172fc880fbd203fa19f61a84edb546169
gpg: Signature made 2018-07-28T18:23:40 +08
gpg:                using RSA key <local key ID>
gpg: Good signature from "(Holloway) Chew, Kean Ho (ZORALab developer) <[email protected]>" [ultimate]
Author: (Holloway) Chew, Kean Ho <[email protected]>
Date:   Sat Jul 28 18:22:22 2018 +0800

    coding_guidelines/ updated yml to latest consistency

    The existing guideline is out-of-date and some are complicated.
    yml file should be self-explainatory and consistent for simplicty

    This patch updates the guideline to the latest, keeping things
    easier to use.

    Signed-off-by: (Holloway) Chew, Kean Ho <[email protected]>

Commit Format

There is absolutely not reason for you not to write a good commit message. Here are the definitions of good.

Column Width

Keep it 75 for short description, 80 for body as required by git.

Keep it Small

Keep your commit as small as ONLY holding 1 purpose.

We got enough work on our plate already and don’t make us to research your patch (left alone reviewing your codes). It’s very easy to sniff out a big commit: the use of AND word(s) in your short line.

Here is an example of a big commit:

name/file - add feature A and feature B into repository

Here what should have done (2 commits):

name/file - add feature A into repository
name/file - add feature B into repository

Write like a Patch

Do you know that each commits can be a patch file? There commands available for it:

# create a patch file by commit ID
$ git format-patch -p1 <commit_id> -o /path/to/output/directory

# importing a patch file into repository
$ git am --signoff /path/to/patches/*.patch

This is a reason why you should write your commit message as crisp and clear without depending on other tool.

Final Pattern

A good commit message should have the following pattern:


Explain WHAT is the problem? How big is the IMPACT?
Include data like system dump here as well. Just
write it as clear and detailed as possible.
It is perfectly fine to have a long commit than asking
me to read things over all the places!

In new paragraph, explain WHY we need to fix it.
Why must we apply this patch. How to we approach the
problem. Detailed your reasoning and an overview
of your efforts (but don't have to explain the codes).

In new paragraph, explain what's is patch does in a
nutshell. Don't explain the codes. We can read them  using
`git diff`. Remember to sign the commit so the best
command would be `git commit -s`.

Signed-off-by: FULLNAME <[email protected]>


These are the sequences to get you started.

Step 1 - Always File an Issue

The very first step is file an issue in the Issues Section. All discussions should be ready and maintainers are aware and ready for your changes.

Goal - avoid shocking surprises.

Step 2 - Setting Up

Once the idea is accepted, you may proceed to fork the repository and work on it. Normally, we work on next branch so it’s safe to use the following command pattern:

$ git clone -b <next branch> <URL>

Please ensure you setup the necessary continuous integration system following the project description. If you’re using GitLab CI and the repository is configured to use shared runner, it is done automatically.

Goal - synchonize the local setup.

Step 3 - Development

You may begin your development. As you develop your codes, we gently remind you that:

  1. Comply to our ground rules.
  2. Comply to proper coding style.
  3. Keep your commit small (without using and in your short-line).
  4. Remove secret files.
  5. Sign your commit with your GnuPG.

Step 4 - Test Your Code

Please TEST your code. The definitions of Done are:

  1. New code developments are completed AND
  2. Test script is completed, tested AND
  3. Documentations are updated AND

Step 5 - Remove Secrets

This step is optional if you do your Step 3 properly. However, please do it as a last check before commiting out to the network.

Step 6 - Rebase with Remote next Branch

Chances are, by the time you completed your project, the remote next branch is having the latest and greatest. Hence, you’ll need to synchonize with it before pushing out to your forked repository. Here are the instructions to do that:

$ git remote add upstream <remote original branch>
$ git fetch upstream
$ git rebase upstream/<remote original branch name>
<solve any conflicts>
$ git push -f

Step 7 - Raise Merge Request

You’re ready for merge request. Process to one. Please make sure you update your issue in the Issues Section.