Commit adbd5886 authored by Willy Tarreau's avatar Willy Tarreau Committed by Linus Torvalds
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doc: add suggestions about good practises for maintainers

Suggest how to deal with patch modifications caused by
merging or back-porting when you're a maintainer.

Signed-off-by: default avatarWilly Tarreau <>
Signed-off-by: default avatarLinus Torvalds <>
parent ddb2c435
......@@ -327,6 +327,52 @@ Some people also put extra tags at the end. They'll just be ignored for
now, but you can do this to mark internal company procedures or just
point out some special detail about the sign-off.
If you are a subsystem or branch maintainer, sometimes you need to slightly
modify patches you receive in order to merge them, because the code is not
exactly the same in your tree and the submitters'. If you stick strictly to
rule (c), you should ask the submitter to rediff, but this is a totally
counter-productive waste of time and energy. Rule (b) allows you to adjust
the code, but then it is very impolite to change one submitter's code and
make him endorse your bugs. To solve this problem, it is recommended that
you add a line between the last Signed-off-by header and yours, indicating
the nature of your changes. While there is nothing mandatory about this, it
seems like prepending the description with your mail and/or name, all
enclosed in square brackets, is noticeable enough to make it obvious that
you are responsible for last-minute changes. Example :
Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <>
[ struct foo moved from foo.c to foo.h]
Signed-off-by: Lucky K Maintainer <>
This practise is particularly helpful if you maintain a stable branch and
want at the same time to credit the author, track changes, merge the fix,
and protect the submitter from complaints. Note that under no circumstances
can you change the author's identity (the From header), as it is the one
which appears in the changelog.
Special note to back-porters: It seems to be a common and useful practise
to insert an indication of the origin of a patch at the top of the commit
message (just after the subject line) to facilitate tracking. For instance,
here's what we see in 2.6-stable :
Date: Tue May 13 19:10:30 2008 +0000
SCSI: libiscsi regression in 2.6.25: fix nop timer handling
commit 4cf1043593db6a337f10e006c23c69e5fc93e722 upstream
And here's what appears in 2.4 :
Date: Tue May 13 22:12:27 2008 +0200
wireless, airo: waitbusy() won't delay
[backport of 2.6 commit b7acbdfbd1f277c1eb23f344f899cfa4cd0bf36a]
Whatever the format, this information provides a valuable help to people
tracking your trees, and to people trying to trouble-shoot bugs in your
13) When to use Acked-by: and Cc:
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