[gmx-developers] squash-merge commit messages

Eric Irrgang ericirrgang at gmail.com
Fri Oct 15 16:40:19 CEST 2021

Hi Devs.

There has been some discussion about how to improve consistency of good commit messages amidst evolving (sometimes "flaky") behavior in the GitLab code review interface, but I don't think there have been firm recommendations.

The current behavior for a squash merge through the web interface is to use the title of the merge request, but to discard the additional description.

Note: You can edit the merge commit message in a dialog box for the MR, but the text is only used if you immediately hit "merge". There's no way to save it.

Some devs have been making a point of squashing locally and force-pushing before getting a final round of approvals to hit "Merge", since a single-commit MR just uses the commit message.

We could force-push to update the commit message of the first commit in the MR and adopt a convention of using that one for the merge commit message.

We could make a point of including the issue number in the MR title to make sure there is more cross-linking through the web interface.

We could stop squashing on merge and leave it up to the author and reviewers to rewrite the commit history as deemed appropriate before merging.

The question, though, I suppose: do we consider these one-line commit messages to be a problem?

I don't think we need a hard and fast rule, but some guidelines would be nice.

Should we encourage each other to take some action to make sure that commit messages are more voluminous and useful?

Should contributors (or reviewers) leave notes in the MR with suggestions of what should be in the final commit message in case someone else does the final submission?

Maybe things are fine the way they are?


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