format-patch: teach format.useAutoBase "whenAble" option

The format.useAutoBase configuration option exists to allow users to
enable '--base=auto' for format-patch by default.

This can sometimes lead to poor workflow, due to unexpected failures
when attempting to format an ancient patch:

    $ git format-patch -1 <an old commit>
    fatal: base commit shouldn't be in revision list

This can be very confusing, as it is not necessarily immediately obvious
that the user requested a --base (since this was in the configuration,
not on the command line).

We do want --base=auto to fail when it cannot provide a suitable base,
as it would be equally confusing if a formatted patch did not include
the base information when it was requested.

Teach format.useAutoBase a new mode, "whenAble". This mode will cause
format-patch to attempt to include a base commit when it can. However,
if no valid base commit can be found, then format-patch will continue
formatting the patch without a base commit.

In order to avoid making yet another branch name unusable with --base,
do not teach --base=whenAble or --base=whenable.

Instead, refactor the base_commit option to use a callback, and rely on
the global configuration variable auto_base.

This does mean that a user cannot request this optional base commit
generation from the command line. However, this is likely not too
valuable. If the user requests base information manually, they will be
immediately informed of the failure to acquire a suitable base commit.
This allows the user to make an informed choice about whether to
continue the format.

Add tests to cover the new mode of operation for --base.

Signed-off-by: Jacob Keller <jacob.keller@gmail.com>
Signed-off-by: Junio C Hamano <gitster@pobox.com>
3 files changed
tree: fe40b85fef64486d6c70d994ddcc0abc68630ca5
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README.md

Build status

Git - fast, scalable, distributed revision control system

Git is a fast, scalable, distributed revision control system with an unusually rich command set that provides both high-level operations and full access to internals.

Git is an Open Source project covered by the GNU General Public License version 2 (some parts of it are under different licenses, compatible with the GPLv2). It was originally written by Linus Torvalds with help of a group of hackers around the net.

Please read the file INSTALL for installation instructions.

Many Git online resources are accessible from https://git-scm.com/ including full documentation and Git related tools.

See Documentation/gittutorial.txt to get started, then see Documentation/giteveryday.txt for a useful minimum set of commands, and Documentation/git-<commandname>.txt for documentation of each command. If git has been correctly installed, then the tutorial can also be read with man gittutorial or git help tutorial, and the documentation of each command with man git-<commandname> or git help <commandname>.

CVS users may also want to read Documentation/gitcvs-migration.txt (man gitcvs-migration or git help cvs-migration if git is installed).

The user discussion and development of Git take place on the Git mailing list -- everyone is welcome to post bug reports, feature requests, comments and patches to git@vger.kernel.org (read Documentation/SubmittingPatches for instructions on patch submission). To subscribe to the list, send an email with just “subscribe git” in the body to majordomo@vger.kernel.org. The mailing list archives are available at https://lore.kernel.org/git/, http://marc.info/?l=git and other archival sites.

Issues which are security relevant should be disclosed privately to the Git Security mailing list git-security@googlegroups.com.

The maintainer frequently sends the “What's cooking” reports that list the current status of various development topics to the mailing list. The discussion following them give a good reference for project status, development direction and remaining tasks.

The name “git” was given by Linus Torvalds when he wrote the very first version. He described the tool as “the stupid content tracker” and the name as (depending on your mood):

  • random three-letter combination that is pronounceable, and not actually used by any common UNIX command. The fact that it is a mispronunciation of “get” may or may not be relevant.
  • stupid. contemptible and despicable. simple. Take your pick from the dictionary of slang.
  • “global information tracker”: you're in a good mood, and it actually works for you. Angels sing, and a light suddenly fills the room.
  • “goddamn idiotic truckload of sh*t”: when it breaks