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Git Workflow

At Truss, we've tried to come up with some standardized workflows for working with Git. This page hopes to capture them so that new Trussels can work cleanly with other developers and minimize friction.

Branching Strategy

There are several well-established branching strategies and workflows out there. This article covers four leading types.

Each project will have its own requirements, and sometimes even individual projects might need different approaches, but generally Truss recommends the "GitHub Flow", for its lightweight process and ease of use with CI/CD.

However, the "Git Flow" process is useful in scenarios where you have a slower release process, e.g. for mobile apps that have a App Store as part of its critical release path.

Fork vs Clone

If it's a repo you have write and push access to, clone it. Otherwise, fork it.

Cloning with SSH vs HTTPS

Use HTTPS for read-only repos (where you’re only ever going to clone and pull), and use SSH for everything else. SSH supports certificates on security keys, and HTTPS does not. Therefore, we should not use HTTPS for anything that requires authentication. However, if you’re just pulling a public repo, HTTPS is more convenient since you don’t need to authenticate anything (unlike SSH for read-only repos).

Working locally

Pick either rebase or merge to incorporate changes from the default branch onto your local branch. Use the same method every time for consistency.

PR Size

Pull requests should be small and focused enough to be reviewable in under 15, or ideally under 5, minutes. Small PRs have a better chance of being quickly accepted. The longer the PR, the more an engineer has to keep in their head, and the more contiguous time they need to schedule for the review. This might lead to a less thorough and delayed review, which could block you from your other work. Long-lived PRs also often require more frequent updates with the main branch, which could result in mistakes when conflicts are present.

After creating a PR in GitHub

Once a branch has been pushed to GitHub and a PR has been submitted for review, any changes should be made via individual new commits. Never force push while a PR is under review. This avoids issues such as merge conflicts or accidental overwriting of code when others are using your branch.

Commit messages

For each meaningful commit, write a good commit message following these seven rules:

  1. Separate subject from body with a blank line
  2. Limit the subject line to 50 characters
  3. Capitalize the subject line
  4. Do not end the subject line with a period
  5. Use the imperative mood in the subject line
  6. Wrap the body at 72 characters
  7. Use the body to explain what and why vs. how


Replace chromedriver-helper with webdrivers

`chromedriver-helper` says in bold on their README that they are no
longer maintaining it and that people should use `webdrivers` instead.

Additionally, `webdrivers` has a very useful feature that will
automatically use the right version of `chromedriver` based on the
version of Chrome that is installed on the machine. This was not
possible with `chromedriver-helper`, which made it harder to deal with
versioning locally and in Circle CI.

Resolves #123