Jakub Narebski | 21 Aug 16:59 2010
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Re: [PATCH] format-patch: Update the `-3` example

On Sat, 21 Aug 2010, Ramkumar Ramachandra wrote:
> Ramkumar Ramachandra writes:
> > Jakub Narebski writes:
> > > Works for me:
> > > 
> > >   5031:[gitweb/split <at> git]# git format-patch -3
> > >   0001-gitweb-Prepare-for-splitting-gitweb.txt
> > >   0002-gitweb-Create-Gitweb-Git-module.txt
> > > 
> > >   5034:[gitweb/split <at> git]# git version
> > >   git version 1.7.2.1
> > > 
> > > 
> > > The -3 is git-log option:
> > > 
> > >   -<n>   Limits the number of commits to show.
> > > 
> > > and also git-format-patch option:
> > > 
> > >   -<n>   Limits the number of patches to prepare.
> > 
> > Hm, doesn't work on the `pu` Git, but works on `master` -- I'm
> > currently bisecting to find the problem. `git log -3` works
> > though.
> 
> :facepalm:
> 
> Scratch out what I just said -- I just realized that `git format-patch
> HEAD~3` handles merge commits, but `git format-patch -3` does
> not. `git format-patch -3 HEAD~3` is even more confusing- should we
> even advertise the `-<n>` option in format-patch?

It looks like there is a conceptual bug in how git-format-patch works, 
namely that '-<n>' is passed to rev-list / log generating machinery, 
and it limits number of *commits* to consider; if some of those commits 
are merge commits, which cannot be represented as patches, the number 
of patches it generates is less than specified <n> (as you can see in 
the example I have provided, where <n> == 3, and git-format-patch 
generated 2 patches, not 3).  In extreme case (like 'pu') it can 
generate no patch.

I am not sure what the solution should be.  We could either:

A. Update git-format-patch documentation to say 'commits' instead of
   'patches', and perhaps also be loud about commits we are skipping,
   so that my example would look e.g. like this:

     $ git format-patch -3
     0001-gitweb-Prepare-for-splitting-gitweb.txt
     0002-gitweb-Create-Gitweb-Git-module.txt
     Skipping merge commit: Merge branch 'maint'

or

B. Modify git-format-patch so that "git format-patch -<n>" would always
   generate <n> patches from specified commits, if there are that many.

But I think that option B.) it might be difficult, so perhaps A.) is 
"it". 
--

-- 
Jakub Narebski
Poland

Gmane