WattDepot on GitHub

The branching model

A "branching model" defines how, when, and where developers commit the changes.

The WattDepot branch model is a simplified version of the nvie branch model.

Centralized "truth" repository

There is one central "truth" repository, origin, which is located at http://github.com/wattdepot/wattdepot. It is the central push-pull location. Developers can of course clone their own repository and do whatever they want locally, but our model controls the structure of this repo.

Two main branches: master and develop

There are two main branches:

When the source code in the develop branch reaches a stable point and is ready to be released, all of the changes should be merged back into master somehow and then tagged with a release number.

Making releases

Most non-documentation implementation effort should be committed to the develop branch. When appropriate, the develop branch will be merged into master and a release will be made. This procedure is documented here. For the time being, Cam is the only one who will make releases.

Optional branches

There are three other possible branch types that you can choose to use if you want: feature, release and hotfix.

Feature branches are used to develop new features for the upcoming or a distant future release. They are branched from develop and merge back into develop. They may be named anything except:

master, develop, release-*, hotfix-*

Creating feature branch:

$ git checkout -b myFeature develop

Merging feature back into develop:

$ git checkout develop          // switch back to the develop branch
$ git merge --no-ff myFeature   // merge in myFeature to develop branch
$ git branch -d myFeature       // delete the myFeature branch
$ git push origin develop       // push merged develop to github

Release branches support preparation of a new production release. They allow for last-minute dotting of i's and crossing t's. Furthermore, they allow for minor bug fixes and preparing meta-data for a release (version number, build dates, etc.). By doing all of this work on a release branch, the develop branch is cleared to receive features for the next big release. Release branches are named release-<number>. Where <number> is the release number. For example:


is the 3.0.0 release candidate number 2 branch name.

Hotfix branches are very much like release branches in that they are also meant to prepare for a new production release, albeit unplanned. They arise from the necessity to act immediately upon an undesired state of a live production version. Hotfix branches are named hotfix-<bug number>. Where <bug number> is the number of the github issue describing the problem being fixed.

Continuous integration

Both the master and develop branches are under continuous integration control using Travis-CI.

All developers should be notified by email when the build fails on either branch. If you are able to commit changes to the WattDepot repository, be sure that you are notified of build failures.