Beginner's guide to stacked diffs

Stacked diffs, also known as stacked changes or pull requests (PRs), are a series of code changes made on top of each other in a specific order. It's like stacking blocks where each block is a small, independent change that contributes to building a larger feature.

  1. Small & Manageable Changes: Breaks down large features into smaller, more manageable pieces, making it easier to review and test.

  2. Continuous Progress: Allows you to keep working on subsequent changes without waiting for the earlier ones to be merged.

  3. Easier Reviews: Smaller diffs make it easier for reviewers to understand and give feedback.

  4. Isolated Testing: Each change can be tested independently, reducing the risk of bugs.

  1. Start Small: Make a small change in your code and submit it as a PR.

  2. Stack On: Create a new branch from the first PR, make another change, and submit a new PR.

  3. Rinse & Repeat: Continue stacking new changes on top of the previous ones.

Graphite is a tool that simplifies working with stacked diffs. It keeps track of the order and dependencies of your changes, making it easy to manage and submit stacks of PRs.

  • Keep each diff focused on a single change.

  • Ensure each diff builds off the changes made in the previous one.

  • Regularly sync with the main branch to avoid merge conflicts.

  • Review and merge from the bottom up - the oldest diffs first.

Remember, the key to successful stacked diffs is to keep each change small, focused, and reviewable.

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