Sapling FAQ

Greg Foster
Greg Foster
Graphite software engineer

Sapling does facilitate the syncing of pull requests to GitHub. After creating a series of pull requests using the pr command, you can make local changes to your commits and run pr again to update your existing PRs on GitHub. If there are new commits in your stack not linked to a PR, Sapling will create pull requests for those as well​​.

While Sapling works with any GitHub repository, there are considerations to keep in mind. For instance, it creates overlapping pull requests, which may be confusing for reviewers not using Sapling's ReviewStack tool. Therefore, while not explicitly required, for consistency and ease of use, it may be beneficial for entire teams to adopt Sapling, especially when using features like ReviewStack for code review​​.

The documentation does not explicitly state whether Sapling needs to be self-hosted or if it's available as a cloud-based service. However, given that Sapling requires authentication with GitHub via a Personal Access Token (PAT) and recommends using the GitHub CLI, it implies that Sapling can interact with GitHub's cloud services, suggesting it does not necessarily require self-hosting​​.

While the documentation does not directly address CI/CD integration, the ability to sync and manage pull requests with GitHub suggests that Sapling could be incorporated into CI/CD workflows that are compatible with GitHub's systems​​.

Sapling includes a graphical user interface, known as the Interactive Smartlog (ISL), which can be accessed directly within Visual Studio Code. This indicates that users are not limited to the command line and can utilize Sapling through this integrated GUI​​.

Sapling provides a tool called ReviewStack as an alternative code review tool to handle overlapping pull requests more effectively than GitHub's native interface. When local changes to commits need to be submitted for review, the pr command in Sapling can be used to update existing PRs on GitHub or create new ones for additional commits in the stack​​.

The ghstack workflow, also known as "ghstack for Sapling," is used to create pull requests where each generated pull request contains one reviewable commit on GitHub. This method is recommended if you have write access to the repository and is especially useful when you want to avoid the confusion of overlapping pull requests. However, pull requests created with this method cannot be merged using the standard GitHub UI​​.

Currently, some of Sapling's GitHub integrations rely on the GitHub CLI, so it's strongly recommended to install it. The CLI is used for authenticating with GitHub, and although there are plans to remove this requirement, a mechanism to cache GitHub credentials is still needed for the best experience with Sapling​​.

Yes, Sapling integrates with Visual Studio Code's source control API, allowing you to access many of its features directly within the editor. For example, you can see uncommitted changes, view change gutters, and open an editable diff viewer. Additionally, the Interactive Smartlog can be accessed within VS Code without launching a separate web interface​​.

If you encounter an error message suggesting the use of sl init --git . for a better experience, this indicates that Sapling is recommending a specific initialization method for integrating with Git. Following the suggested command should resolve initialization issues and provide a more seamless setup​​.

For macOS users, Sapling can be installed using Homebrew with the command $ brew install sapling. Windows users should download the latest version ZIP file and use PowerShell to expand and set the path accordingly. For Ubuntu 22.04, you can use curl to download and install Sapling. It’s important to note that to utilize all of Sapling's features, Git and Node also need to be installed on your system​​.

Yes, Sapling is designed to work with existing Git repositories and integrates with GitHub, which allows you to manage your current repositories using Sapling’s features​​.

Sapling offers a VS Code extension, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Extension Marketplace or directly from the extensions tab within VS Code. However, to ensure full functionality, Sapling must be installed through the normal installation instructions before the VS Code extension will work properly​​.

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