What is it in general?
Why not stack branches instead of patches?
Well there are two primary which I think are very important reasons to choose stacking patches over stacking branches.
- stacking patches removes a layer of abstraction simplifying how you think about things as well as how you do them
This simplification and constraint is actually more valuable than what you might think. The stacking of patches and having to deal with the concepts of patch dependence/independence is an impetus driving the developer to truly understand their application architecture and write patches in relation to it. This is why I would argue that stacking patches has a more natural alignment with the application architecture than stacking branches which are generally associated with features and not the application architecture.