As we started to define Git Patch Stack as a tool we used the following design principles as guiding lights to help constrain and shape it.
- streamline working within the conceptual model and working with Git in general
- work with existing defacto peer review tooling
- support stepping outside of Git Patch Stack and back into Git
- facilitate the Continuous Integration Methodology while supporting pre-commit peer review
These design principles are the key to Git Patch Stack being such an amazing tool.
Other tools exist that to some degree facilitate working within the mental model of a stack of patches. However using them generally feels like more work than what you normally experience with Git itself. To prevent this we have chosen this design principle to make sure that working in the conceptual model would not only, not feel like overhead, but feel even more streamlined than a normal Git workflow.
One of the biggest driving forces for Git Patch Stack was that we wanted a way to work within the conceptual model without having to switch whole sale to separate code hosting and peer review provider, e.g. Phabricator. Therefore, we applied the constraint that it must support defacto peer review tools that people are used to working with, e.g. GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, Email, etc. Having this requirement also makes it possible for Git Patch Stack to be used even in environments where a portion of the team is using Feature Branches.
Another crucial design principle we follow is that we never want Git Patch Stack to lock you in such that you can only use it. We want you to easily be able to work inside the conceptual model but if you need for some reason to step out of that mental model and use Git itself, Git Patch Stack should make that trivial.
Last but not least we have chosen the requirement that we must support the Continuous Integration Methodology as closely as possible while still supporting a pre-commit peer review as that is what the majority of developers are used to. The thinking is that this requirement will help us bring developers as close to 100% pure Continuous Integration but supporting the peer review process that everyone is used to.
Note: It is important to recognize that we are talking strictly about the Methodology of Continuous Integration and not simply having a continuous integration server setup running automated tests. Many people don't even realize that Continuos Integration is and was a Methodology and that the running of automated tests was only a very small portion of it.