Juha-Matti Santala
Community Builder. Dreamer. Adventurer.

Pull request is my proposal for changes

Ellie Huxtable asked in Mastodon recently (emphasis mine):

How would you feel if a maintainer pushed a formatting change/simple lint fix to your PR before merging it? Often I receive PRs that I'm happy to approve, but they just need one tiny tweak. I've always felt like it's rude to just push to someone's branch, but it would improve merge times by a bunch

I’ve always been of the school of thought that treats pull requests (and any code really) as “our code” rather than “my code” - for varying variables of “us”.

When I make a pull request, whether it is for a personal project, an internal team repository or in open source, I treat it as a proposal for change. To me, that means that I’ve given up on any kind of exclusiveness of “it’s this or nothing” or “I’m the only one who can change it”. It becomes part of the project and depending on the project and my role in it, it may be myself, my teammates or an open source maintainer (or some combination of these) that eventually decides what gets merged in.

To the original question, I’m 100% up for the maintainer doing formatting changes and lint fixes to my pull requests. I’d go even further though: I’m good for you making any changes that would make it a better set of changes. Sometimes it’s by asking me to change things and sometimes by making changes yourself.

To me, that makes no difference.

Syntax Error

Sign up for Syntax Error, a monthly newsletter that helps developers turn a stressful debugging situation into a joyful exploration.