Recommended way to develop/fix with packages

What’s the easiest way to provide patches to packages. I guess I should for the project on github but how do I make then sure that Julia uses my branch instead of the one I installed?

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This is my workflow (for patching a hypothetical Example package):

  1. Get a local copy of the package, this can be done with pkg> develop Example. This will clone the package to ~.julia/dev/Example by default. It will also make sure that the local copy is the one that is “installed” in the sense that using Example will use the files in that local folder.
  2. Edit the package in ~.julia/dev/Example and make sure your changes work as you expect.
  3. Fork the package on GitHub and add your fork as a remote. Then use git to commit your changes, and push to your fork.
  4. Open a pull request.

Probably typo, should be “remote”.

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Why does this have to be so complicated? :thinking:

Like “add your fork as a remote.” Not a one click action, not even a one command line action.

Can you explain what you find so complicated?

Forking and requesting a PR are done on GitHub’s side. The only phase Julia is involved in is locating the git project, which is a single command: pkg> develop

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The order of operations for easy pull requests is to:

  1. Fork the repo you’re trying to fix (on github)
  2. Clone the fork to your computer
  3. Make changes to the local copy
  4. Push changes to your forked repo
  5. Open pull request via the github app

If you happen to start developing a package you already have locally (i.e. if you find a bug and want to fix it), then you have to follow this mode of operations.

  1. Checkout new branch (because you’ll be at HEAD)
  2. Add remote branch using:
git remote add upstream <my_fork_url>
  1. Make changes to the local copy
  2. Push changes to the upstream remote (i.e. your fork)
  3. Open pull request via the github app

Because you don’t want anyone to be able to automatically add their code to your repo without review. You want them to work on their own remote and give a PR, not push to your repo. I think that’s a very very very valid concern to have.


Thanks for the command line for adding the remote branch. :slight_smile:

But Julia already has git integration. And I guess that github has a public api.
So wouldn’t it possible to ad Pkg-commands for most of these steps?


In Julia 0.6 with PkgDev it was just one command


it automatically made a fork, within that a branch with the fix and opened the web browser with the prepared pull request. Once PkgDev is ready for 1.0 we hopefully have that workflow again.


Sounds promising! :hugs:

This is a one-line command,

hub fork

Using the “hub” utility for working with GitHub repos.

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To expand a little on previous answers, these are the steps:

  1. In the Julia REPL, ‘Develop’ the package. This will clone the package to ~/.julia/dev/Example
pkg> develop Example
  1. Fork the package on GitHub
  2. On the command line, add your fork as a remote:
cd ~/.julia/dev/Example
git remote add upstream<your github username>/Example.jl.git
  1. Create a new branch, giving it a name reflecting the change
git checkout -b new-feature
  1. Make your changes
  2. Use git commit to commit your changes. Several commits can be made.
  3. On the command line, push the changes to your fork:
git push upstream new-feature
  1. Open a pull request on Github

It looks like the GitHub CLI provides a fork operation.

Here’s my experiment:

mkdir tmp.
cd tmp
julia> ]
pkg> activate .
(tmp) pkg> add Revise Example
(tmp) pkg> develop Example
   Resolving package versions...
    Updating `~/development/Julia/tmp/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.3 ⇒ v0.5.4 `~/.julia/dev/Example`
    Updating `~/development/Julia/tmp/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.3 ⇒ v0.5.4 `~/.julia/dev/Example`

in 'nother terminal:

cd  ~/.julia/dev/Example
[0] % git remote -v
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

# you'll have to set up the GitHub CLI authentication

› : ~/.julia/dev/Example
[0] % gh repo fork 
✓ Created fork <whatsisname>/Example.jl
? Would you like to add a remote for the fork? Yes
✓ Added remote origin

% git remote -vv
origin<whatsisname>/Example.jl.git (fetch)
origin<whatsisname>/Example.jl.git (push)
upstream (fetch)
upstream (push)

Then you’d make a branch for your changes - and go through the normal process.

I think that has a reasonably easy workflow with a small set-up cost.