Overview

The key concepts or models of Patchwork are outlined below.

Projects

Projects typically represent a software project or sub-project. A Patchwork server can host multiple projects. Each project can have multiple maintainers. Projects usually have a 1:1 mapping with a mailing list, though it’s also possible to have multiple projects in the same list using the subject as filter. Patches, cover letters, and series are all associated with a single project.

People

People are anyone who has submitted a patch, cover letter, or comment to a Patchwork instance.

Users

Users are anyone who has created an account on a given Patchwork instance.

Standard Users

A standard user can associate multiple email addresses with their user account, create bundles and store TODO lists.

Maintainers

Maintainers are a special type of user that with permissions to do certain operations that regular Patchwork users can’t. Patchwork maintainers usually have a 1:1 mapping with a project’s code maintainers though this is not necessary.

The operations that a maintainer can invoke include:

  • Change the state of a patch
  • Archive a patch
  • Delegate a patch, or be delegated a patch

Submissions

Patchwork captures three types of mail to mailing lists: patches, cover letters, and replies to either patches or cover letters, a.k.a. comments. Any mail that does not fit one of these categories is ignored.

Patches

Patches are the central object in Patchwork structure. A patch contains both a diff and some metadata, such as the name, the description, the author, the version of the patch etc. Patchwork stores not only the patch itself but also various metadata associated with the email that the patch was parsed from, such as the message headers or the date the message itself was received.

Cover Letters

Cover letters provide a way to offer a “big picture” overview of a series of patches. When using Git, these mails can be recognised by way of their 0/N subject prefix, e.g. [00/11] A sample series. Like patches, Patchwork stores not only the various aspects of the cover letter itself, such as the name and body of the cover letter, but also various metadata associated with the email that the cover letter was parsed from.

Comments

Comments are replies to a submission - either a patch or a cover letter. Unlike a Mail User Agent (MUA) like Gmail, Patchwork does not thread comments. Instead, every comment is associated with either a patch or a cover letter, and organized by date.

Patch Metadata

Patchwork allows users to store various metadata against patches. This metadata is only configurable by a maintainer.

States

States track the state of patch in its lifecycle. States vary from project to project, but generally a minimum subset of “new”, “rejected” and “accepted” will exist.

Delegates

Delegates are Patchwork users who are responsible for both reviewing a patch and setting its eventual state in Patchwork. This makes them akin to reviewers in other tools. Delegation works particularly well for larger projects where various subsystems, each with their own maintainer(s), can be identified. Only one delegate can be assigned to a patch.

Note

Patchwork supports automatic delegation of patches. Refer to Autodelegation for more information.

Tags

Tags are specially formatted metadata appended to the foot the body of a patch or a comment on a patch. Patchwork extracts these tags at parse time and associates them with the patch. You add extra tags to an email by replying to the email. The following tags are available on a standard Patchwork install:

Acked-by:

For example:

Acked-by: Stephen Finucane <stephen@that.guru>

Tested-by:

For example:

Tested-by: Stephen Finucane <stephen@that.guru>

Reviewed-by:

For example:

Reviewed-by: Stephen Finucane <stephen@that.guru>

The available tags, along with the significance of said tags, varies from project to project and Patchwork instance to Patchwork instance. The kernel project documentation provides an overview of the supported tags for the Linux kernel project.

Checks

Checks store the results of any tests executed (or executing) for a given patch. This is useful, for example, when using a continuous integration (CI) system to test patches. Checks have a number of fields associated with them:

Context

A label to discern check from the checks of other testing systems

Description

A brief, optional description of the check

Target URL

A target URL where a user can find information related to this check, such as test logs.

State

The state of the check. One of: pending, success, warning, fail

User

The user creating the check

Note

Checks can only be created through the Patchwork APIs. Refer to ../api for more information.

Collections

Patchwork provides a number of ways to store groups of patches. Some of these are automatically generated, while others are user-defined.

Series

Series are groups of patches, along with an optional cover letter. Series are mostly dumb containers, though they also contain some metadata themselves such as a version (which is inherited by the patches and cover letter) and a count of the number of patches found in the series.

Bundles

Bundles are custom, user-defined groups of patches. Bundles can be used to keep patch lists, preserving order, for future inclusion in a tree. There’s no restriction of number of patches and they don’t even need to be in the same project. A single patch also can be part of multiple bundles at the same time. An example of Bundle usage would be keeping track of the Patches that are ready for merge to the tree.

To-do Lists

Patchwork users can store a to-do list of patches.

Events

Events are raised whenever patches are created or modified.

All events have a number of common properties, along with some event-specific properties:

category

The type of event

project

The project this event belongs to

date

When this event was created

Note

Checks can only be created and read through the Patchwork APIs. Refer to ../api/index for more information.

Cover Letter Created

Sent when a cover letter is created.

category

cover-created

cover

Created cover letter

Patch Created

Sent when a patch is created.

category

patch-created

patch

Created patch

Patch Completed

Sent when a patch in a series has its dependencies met, or when a patch that is not in a series is created (since that patch has no dependencies).

category

patch-completed

patch

Completed patch

series

Series from which patch dependencies were extracted, if any

Patch Delegated

Sent when a patch’s delegate is changed.

category

patch-delegated

patch

Updated patch

previous

Previous delegate, if any

current

Current delegate, if any

Patch State Changed

Sent when a patch’s state is changed.

category

patch-state-changed

patch

Updated patch

previous

Previous state

current

Current state

Check Created

Sent when a patch check is created.

category

check-created

check

Created check

Series Created

Sent when a series is created.

category

series-created

series

Created series

Series Completed

Sent when a series is completed.

category

series-completed

series

Completed series

What’s Not Exposed

  • Bundles

    We don’t expose an “added to bundle” event as it’s unlikely that this will be useful to either users or CI setters.

  • Comments

    Like Bundles, there likely isn’t much value in exposing these via the API.