The git send-email command is a powerful tool that allows you to send a collection of patches as emails. This is particularly useful for submitting patches to open-source projects, code reviews, or collaborating with others on code changes. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how git send-email works:
1. Sending Patches as Emails: The primary purpose of git send-email is to send a series of patches, which represent code changes, as individual emails. Each email contains one patch and its related metadata.
2. Use Cases:
- Code Submission: Open-source projects often use git send-email to receive patches from contributors who are not part of the project’s core team.
- Code Review: Developers use git send-email to share their changes for peer review before they are merged into the main codebase.
- Collaboration: It’s useful for collaborating on code changes across distributed teams or working on larger changes that need to be broken down into smaller patches.
3. Patches Source: Patches can be specified as:
- Files: You can provide a list of patch files that you want to send as emails.
- Directions: You can specify a range of commits or revisions, and Git will generate patches for those commits.
- Revision List: You can provide a list of specific commits or revisions to create patches from.
4. Sending Emails: git send-email doesn’t send emails directly, but it prepares a series of email drafts. You need a working email client to actually send the emails. The generated emails include the patch content, authorship information, subject, and other metadata.
5. Configuration: You need to configure your email settings before using git send-email. This includes providing your email address, name, SMTP server settings, and other required information.
6. Attachments and Inlining: Depending on the email client, patches can be attached as files or inlined within the email body. The specific behavior can be configured in your email client.
7. Interactive and Non-Interactive Modes: git send-email supports both interactive and non-interactive modes. In the interactive mode, it guides you through the process of sending emails, while in the non-interactive mode, you can script the sending of multiple patches.
8. Commit Messages and Metadata: The emails generated by git send-email typically include the commit message, author, date, and other relevant metadata to provide context about the patch.
9. Commit Ranges: You can specify a range of commits to generate patches for. For example, you can specify a range like commitA..commitB, and git send-email will create patches for all the commits between commitA (exclusive) and commitB (inclusive).
10. Collaboration and Review Workflow: git send-email is often used in combination with other tools and workflows to facilitate code collaboration, submission, and review.
“git send-email” Command Examples
1. Send the last commit in the current branch:
# git send-email -1
2. Send a given commit:
# git send-email -1 commit
3. Send multiple (e.g. 10) commits in the current branch:
# git send-email -10
4. Send an introductory email message for the patch series:
# git send-email -number_of_commits --compose
5. Review and edit the email message for each patch you’re about to send:
# git send-email -number_of_commits --annotate
In summary, git send-email is a command that facilitates the process of sending patches as emails. It’s a valuable tool for sharing code changes, submitting patches, and collaborating with other developers. It’s important to configure your email settings correctly and understand the workflow before using this command, as it involves both Git and email client interactions.