Git: Howto hierarchically merge from the root to the leaf of a branch tree? (Patch stack management)

I mainly use Git for version control, but have also tried out Mercurial. While I don’t really like Mercurial in general, the idea of maintaining clearly separated patches with Mercurial Queues (MQ) is quite appealing. Therefore, I am looking for something similar (but easier to use, more “gitty” and maybe even more powerful) in Git.

So I will first explain what I have in mind:

As an example, let’s say I am doing test-driven development. My master branch follows the main repository of the software. Branched out from that, I have a branch called “feature-test”, and branched out from that, “feature-implementation”:

|_ feature-test
   |_ feature-implementation

For each branch, I remember the parent branch.

Implementation would then work like this: I checkout feature-test and write some test. Then I checkout feature-implementation, rebase it to the current status of feature-test and write the implemenation. And so on.

At some point, I update master, and then rebase both feature-test and feature-implementation.

As a side note: Instead of rebasing the branches, an alternative would be to merge the changes from the parent branch. This makes conflict resolution easier. The cascading merge through the chain of branches is like a rebase, anyway.

Of course, the process described above contains a lot of tedious manual work. So I am looking for tooling for tasks like the following:

  • While on a branch, pull master from a remote branch it tracks and merge the changes down the chain of branches. When a conflict is encountered, switch to the branch where it occured, allow the user to resolve the conflict, and then continue the cascading merge (similar to what git rebase does when it encounters a conflict).
  • When checking out a branch, cascadingly merge from the ancestor branches automatically. Conflict handling should work as in the previous point.

The cascading merge should not check out master and the branches below it (unless necessary to resolve conflicts), in order to avoid rebuilds due to touched but unchanged files.

Do these requirements make sense? Is there some existing tool with a similar workflow?

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  • One Solution collect form web for “Git: Howto hierarchically merge from the root to the leaf of a branch tree? (Patch stack management)”

    Apparently, TopGit does quite exactly what I am looking for:

    1. You can define which patch*es* (yes, plural!) a patch depends on.
    2. From a patch branch, you can easily create a patch file.
    3. “tg update” drags in changes from the parent patch branch. It can also do this recursively.

    This sounds promising enough to start using it and care about the little details later.

    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.