Re: format-patch and send-email

From: Junio C Hamano <>
Date: 2007-02-18 20:22:18
Xavier Maillard <> writes:

> From 50c7032fa011b1e5c7bd63e4bc474c802017677d Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
> From: Xavier Maillard <>
> Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 20:20:18 +0100
> Subject: * Added 2007 to the copyright notice
> To: <>
> * Added a note on relation between org-publish and blorg
> * Changed/corrected things here and there
> * Added a warning on needed skills before manipulating your own templates
> ---
>  doc/blorg.texi |   31 +++++++++++++++++++------------
>  1 files changed, 19 insertions(+), 12 deletions(-)

> The "To" header has been set up in my .git/config file. But why
> the 'Subject' is like this and also why are there 2 'From'
> headers ?

The "format-patch" output was designed to (minimally) mimic what
you would see in a UNIX mbox as if you (or whoever would apply
the e-mailed patches to repository) received it, so that anybody
can later run "am" on it.  The first "From " is what sometimes
is called "UNIX-From " line, which separates each piece of
e-mail in mbox formatted mailbox file.  The second one is used
to record the author of the patch.

The commit log message is expected to be:

	A single line description of a patch

	More detailed explanation of the patch with
        possibly multi-line or multi-paragraph text.

and the single line description becomes the subject.

Your commit seems to squash four completely unrelated changes
into one, and enumerates only single-liner description for each
independent item, like this:

	* foo
        * bar
        * baz
        * boa

which makes format-patch think you wanted to title it "* foo"
with more detailed description "* bar *baz *boa".  I think you
would be much happier if you acquired a habit to make smaller
commits, that touch only one thing at a time without mixing up
unrelated things together, and give more descriptive messages to
each of them.

> Actually, why can't I just do like this ? :
> git format-patch <origin> | git send-email ?

While I know format-patch can be told to write to standard
output, I do not know if send-email can be told to read from the
standard input (I do not use send-email myself).  Some people
seem to use send-imap to stuff format-patch output to imap
drafts.  I just read format-patch output into message
composition buffer of my MUA (message mode of Emacs) and send it
out just as an ordinary e-mail (iow, as if I typed it).  In
other words, you do not have to use send-email as-is, if what it
does does not suit your needs.

I suspect the intended usage original author of "send-email"
envisioned was to have lots of format-patch output files and
send them in bulk, so probably reading from standard input was
not high on its design goals.  I dunno.

While I do believe some people use it, I haven't seen much
active development/enhancement on send-email from the users

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Received on Sun Feb 18 20:22:37 2007

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