Backport changes

Most of the time changes will be made to branch main and backported.

When creating a PR, it is possible to add the Releases in the commit message (as done in the core):

Releases: main, 111.5

However, this is not enforced and not always done. In any case, it is up to the user merging a PR to decide how far the changes are to be backported.

Here are some tips and conventions:

Community user: What should I do if I found an error in the documentation that applies to several versions?

Apply your changes to the latest version you have verified your change to work with. If it is possible, apply your changed to the branch main.

Leave a hint about which versions you have tested, for example:

Verified this on 11.5 and 10.4, I suspect it will also still be the case on main. Could
someone verify this please?

Releases: main, 11.5, 10.4

The backporting itself will be done by the maintainers of the documentation team. Sometimes automatic backporting is not possible due to changes in the documentation structure. In such a case you will be asked if you would like to provide a pull request for the back versions.


Only bugs will be backported more then one version. Improvements etc can only be backported to the latest LTS release.

Merger: The pull request need to be backported, what should I do?

When the PR needs also to be backported, put a note about the versions in a comments if they are not there yet:

Releases: main, 11.5

Add the label backport required to the PR. Merge the PR into master whenever possible. Otherwise merge it into the latest version it applies to.

Who is doing the backport?

As it is usually more work to do each backport separately as doing them all at once we collect the backports by marking the PR with the label label:"backport required".

The maintainer doing the sweeping week will then apply all backports that can be done automatically by the end of the month. Backports that need to be handed manually can be send back to the author of the PR. In such a case a separate PR for the version in question needs to be made by the author.

Up to which version?

Convention: We backport to the versions still in LTS (if the change applies to them).

There may be reasons to do this differently:

  • Decisions about which versions to backport to are at the discretion of this user doing the merging.
  • Sometimes too many changes are necessary because of merge conflicts. Sometimes, the structure has changed. In this case, decide if it is worth the effort.

How to merge?

Using the second option in the green “Merge pull request” button Squash and merge has proven useful for a number of reasons:

  1. This merges everything into one commit which makes it easier to cherry pick
  2. This automatically adds the PR number into the commit message which adds a reference to the original PR when merging or cherry-picking this to another branch. That way the backport process is visible in the pull request.

If there are more than 1 contributor who committed changes, a text about additional authors is automatically added to the commit.

How to backport?

If you cherry-pick a commit locally, you can (optionally) use -x to automatically insert information that this is a cherry-pick and the original commit id.

This makes the history clearer. Sometimes minor changes have to be done while backporting to fix merge conflicts.

git cherry-pick -x <commit-id>

This is how the commit might look like:

Author: Author <email>
Date:   Fri Jun 26 15:50:08 2020 +0200

   [TASK] Subject

   (cherry picked from commit 609493dd8893cbac7ad78aa38a23e02d011bb0c2)