Welcome to the Doctrine Project Contributors Guide. This documentation
aims to document how contributors and maintainers should work when using
git, development workflow, build process, dependency management, etc.
The Doctrine Project is the home of a selected set of PHP libraries
primarily focused on providing persistence services and related
functionality. Its prize projects are the Object Relational Mapper and
the Database Abstraction Layer it is built on top of. You can view a
list of all projects on the website.
Contributors vs Maintainers
Before continuing you need to understand the difference between a
contributor and a maintainer.
- Contributor: A contributor is someone from the outside not on the
core development team of the project that wants to contribute some
changes to a project.
- Maintainer: A maintainer is someone on the core development team of
the project and has commit access to the main repository of the
Who is a contributor? A contributor can be anyone! It could be you.
Continue reading this section if you wish to get involved and start
contributing back to a Doctrine project.
- Setup a GitHub account.
- Fork the repository of the project you want to contribute to. In this example
it will be DBAL
- Clone your fork locally
- Enter the dbal directory and add the doctrine remote
$ cd dbal
$ git remote add doctrine git://github.com/doctrine/dbal.git
Branching from the default branch
New pull requests are created with the repository's default branch as base branch.
The default branch is the branch you see when you enter the repository page on GitHub.
In this DBAL example, it's the branch with the name 2.11.x. The branch name reflects the
current lowest supported version of a repository.
Newly introduced changes to 2.11.x will be up-merged at a later point in time
to newer version branches (e.g. 2.12.x, 3.0.x). This way you don't have to
re-introduce a new fix or feature of 2.11.x with another pull request to
the other version branches.
Keeping the default branch up-to-date!
Once all this is done, you'll be able to keep your local branches up to
date with the following command:
The following names will be used to differentiate between the different
- doctrine - The "official" Doctrine DBAL repository
- origin - Your fork of the official repository on GitHub
- local - This will be your local clone of origin
As a contributor you will push your completed local topic branch
to origin. As a contributor you will pull updates from
doctrine. As a maintainer (write-access) you will merge branches
from contributors into doctrine.
The doctrine repository holds the following primary branches:
- doctrine/2.11.x Development towards the next release.
- doctrine/\* Maintenance branches of existing releases.
These branches exist in parallel and are defined as follows:
doctrine/2.11.x is the branch where the source code of HEAD
always reflects the latest version. Each released stable version will be
a tagged commit in a doctrine/\* branch. Each released unstable
version will be a tagged commit in the doctrine/2.11.x branch.
NOTE You should never commit to your forked default branch (origin/2.11.x).
Changes to origin/2.11.x will never be merged into
doctrine/2.11.x. All work must be done in a topic branch,
which are explained below.
Topic branches are for contributors to develop bug fixes, new features,
etc. so that they can be easily merged to 2.11.x. They must follow a
few rules as listed below:
- May branch off from: 2.11.x whenever possible, or a newer version
branch otherwise. Keep in mind that your changes will be
up-merged to higher version branches by maintainers after the merge if
they are applicable.
- Branch naming convention: anything except master, the default branch name,
or version branch names.
Topic branches are used to develop new features and fix reported issues.
When starting development of a feature, the target release in which this
feature will be incorporated may well be unknown. The essence of a topic
branch is that it exists as long as the feature is in development, but
will eventually be merged into 2.11.x or a release branch (to
add the new feature or bugfix to a next release) or discarded (in case
of a disappointing experiment).
Topic branches should exist in your local and origin
repositories only, there is no need for them to exist in doctrine.
Creating a topic branch
First create an appropriately named branch. When starting work on a new
topic, branch off from doctrine/2.11.x or a doctrine/\* branch:
$ git checkout -b fix-weird-bug doctrine/2.11.x
Switched to a new branch "fix-weird-bug"
Now do some work, make some changes then commit them:
$ git status
$ git add -p
$ git commit -v
Crafting meaningful commit messages
Commit messages should look like emails, meaning they should have a
subject, but also a body. The subject should be on the first line, and
not exceed 50 chars. It should tell us what you did, and every change in
the diff should have to do with that subject. The body should be
separated from it by a blank line and should tell us why you did what
you did. That is also a good place to tell people about alternate
solutions that were considered and the reasons for rejecting them. Links
to related issues are more than welcome, but should be summarized so
that the pull request can be understood without resorting to them.
Ideally, the git history should be understandable without a network
connection. Here is an example of a good although fictitious commit
Call foo::bar() instead of bar::baz()
This fixes a bug that arises when doing this or that, because baz()
needs a flux capacitor object that might not be defined.
I considered calling foobar(), but decided against because
There are already a few articles (or even single purpose websites) about
this in case you want to read more about this:
To squash or not to squash
The best way to avoid having to squash anything in the first place is to
amend your last commit if that's indeed where your extra change is meant
to go. That being said, sometimes you end up with many commits and it's
too late for that. Some other times, code review has already started and
it can be better not to touch already reviewed commits. You can signal
that they should ultimately be squashed by using
--fixup=HEAD, which will also spare you the creation of a commit
message since it will reuse the previous one.
Now let's say that code review is finished, or that it hasn't started,
and that you want to squash some commits.
If you are in the fairly simple case where you want squash all your
commits into one, you can take the following steps described in the manual
to achieve that.
If you are in a more complex case where you would very much like to keep
your commits separate, there are other solutions.
To take a specific example, let us say that you made 3 commits A, B, C,
and you have CS issues in A and in C.
To make sure that is no longer the case, fixing each of these commits
can be done like this:
git rebase --exec "vendor/bin/phpcbf && vendor/bin/phpcs" A^
That command will run phpcbf and then phpcs for each of your commits and
will halt for A and C, but not for B because in the case of B they would
exit with a zero status code. That will let you amend A, after which you
can resume the rebase until you do the same for C. Here is how it would
look like on A:
$ vendor/bin/phpcs # check for issues phpcbf could not fix
$ git add -p # commit whatever issues were fixed
$ git commit --amend # change A
$ git rebase --continue # resume the rebase
You should be able to apply the example above with any tool we use in
our CI pipelines, such as PHPUnit, PHPStan or Psalm.
git rebase --interactive is a really powerful tool and we barely
scratched the tip of the iceberg here. If you want to learn more about
it, we recommend you watch this talk from Pauline Vos
Of course, if you want to craft good commits with good messages, you
will have a hard time if the changeset you are describing does too many
things. That might very well happen if you notice small things along the
way that are unrelated to your PR, but too small to warrant a separate
git add --patch or
git add -p will be of invaluable help to
commit things separately.
On the contrary, there are commits that typically do not need to exist,
such as commits that fix coding style or address minor review comments.
Bear in mind that the git log is not only aimed at reviewers, but also
at anyone who wants to understand some change you made. Do not distract
them with cs fixes. Instead, try to produce a commit that contains your
changes and the necessary fixes to pass coding standard checks.
Also, it's best if all of your commits pass the build, because that
git bisect friendly, but it also means they are likely to
be revertable independently from other commits in your PR. While being
revertable is not particularly crucial to us, it can help you decide
whether to squash or whether to split. For instance, it would not make
sense to revert a commit documenting a feature without also reverting
the code for that feature. That means there should be only once commit
with both the code and the docs here.
Rebasing on upstream changes
Next, merge or rebase your commit against doctrine/2.11.x. With your
work done in a local topic branch, you'll want to assist upstream
merge by rebasing your commits. You can either do this manually with
rebase, or use the
pull --rebase shortcut. You
may encounter merge conflicts, which you should fix and then mark as
add, and then continue rebasing with
rebase --continue. At any stage, you can abort the rebase with
rebase --abort unlike nasty merges which will leave files strewn
$ git fetch doctrine
$ git rebase doctrine/2.11.x fix-weird-bug
Push your branch to origin:
Finished topic branches should be pushed to origin for a
maintainer to review and pull into doctrine as appropriate:
$ git push origin fix-weird-bug
To [email protected]:hobodave/dbal.git
* [new branch] fix-weird-bug -> fix-weird-bug
Now you are ready to send a pull request from this branch and ask for a
review from a maintainer.
Topic Branch Cleanup
Once your work has been merged by the branch maintainer, it will no
longer be necessary to keep the local branch or remote branch, so you
can remove them!
Sync your local 2.11.x branch:
$ git checkout 2.11.x
$ git pull --rebase
Remove your local topic branch using -d to ensure that it has been merged by
upstream. Branch -d will not delete a branch that is not an ancestor of
your current head.
From the git-branch man page:
Delete a branch. The branch must be fully merged in HEAD.
Delete a branch irrespective of its merged status.
Remove your local topic branch:
$ git branch -d fix-weird-bug
Remove your remote branch at origin:
$ git push origin :fix-weird-bug
Project dependencies between Doctrine projects are handled through
composer. The code of the particular Doctrine project you have cloned is
located under lib/Doctrine. The source code of dependencies to other
projects resides under vendor/.
To bump/upgrade a dependency version you just need to update the version
constraint in composer.json and run:
You must have installed the library with composer and the dev
dependencies (default). To run the tests:
You can read more about how to report security issues in our Security Policy.
You can learn more about the maintainer workflow
here. Continue reading if you are
interested in learning more about how to get started with your first
The doctrine-project.org website
is completely open source! If you want to learn how to contribute to the
Doctrine website and documentation you can read more about it