[PATCH] add README and SubmittingPatches

Nicolas Sebrecht nicolas.s-dev at laposte.net
Sun Dec 5 20:57:25 GMT 2010

Now that I am the maintainer of the OfflineIMAP project, I need to update some

Signed-off-by: Nicolas Sebrecht <nicolas.s-dev at laposte.net>

So, here we are.

I'm in the way to use the markdown markup language at Github. In the longer run
we may want to use markdown as well for the manual and the FAQ (it's easier to
read and maintain).

Since I'm lazy, I just stole the SubmittingPatches from the Git project and did
small adjustments.

 README.markdown   |   36 ++++
 SubmittingPatches |  580 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 2 files changed, 616 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
 create mode 100644 README.markdown
 create mode 100644 SubmittingPatches

diff --git a/README.markdown b/README.markdown
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..d7b43e5
--- /dev/null
+++ b/README.markdown
@@ -0,0 +1,36 @@
+# Description
+Welcome to the official OfflineIMAP project.
+OfflineIMAP is a tool to simplify your e-mail reading. With OfflineIMAP, you can
+read the same mailbox from multiple computers. You get a current copy of your
+messages on each computer, and changes you make one place will be visible on all
+other systems. For instance, you can delete a message on your home computer, and
+it will appear deleted on your work computer as well. OfflineIMAP is also useful
+if you want to use a mail reader that does not have IMAP support, has poor IMAP
+support, or does not provide disconnected operation.
+OfflineIMAP works on pretty much any POSIX operating system, such as Linux, BSD
+operating systems, MacOS X, Solaris, etc.
+OfflineIMAP is a Free Software project licensed under the GNU General Public
+License. You can download it for free, and you can modify it. In fact, you are
+encouraged to contribute to OfflineIMAP, and doing so is fast and easy.
+This software was written by John Goerzen, who retired from maintaining. It is
+now maintained by Nicolas Sebrecht.
+# Documentation
+The documentation is available in docs/. To generate documentation use
+	$ make doc
+# Mailing list
+The user discussion, development and all exciting stuff take place in the
+[mailing list](http://lists.alioth.debian.org/mailman/listinfo/offlineimap-project).
diff --git a/SubmittingPatches b/SubmittingPatches
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..a6b53b3
--- /dev/null
+++ b/SubmittingPatches
@@ -0,0 +1,580 @@
+# Checklist (and a short version for the impatient):
+## Commits:
+	- make commits of logical units
+	- check for unnecessary whitespace with "git diff --check"
+	  before committing
+	- do not check in commented out code or unneeded files
+	- the first line of the commit message should be a short
+	  description (50 characters is the soft limit, see DISCUSSION
+	  in git-commit(1)), and should skip the full stop
+	- the body should provide a meaningful commit message, which:
+		- uses the imperative, present tense: "change",
+		  not "changed" or "changes".
+		- includes motivation for the change, and contrasts
+		  its implementation with previous behaviour
+	- add a "Signed-off-by: Your Name <you at example.com>" line to the
+	  commit message (or just use the option "-s" when committing)
+	  to confirm that you agree to the Developer's Certificate of Origin
+	- make sure that you have tests for the bug you are fixing
+	- make sure that the test suite passes after your commit
+## Patch:
+	- use "git format-patch -M" to create the patch
+	- do not PGP sign your patch
+	- do not attach your patch, but read in the mail
+	  body, unless you cannot teach your mailer to
+	  leave the formatting of the patch alone.
+	- be careful doing cut & paste into your mailer, not to
+	  corrupt whitespaces.
+	- provide additional information (which is unsuitable for
+	  the commit message) between the "---" and the diffstat
+	- if you change, add, or remove a command line option or
+	  make some other user interface change, the associated
+	  documentation should be updated as well.
+	- if your name is not writable in ASCII, make sure that
+	  you send off a message in the correct encoding.
+	- send the patch to the lists
+	  (offlineimap-project at lists.alioth.debian.org) and the
+	  maintainer (nicolas.s-dev at laposte.net) if (and only if)
+		the patch is ready for inclusion. If you use git-send-email(1),
+	  please test it first by sending email to yourself.
+	- see below for instructions specific to your mailer
+# Long version:
+I started reading over the SubmittingPatches document for Git, primarily because
+I wanted to have a document similar to it for OfflineIMAP to make sure people
+understand what they are doing when they write "Signed-off-by" line.
+But the patch submission requirements are a lot more relaxed here on the
+technical/contents front, because the OfflineIMAP is a lot smaller ;-).  So here
+is only the relevant bits.
+## Decide what to base your work on.
+In general, always base your work on the oldest branch that your
+change is relevant to.
+ - A bugfix should be based on 'maint' in general. If the bug is not
+   present in 'maint', base it on 'master'. For a bug that's not yet
+   in 'master', find the topic that introduces the regression, and
+   base your work on the tip of the topic.
+ - A new feature should be based on 'master' in general. If the new
+   feature depends on a topic that is in 'pu', but not in 'master',
+   base your work on the tip of that topic.
+ - Corrections and enhancements to a topic not yet in 'master' should
+   be based on the tip of that topic. If the topic has not been merged
+   to 'next', it's alright to add a note to squash minor corrections
+   into the series.
+ - In the exceptional case that a new feature depends on several topics
+   not in 'master', start working on 'next' or 'pu' privately and send
+   out patches for discussion. Before the final merge, you may have to
+   wait until some of the dependent topics graduate to 'master', and
+   rebase your work.
+To find the tip of a topic branch, run "git log --first-parent
+master..pu" and look for the merge commit. The second parent of this
+commit is the tip of the topic branch.
+## Make separate commits for logically separate changes.
+Unless your patch is really trivial, you should not be sending
+out a patch that was generated between your working tree and
+your commit head.  Instead, always make a commit with complete
+commit message and generate a series of patches from your
+repository.  It is a good discipline.
+Describe the technical detail of the change(s).
+If your description starts to get too long, that's a sign that you
+probably need to split up your commit to finer grained pieces.
+That being said, patches which plainly describe the things that
+help reviewers check the patch, and future maintainers understand
+the code, are the most beautiful patches.  Descriptions that summarise
+the point in the subject well, and describe the motivation for the
+change, the approach taken by the change, and if relevant how this
+differs substantially from the prior version, can be found on Usenet
+archives back into the late 80's.  Consider it like good Netiquette,
+but for code.
+### Generate your patch using git tools out of your commits.
+git based diff tools (git, Cogito, and StGIT included) generate
+unidiff which is the preferred format.
+You do not have to be afraid to use -M option to "git diff" or
+"git format-patch", if your patch involves file renames.  The
+receiving end can handle them just fine.
+Please make sure your patch does not include any extra files
+which do not belong in a patch submission.  Make sure to review
+your patch after generating it, to ensure accuracy.  Before
+sending out, please make sure it cleanly applies to the "master"
+branch head.  If you are preparing a work based on "next" branch,
+that is fine, but please mark it as such.
+## Sending your patches.
+People on the mailing list need to be able to read and
+comment on the changes you are submitting.  It is important for
+a developer to be able to "quote" your changes, using standard
+e-mail tools, so that they may comment on specific portions of
+your code.  For this reason, all patches should be submitted
+"inline".  WARNING: Be wary of your MUAs word-wrap
+corrupting your patch.  Do not cut-n-paste your patch; you can
+lose tabs that way if you are not careful.
+It is a common convention to prefix your subject line with
+[PATCH].  This lets people easily distinguish patches from other
+e-mail discussions.  Use of additional markers after PATCH and
+the closing bracket to mark the nature of the patch is also
+encouraged.  E.g. [PATCH/RFC] is often used when the patch is
+not ready to be applied but it is for discussion, [PATCH v2],
+[PATCH v3] etc. are often seen when you are sending an update to
+what you have previously sent.
+"git format-patch" command follows the best current practice to
+format the body of an e-mail message.  At the beginning of the
+patch should come your commit message, ending with the
+Signed-off-by: lines, and a line that consists of three dashes,
+followed by the diffstat information and the patch itself.  If
+you are forwarding a patch from somebody else, optionally, at
+the beginning of the e-mail message just before the commit
+message starts, you can put a "From: " line to name that person.
+You often want to add additional explanation about the patch,
+other than the commit message itself.  Place such "cover letter"
+material between the three dash lines and the diffstat.
+Do not attach the patch as a MIME attachment, compressed or not.
+Do not let your e-mail client send quoted-printable.  Do not let
+your e-mail client send format=flowed which would destroy
+whitespaces in your patches. Many
+popular e-mail applications will not always transmit a MIME
+attachment as plain text, making it impossible to comment on
+your code.  A MIME attachment also takes a bit more time to
+process.  This does not decrease the likelihood of your
+MIME-attached change being accepted, but it makes it more likely
+that it will be postponed.
+Exception:  If your mailer is mangling patches then someone may ask
+you to re-send them using MIME, that is OK.
+Do not PGP sign your patch, at least for now.  Most likely, your
+maintainer or other people on the list would not have your PGP
+key and would not bother obtaining it anyway.  Your patch is not
+judged by who you are; a good patch from an unknown origin has a
+far better chance of being accepted than a patch from a known,
+respected origin that is done poorly or does incorrect things.
+If you really really really really want to do a PGP signed
+patch, format it as "multipart/signed", not a text/plain message
+that starts with '-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----'.  That is
+not a text/plain, it's something else.
+Unless your patch is a very trivial and an obviously correct one,
+first send it with "To:" set to the mailing list, with "cc:" listing
+people who are involved in the area you are touching (the output from
+"git blame $path" and "git shortlog --no-merges $path" would help to
+identify them), to solicit comments and reviews.  After the list
+reached a consensus that it is a good idea to apply the patch, re-send
+it with "To:" set to the maintainer and optionally "cc:" the list for
+inclusion.  Do not forget to add trailers such as "Acked-by:",
+"Reviewed-by:" and "Tested-by:" after your "Signed-off-by:" line as
+## Sign your work
+To improve tracking of who did what, we've borrowed the
+"sign-off" procedure from the Linux kernel project on patches
+that are being emailed around.  Although OfflineIMAP is a lot
+smaller project it is a good discipline to follow it.
+The sign-off is a simple line at the end of the explanation for
+the patch, which certifies that you wrote it or otherwise have
+the right to pass it on as a open-source patch.  The rules are
+pretty simple: if you can certify the below:
+  Developer's Certificate of Origin 1.1
+  By making a contribution to this project, I certify that:
+  (a) The contribution was created in whole or in part by me and I
+      have the right to submit it under the open source license
+      indicated in the file; or
+  (b) The contribution is based upon previous work that, to the best
+      of my knowledge, is covered under an appropriate open source
+      license and I have the right under that license to submit that
+      work with modifications, whether created in whole or in part
+      by me, under the same open source license (unless I am
+      permitted to submit under a different license), as indicated
+      in the file; or
+  (c) The contribution was provided directly to me by some other
+          person who certified (a), (b) or (c) and I have not modified
+          it.
+	(d) I understand and agree that this project and the contribution
+	    are public and that a record of the contribution (including all
+	    personal information I submit with it, including my sign-off) is
+	    maintained indefinitely and may be redistributed consistent with
+	    this project or the open source license(s) involved.
+then you just add a line saying
+	Signed-off-by: Random J Developer <random at developer.example.org>
+This line can be automatically added by git if you run the git-commit
+command with the -s option.
+Notice that you can place your own Signed-off-by: line when
+forwarding somebody else's patch with the above rules for
+D-C-O.  Indeed you are encouraged to do so.  Do not forget to
+place an in-body "From: " line at the beginning to properly attribute
+the change to its true author (see above).
+Also notice that a real name is used in the Signed-off-by: line. Please
+don't hide your real name.
+If you like, you can put extra tags at the end:
++ "Reported-by:" is used to to credit someone who found the bug that
+   the patch attempts to fix.
++ "Acked-by:" says that the person who is more familiar with the area
+   the patch attempts to modify liked the patch.
++ "Reviewed-by:", unlike the other tags, can only be offered by the
+   reviewer and means that she is completely satisfied that the patch
+   is ready for application.  It is usually offered only after a
+   detailed review.
++ "Tested-by:" is used to indicate that the person applied the patch
+   and found it to have the desired effect.
+You can also create your own tag or use one that's in common usage
+such as "Thanks-to:", "Based-on-patch-by:", or "Mentored-by:".
+An ideal patch flow
+Here is an ideal patch flow for this project the current maintainer
+suggests to the contributors:
+ (0) You come up with an itch.  You code it up.
+ (1) Send it to the list and cc people who may need to know about
+     the change.
+     The people who may need to know are the ones whose code you
+     are butchering.  These people happen to be the ones who are
+     most likely to be knowledgeable enough to help you, but
+     they have no obligation to help you (i.e. you ask for help,
+     don't demand).  "git log -p -- $area_you_are_modifying" would
+     help you find out who they are.
+ (2) You get comments and suggestions for improvements.  You may
+     even get them in a "on top of your change" patch form.
+ (3) Polish, refine, and re-send to the list and the people who
+     spend their time to improve your patch.  Go back to step (2).
+ (4) The list forms consensus that the last round of your patch is
+     good.  Send it to the list and cc the maintainer.
+ (5) A topic branch is created with the patch and is merged to 'next',
+     and cooked further and eventually graduates to 'master'.
+In any time between the (2)-(3) cycle, the maintainer may pick it up
+from the list and queue it to 'pu', in order to make it easier for
+people play with it without having to pick up and apply the patch to
+their trees themselves.
+Know the status of your patch after submission
+* You can use Git itself to find out when your patch is merged in
+  master. 'git pull --rebase' will automatically skip already-applied
+  patches, and will let you know. This works only if you rebase on top
+  of the branch in which your patch has been merged (i.e. it will not
+  tell you if your patch is merged in pu if you rebase on top of
+  master).
+* Read the git mailing list, the maintainer regularly posts messages
+  entitled "What's cooking in git.git" and "What's in git.git" giving
+  the status of various proposed changes.
+MUA specific hints
+Some of patches I receive or pick up from the list share common
+patterns of breakage.  Please make sure your MUA is set up
+properly not to corrupt whitespaces.  Here are two common ones
+I have seen:
+* Empty context lines that do not have _any_ whitespace.
+* Non empty context lines that have one extra whitespace at the
+  beginning.
+One test you could do yourself if your MUA is set up correctly is:
+* Send the patch to yourself, exactly the way you would, except
+  To: and Cc: lines, which would not contain the list and
+  maintainer address.
+* Save that patch to a file in UNIX mailbox format.  Call it say
+  a.patch.
+* Try to apply to the tip of the "master" branch from the
+  git.git public repository:
+    $ git fetch http://kernel.org/pub/scm/git/git.git master:test-apply
+    $ git checkout test-apply
+    $ git reset --hard
+    $ git am a.patch
+If it does not apply correctly, there can be various reasons.
+* Your patch itself does not apply cleanly.  That is _bad_ but
+  does not have much to do with your MUA.  Please rebase the
+  patch appropriately.
+* Your MUA corrupted your patch; "am" would complain that
+  the patch does not apply.  Look at .git/rebase-apply/ subdirectory and
+  see what 'patch' file contains and check for the common
+  corruption patterns mentioned above.
+* While you are at it, check what are in 'info' and
+  'final-commit' files as well.  If what is in 'final-commit' is
+  not exactly what you would want to see in the commit log
+  message, it is very likely that your maintainer would end up
+  hand editing the log message when he applies your patch.
+  Things like "Hi, this is my first patch.\n", if you really
+  want to put in the patch e-mail, should come after the
+  three-dash line that signals the end of the commit message.
+(Johannes Schindelin)
+I don't know how many people still use pine, but for those poor
+souls it may be good to mention that the quell-flowed-text is
+needed for recent versions.
+... the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option, too. AFAIK it
+was introduced in 4.60.
+(Linus Torvalds)
+And 4.58 needs at least this.
+diff-tree 8326dd8350be64ac7fc805f6563a1d61ad10d32c (from e886a61f76edf5410573e92e38ce22974f9c40f1)
+Author: Linus Torvalds <torvalds at g5.osdl.org>
+Date:   Mon Aug 15 17:23:51 2005 -0700
+    Fix pine whitespace-corruption bug
+    There's no excuse for unconditionally removing whitespace from
+    the pico buffers on close.
+diff --git a/pico/pico.c b/pico/pico.c
+--- a/pico/pico.c
++++ b/pico/pico.c
+@@ -219,7 +219,9 @@ PICO *pm;
+	    switch(pico_all_done){	/* prepare for/handle final events */
+	      case COMP_EXIT :		/* already confirmed */
+		packheader();
++#if 0
+		stripwhitespace();
+		c |= COMP_EXIT;
+		break;
+(Daniel Barkalow)
+> A patch to SubmittingPatches, MUA specific help section for
+> users of Pine 4.63 would be very much appreciated.
+Ah, it looks like a recent version changed the default behavior to do the
+right thing, and inverted the sense of the configuration option. (Either
+that or Gentoo did it.) So you need to set the
+"no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option, unless the option you have is
+"strip-whitespace-before-send", in which case you should avoid checking
+(A Large Angry SCM)
+By default, Thunderbird will both wrap emails as well as flag them as
+being 'format=flowed', both of which will make the resulting email unusable
+by git.
+Here are some hints on how to successfully submit patches inline using
+There are two different approaches.  One approach is to configure
+Thunderbird to not mangle patches.  The second approach is to use
+an external editor to keep Thunderbird from mangling the patches.
+Approach #1 (configuration):
+This recipe is current as of Thunderbird  Three steps:
+  1.  Configure your mail server composition as plain text
+      Edit...Account Settings...Composition & Addressing,
+        uncheck 'Compose Messages in HTML'.
+  2.  Configure your general composition window to not wrap
+      Edit..Preferences..Composition, wrap plain text messages at 0
+  3.  Disable the use of format=flowed
+      Edit..Preferences..Advanced..Config Editor.  Search for:
+        mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed
+      toggle it to make sure it is set to 'false'.
+After that is done, you should be able to compose email as you
+otherwise would (cut + paste, git-format-patch | git-imap-send, etc),
+and the patches should not be mangled.
+Approach #2 (external editor):
+This recipe appears to work with the current [*1*] Thunderbird from Suse.
+The following Thunderbird extensions are needed:
+	AboutConfig 0.5
+		http://aboutconfig.mozdev.org/
+	External Editor 0.7.2
+		http://globs.org/articles.php?lng=en&pg=8
+1) Prepare the patch as a text file using your method of choice.
+2) Before opening a compose window, use Edit->Account Settings to
+uncheck the "Compose messages in HTML format" setting in the
+"Composition & Addressing" panel of the account to be used to send the
+patch. [*2*]
+3) In the main Thunderbird window, _before_ you open the compose window
+for the patch, use Tools->about:config to set the following to the
+indicated values:
+	mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed	=> false
+	mailnews.wraplength		=> 0
+4) Open a compose window and click the external editor icon.
+5) In the external editor window, read in the patch file and exit the
+editor normally.
+6) Back in the compose window: Add whatever other text you wish to the
+message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.
+7) Optionally, undo the about:config/account settings changes made in
+steps 2 & 3.
+*1* Version 1.0 (20041207) from the MozillaThunderbird-1.0-5 rpm of Suse
+9.3 professional updates.
+*2* It may be possible to do this with about:config and the following
+settings but I haven't tried, yet.
+	mail.html_compose			=> false
+	mail.identity.default.compose_html	=> false
+	mail.identity.id?.compose_html		=> false
+(Lukas Sandström)
+There is a script in contrib/thunderbird-patch-inline which can help
+you include patches with Thunderbird in an easy way. To use it, do the
+steps above and then use the script as the external editor.
+'|' in the *Summary* buffer can be used to pipe the current
+message to an external program, and this is a handy way to drive
+"git am".  However, if the message is MIME encoded, what is
+piped into the program is the representation you see in your
+*Article* buffer after unwrapping MIME.  This is often not what
+you would want for two reasons.  It tends to screw up non ASCII
+characters (most notably in people's names), and also
+whitespaces (fatal in patches).  Running 'C-u g' to display the
+message in raw form before using '|' to run the pipe can work
+this problem around.
+This should help you to submit patches inline using KMail.
+1) Prepare the patch as a text file.
+2) Click on New Mail.
+3) Go under "Options" in the Composer window and be sure that
+"Word wrap" is not set.
+4) Use Message -> Insert file... and insert the patch.
+5) Back in the compose window: add whatever other text you wish to the
+message, complete the addressing and subject fields, and press send.
+GMail does not appear to have any way to turn off line wrapping in the web
+interface, so this will mangle any emails that you send.  You can however
+use "git send-email" and send your patches through the GMail SMTP server, or
+use any IMAP email client to connect to the google IMAP server and forward
+the emails through that.
+To use "git send-email" and send your patches through the GMail SMTP server,
+edit ~/.gitconfig to specify your account settings:
+	smtpencryption = tls
+	smtpserver = smtp.gmail.com
+	smtpuser = user at gmail.com
+	smtppass = p4ssw0rd
+	smtpserverport = 587
+Once your commits are ready to be sent to the mailing list, run the
+following commands:
+  $ git format-patch --cover-letter -M origin/master -o outgoing/
+  $ edit outgoing/0000-*
+  $ git send-email outgoing/*
+To submit using the IMAP interface, first, edit your ~/.gitconfig to specify your
+account settings:
+	folder = "[Gmail]/Drafts"
+	host = imaps://imap.gmail.com
+	user = user at gmail.com
+	pass = p4ssw0rd
+	port = 993
+	sslverify = false
+You might need to instead use: folder = "[Google Mail]/Drafts" if you get an error
+that the "Folder doesn't exist".
+Once your commits are ready to be sent to the mailing list, run the
+following commands:
+  $ git format-patch --cover-letter -M --stdout origin/master | git imap-send
+Just make sure to disable line wrapping in the email client (GMail web
+interface will line wrap no matter what, so you need to use a real
+IMAP client).

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