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Pull Requests

The WebKit project has a number of expectations for how pull requests are formatted. These expectations are codified in Tools/Scripts/git-webkit pr, which contributors can run after drafting a change locally to configure a pull request. The WebKit project recommends you follow and leverage our tools. If contributors would like to use alternative tools, this document explains what Tools/Scripts/git-webkit pr is doing and how WebKit expects pull requests to be formatted.

Bug Tracking

The first step of most pull requests is creating a bug. While it is not expected that every pull request has a unique bug, it is expected that every landed commit can be linked back to a bug report. In particular, pull requests which are regressions or follow-up fixes often reference the bug the original commit references.


Pull request branches are owned by their author, which is why git-webkit setup creates a personal fork of WebKit. This means that the WebKit project cannot enforce branching idioms, although there are some suggestions the WebKit team has so that other contributors can more easily access proposed changes. Tools/Scripts/git-webkit pr derives it's eng prefixed branch from the bug title of the bug associated with a pull request.

We suggest that pull request branch names are prefixed by eng/ or dev/ so that contributors are clear which branches contain production code when they add other user's forks as remotes. Notably, EWS is unable to apply changes which come from the branch they are targeting (ie, EWS cannot apply a change from Contributor/WebKit:main onto WebKit/WebKit:main), so in order to be reviewed, changes must come from a different branch.

Commit Messages

The WebKit project heavily relies on commit messages to defend project performance and correctness along with using them to manage releases. In support of this, the WebKit project mandates the following in every commit message:

  • Bug title
  • Bug url
  • Reviewer (or explicit reason why a change is unreviewed)
  • High level explanation (optional)
  • Files changes, what was changed, and why

git-webkit setup configures .git/prepare-commit-msg such that your commit message template is formatted to the standards of the WebKit project.

In addition to pull request commits having verbose commit messages, the WebKit project also expects the content of commit messages in the pull request description. This is so that reviewers can provide feedback on the commit message itself.


Commits generally require the approval of a reviewer, although there are narrow exceptions for test expectation gardening and build fixes. Reviewers will approve pull requests through the GitHub UI by marking pull requests as "Approved." Note that approval from someone who is not a reviewer will not be recognized by Merge-Queue.


Only repository administers have direct commit access, and this is reserved for repairing infrastructure issues. Pull requests should be landed through Merge-Queue, which is achieved by applying merge-queue or unsafe-merge-queue label to your pull request.

Merge-Queue will check to make sure a change is reviewed by adding the name of all reviewers who have approved a pull request to the commit message. Merge-Queue will then check the commit message for Reviewed by.

Note that Merge-Queue will reject pull requests that are labeled by contributors who are not committers.