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Creating a GitHub Pull Request (video)

I just uploaded a video showing how to create a fork and a pull request in GitHub. This is a little more complicated than pull requests within the same repository because a repository owned by somebody else typically doesn’t allow you to push commits directly to it. Check out the 9-minute video, or read on for details.

The project I’m contributing to is the build image for Netlify. This is the Dockerfile that specifies what software will be installed when the Netlify servers build a static site from a repository. This enables a really nice “continuous deployment” scenario: since I’ve connected Netlify to my GitLab repository, I can tell Netlify to automatically deploy any commit that gets pushed to the master branch. I just have to tell Netlify how to build the site.

At the moment, I have to build the site myself and include the built site in the repository. Then I just tell Netlify to deploy whatever it finds in the dist/ directory of the commit. This isn’t great because anybody who contributes a commit to the repository needs either to have discipline and remember to build the site every time or else to install a pre-commit hook in their local copy of the repository.

The reason I can’t let Netlify build the site for me, like I do for my personal website, is that the static site generator I’m using uses the Clojure CLI build tools, which aren’t installed in the Netlify build image.

Which brings us back to the pull request. I cloned the netlify/build-image repository, added the Clojure CLI tools and tested everything locally, drafted a commit message, then started recording. During the recording, here’s what I did:

Again, here’s the 9-minute video on YouTube.

For more information, you can read about forks and pull requests in the GitHub documentation.