Development Workflow

We use GitLab to track all bugs and feature requests. Most of the time, you announce you are working on an issue, work on it until it's fixed, and then the issue is closed automatically when a commit with "Fixes #issue_number" is merged.

Interested users can enable notifications for an existing issue to get an email when it's updated. It's also possible to change your "Notification settings" for pitivi from the default "Global" to "Watch", to receive notifications for any activity in the entire project.

Picking an issue to work on

To get involved, start with issues tagged 4. Newcomers. It's best to get in touch with us in our chat room, to see if it's still meaningful, etc.

Once you decide, add a comment on the issue saying you're working on it.

Fixing the issue

Next is the fun part where you implement your cool feature, or fix an annoying bug:

Create a new git branch

Create a new branch with a relevant name in your local git repository.

$ git checkout -b feature_name origin/master

Commit your changes

Once you have made your changes, commit them in your local git repository. Follow the GNOME guidelines for creating commits.

Be aware that when you create a commit, pre-commit is executed to perform checks on the changes. In some cases it does some automatic fixes – when this happens, make sure those are included in the commit you want to create.

Propose your patches

Patches are proposed by creating a merge request in GitLab.

To do this, you need your own Pitivi repo on GNOME's GitLab. Start by creating an account. Then go to and press the "fork" button. Make sure to be authenticated otherwise the button won't be available.

To be able to push seamlessly to your remote fork, add your public ssh key to GitLab.

Add the remote git repository you just forked as a "remote" to your local git repository:

$ git remote add your_gitlab_username
$ git fetch your_gitlab_username

To make a merge request, first push your branch to your fork:

$ git push your_gitlab_username your_branch_name
remote: To create a merge request for docs, visit:

Open the displayed URL in the browser and fill the form for creating a merge request. Alternatively, go to > Merge Requests > New merge request.

Note: Make sure to select "Allow commits from members who can merge to the target branch". This way we'll be able to rebase the branch easily to be able to merge it in case it's behind origin/master.

The code review cycle

One of the maintainers will review your changes and either merge your branch, or comment and ask for changes.

The comments made by the reviewer have to be addressed by you:

  • If you disagree with a comment, reply how it's better differently.

  • If you agree with the requests for changes, implement the changes, commit them and push your branch.

Mark the addressed comment threads as "resolved", unless there is a disagreement. Finally, inform the reviewer when you are done!

Everybody can see the merge request and comment on it. If you see an interesting merge request, feel free to review it yourself.

Tips for creating the commits

Run gitk to see how the commit messages are formatted and try to follow the model.

Before pushing, use gitk to have a quick look at your branch and review your own changes.

Avoid creating separate "update" commits. We don't need the full history of changes in the commit history. Consider squashing these in one of the previous commits where it makes sense.

If you add some new logic and a unittest for it, the unittest should be included in the same commit as the tested logic.

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