patchwork feature request: support for patch series cover letters?

Jeremy Kerr jk at
Fri Jan 7 21:43:58 EST 2011

Hi Peter,

> Most qemu patches get sent to the list as multi-patch sets with
> an initial "[PATCH 00/nn]" "cover letter". Unfortunately patchwork
> doesn't do anything with the cover letter, so it just shows the
> individual sub-patches.
> Would it be possible for patchwork to also handle the 'cover letter'
> email, so that:
>  * there's a single URL you can refer to for the whole patchset
> (which could link to the patch URLs for all its parts)
>  * patchwork recorded the overall rationale for the patchset as
> documented in the cover letter (and discussion on it which was
> sent as a reply to the cover letter)
> ?
> (Perhaps patchsets should be automatically turned into
> patchwork bundles? I'm not sure.)

Yeah, this is something I'd like to do too. I see bundles as user-created, so 
would prefer some other system of grouping.

I've previously thought this could be solved by adding 'relations' between 
patches, that can be used to express all sorts of stuff, like:

 * patch X replaces patch Y,
 * patch X is a add-on to patch Y, or
 * patch X is in the same series as patch y

However, the patch-cover-letter case might break the last case (and isn't 
really the best way to express grouping).

So how does this sound (just taking some initial notes here):

Add patch 'groups', which have:

  * A group leader - the cover letter, or the first patch in the series if
      there is none.

  * Member patches

Some bits to consider:

Parsing: currently, if a mail does not contain a patch, we see if it's a 
follow up to an existing patch, and discard it if not. This probably won't 
work for cover letters, as it's likely that we haven't parsed any patches from 
the series yet. For the cover letters, we'd need to keep a record of 
'potential' cover letters, and try and match it up with patches that come in 

Display: the patch list will need to include the patch groups, as well as the 
patches, kept in the correct order. I'd presume some kind of 'expand' widget 
to display the group members.

The patch page itself will need to indicate that the patch is part of a series 
(or the leader of a series), and there should be a way to download the whole 



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