Discussion papers related to the Linux Foundation ELISA project

GitHub Review Workflow

This document defines the steps necessary to review new content submissions in an ELISA GitHub repository, react to review comments and ultimately fulfill the ELISA review requirements for incorporation into the repository.

People working in ELISA may come from safety certification, RTOS-based embedded product development, open-source software development, Linux kernel development backgrounds or combinations thereof. Some have extensive experience developing with git, and specifically with GitHub, as well as collaborating with others in such a context (black belts). Others, on the other hand, having only passing or no experience (white belts).

This document aims to define the necessary steps for the black belts while giving additional information to aid understanding those steps for the white belts.


In contrast to the project contribution process, reviewing submitted content does not involve modification of the content source and can be accomplished entirely in GitHub’s web interface.

GitHub has documented the individual actions necessary for a review. This document focuses therefore on defining which actions are advisable in the context of the ELISA project.

NOTE 1: You cannot contribute anonymously to ELISA project repositories. All developers must therefore have a GitHub account before starting.


The diagram below illustrates the repository topology underlying the terminology.

Contribution Repositories


You, the person the submitted the pull request (PR)
A person with the right to merge new contributions in the form of (PR)s into the projectRepo
Someone who either was appointed by the maintainer or has volunteered to review a PR


the elisa-tech repository for the current activity, sometimes known as the “upstream repo”
the developer’s repository on GitHub, in this case, a fork of projectRepo
a clone of userRepo on teh developer’s computer. This is where the development work occurs.


the branch on which the PR is located
the branch to containing the final versions of all contributions. On old repositories, this branch is named “master”. On newer repositories, there is a tendency to name it “main”.

Developer submits a PR

Refer to the project contribution workflow description for instructions on how to prepare a PR and submit it to the projectRepository.


This section details the actions the repository maintainer, the reviewer(s) and the developer should perform.

Considering that using GitHub’s web interface is entirely sufficient, it might be enough to just refer to the GitHub documentation. The documentation is fragemented and somewhat incomplete, however. The documentation has a general section entitled “Review changes”, but it does not have a link. Refer to Comment on a PR - GitHub Docs. and Incorporate Feedback - GitHub Docs for an overview of the intended reviewer and developer actions.

This document recommends further organisational steps for the maintainer and addresses how the developer should process review comments in the context of having forked projectRepo.

Maintainer initiates a review

Description of enforcement of mandatory reviews

Confirm entry criteria

Are issues referenced somewhere in the pull request or the commits?
blah blah
Have the DCO criteria been met, i.e. have the pull request and commits been properly assigned?
blah blah

Nominate Reviewers

Only ELISA participants with a GitHub id can perform reviews. The default list of reviewers or assinees is derived from the list of members of “Enabling Linux in Safety Critical Applications” who are usually those who have write permission for peoject repositories. Additionally, contributors to the repository and commenters on the pull request maz be included.

Add the reviewers to the pull request. Refer to Requesting a pull request review - GitHub Docs for the corresponding documentation.

Configure the review

Link associated issues to the pull request
GitHub provides keywords to indicate the state of an issue when pull request is merged to the default branch. They should be placed in the pull request description, or may be included in commit messages. Seems to only be possible when done by the reequester on creation Alternatively, issues can be associated to a pull request in the right sidebar of the request’s screen. Refer to Linking a pull request to an issue - GitHub Docs for details.
Assign responsibility for the pull request
Usually the developer would be responsible for the pull request. Refer to Assigning issues and pull requests to other users - GitHub Docs for details.

Reviewer performs review

Initiate review tracking

Comment on changes

Finish review

Developer incorporates comments

In web interface

In localRepo

Intiate further review

Maintainer merges changes

Verify review results sufficient

Merge contribution