Using git#

QuantEcon makes use of git and github to manage changes and collaboration for writing our Lecture series.

Branches and Pull Requests#

There are a number of benefits when using pull requests to make changes to a lecture repository.

  1. they will generate an html preview of the lecture or changes that you are about to commit

  2. can run additional checks like link checking

  3. it will confirm if a lecture has executed on the server environment

A branch is essentially another copy of the repository that reflects another state that the repository is in. This could include changes to existing lectures or the addition of new lecture material.

It can be useful to work in a branch so that the main branch doesn’t get modified until you are ready to make the change.

Setting up a Branch#

Step 1: Always check you are up to date and center yourself around the main branch before making any changes

git checkout main
git pull


Use a terminal emulator that provides you with contextual information when inside of git repos. For example my terminal will always show which branch I am currently editing in, and if there are any changes to the repo.

Step 2: Create and switch to a new branch before making edits

git checkout -b solow-model

git will return some useful information once this command completes. The checkout -b is essentially short hand to both checkout and create the branch named solow-model

(quantecon) ➜  manual git:(main) ✗ git checkout -b solow-model
Switched to a new branch 'solow-model'

Step 3: Make your changes

Step 4: Commit your changes

You can commit your changes in the typical way

git add .
git commit -m "<message>"

Step 5: Push your changes to GitHub

Once you’re ready you can now push this branch to github which will activate github to prompt you to setup a pull request. Team members can review this pull request and you can review the generated html once github actions has completed executing.

git push origin solow-model

where solow-model is the name of the branch that you had created in Step 2

The output will look something like

(quantecon) ➜  manual git:(solow-model) git push origin solow-model 
Enumerating objects: 7, done.
Counting objects: 100% (7/7), done.
Delta compression using up to 10 threads
Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done.
Writing objects: 100% (5/5), 1.40 KiB | 1.40 MiB/s, done.
Total 5 (delta 2), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 0
remote: Resolving deltas: 100% (2/2), completed with 2 local objects.
remote: Create a pull request for 'solow-model' on GitHub by visiting:
 * [new branch]      solow-model -> solow-model


If you have no more changes to make to that branch it can be a good time to switch back to the main. Otherwise it can be easy to open terminal in the future and start editing in an old branch

git checkout main

You can either click on the link in terminal or you can simply navigate to the repository page and github will prompt you to setup a pull request at the top of the page.


which will open a pull request


where you can add a brief description of the changes and you can alert members of the team for review.

Click on Create Pull Request when you’re done in the browser.

This will cause github actions to start building the respoitory and generating previews for your pull request

Step 6: Merge your Pull Request

Once everyone is happy with the pull request we can merge it into the main branch

To fetch the latest main locally you can fetch it using the standard

git pull