Here's a re-roll of the series I posted at:

Basically, it drops the time for "format-patch --cherry-pick" on a
particular case from 3 minutes down to 3 seconds, by avoiding diffs
on merge commits. Compared to v1, it fixes the totally-broken handling
of commit_patch_id() pointed out by Johannes.

We can drop the diffs on the merge commits because they're quite broken,
as discussed in the commit message of patch 3 (they don't take into
account any parent except the first). So what do we do when somebody
asks for the patch-id of a merge commit?

This is still marked RFC, because there are really two approaches here,
and I'm not sure which one is better for "format-patch --base". I'd like
to get input from Xiaolong Ye (who worked on --base), and Josh Triplett
(who has proposed some patches in that area, and is presumably using

Option one is that merges are defined as having no patch-id at all. They
are skipped for "--cherry-pick" comparison, and "format-patch --base"
will not mention them at all as prerequisites. That's what I've
implemented here.

Option two is to use the commit sha1 as the patch-id for a merge, making
it (essentially) unique. That gives us a defined value, but it's one
that "--cherry-pick" will not match between two segments of history. I
don't know if having _some_ defined value is useful for "format-patch
--base" or not.

And obviously there's an option 3: define some more complicated patch-id
for merges that takes into account all of the parents. I didn't think
too much on that because I don't really see value in it over using the
commit sha1, and it would be computationally expensive.

  [1/3]: patch-ids: turn off rename detection
  [2/3]: diff_flush_patch_id: stop returning error result
  [3/3]: patch-ids: use commit sha1 as patch-id for merge commits


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